HC Deb 01 April 1957 vol 568 cc7-8
23. Mr. Hastings

asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been called to a statement in the Report of his Department for 1955, Part 2, that investigations show that the deterioration in the condition of the teeth of young children, noted in previous Annual Reports, continues; and what action he proposes to take.

Mr. Vosper

Yes, Sir. Suggestions were made to local health authorities on methods of developing their maternity and child welfare dental services by circular issued in June, 1955. In both the local authority and the general dental service there has been a marked increase in the amount of conservative treatment for young people under 21 and for expectant mothers. The McNair Report, with its emphasis on the importance of further dental health education, is being actively considered.

Mr. Hastings

Does the Minister realise that my Question refers to young children, who are dealt with in his own Report, the suggestion in his Report being that the condition of their teeth at a time when development of the jaw is taking place and when it is extremely important that teeth should be attended to was not improving? That was the suggestion which I read from the words of his Report, to which I have referred in the Question. Will not the right hon. Gentleman go into the matter to see whether more cannot be done to make full use of the dentists who are available by diluting their services by the use of dental hygienists and others who could quite well do good work under supervision?

Mr. Vosper

Yes, Sir, that is certainly what I hope to do. I do not in any way dissent from what the hon. Member has said. In considering the McNair Report, I hope to be able to progress further in the right direction.