While in the US I could help but notice the obsession of middle class/ upper middle class Americans with perfect teeth. Everyone wants perfect teeth, I mean, people who had a single tooth out of place, would get braces. On the other hand in England the same obsession was not present.
After spending years in the two countries, I have concluded that a perfect smile is a sure sign of money in the US, whereas, in UK it is not. Why? because in the US dental care is bloody expensive and in England it is free. You see now, in the US having braces is a sure sign that you have a lot of money to throw around, you can afford to have braces, the more unnecessary they were in the first place, the better, because that means the more money you have!!
This is how it is. In one country because dental care is free you do not see people obsessed with perfect smiles, although I would expect them to be concerned about hygiene, but not to the degree the Americans are – the class issue is central here, distinction being the objective.