London's Pulse: Medical Officer of Health reports 1848-1972

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East Ham 1949

[Report of the Medical Officer of Health for East Ham]

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Section 22—Care of Mothers and Young Children.
There were no changes during 1949 and the duties have been
accomplished as far as possible by the existing staff.
Unmarried mothers have been admitted to the following
hostels for periods of 4—6 weeks before their confinements:—
"Ardmore," Loughton, Essex (Essex C.C.).
St. Agatha's, Stratford, E.15 (Voluntary).
The Senior Dental Officer submits the following report in respect
of the dental treatment provided for expectant and nursing mothers
and young children during the year under review:—
Two sessions per week are devoted to the dental treatment of
patients under the M. & C. W. Scheme. The year just ended has
seen a great increase in the demand for treatment under the
M. & C.W. Scheme. This is particularly noticeable with regard to
the children.
The number of children examined was almost twice that of
the previous year, i.e., 658 as compared with 335. It must be
remembered that these children do not have a routine dental
inspection. They are referred for advice and possible treatment
by the Medical Officers in the M. & C.W. Clinics. It follows,
therefore, that almost all the children attending for treatment
have had some pain. It would appear that the teeth of the
children born in 1944 and later years are not as good as those of the
children born in earlier years. This opinion is based upon the fact
that of the 658 children examined, 511 required treatment and
1,133 teeth were extracted, an average of over two extractions per
child. As almost all these teeth were molars of which there are
eight, in the deciduous dentition this means that there is an
average loss of efficiency of 25 per cent, in each child, which is a
high percentage in such young children.
In the ante-natal clinics, mothers are advised on the dental
conditions which may occur during pregnancy. In the dental
clinics, mothers are instructed in the proper way to look after their
children's teeth, and instructive booklets are given to those who
are interested.