Film: 9499

Medicine | 1950 | Sound | Colour

Clip:

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Synopsis:

A film about tooth and gum disease 1950's ("Rather fun" says the cataloguer !)

Snow covered land, with a mountain in the background. North East Greenland, where a man is pulled in his sledge by his dogs. Other members of his group also ride on sleighs pulled by dogs. An Eskimo walks up a ridge, followed by her dogs and another member of the group. They follow her, some on foot, some on sledges. Two Eskimo's use snow blocks to build the entrance to their igloo. When the roof is complete they smooth the snow over so that the joins are hidden. A fellow Eskimo cuts meat from a reindeer carcass. He eats it raw, against the backdrop of grassy hills. With her dogs, walks a mother carrying her child on her back in a protective pouch. Another woman smoothes the skin of a dead animal. Holding the skin in her teeth allows her more freedom with her hands. Sitting down, another woman bites a piece of thread from a coat, watched by her son. Close up, we see that she uses her teeth to tear the material. This woman also uses her teeth when working with this thin cloth. As his sledge moves off, a man runs to catch it up, whilst his friend is already ahead of him.

On a country road, surrounded by tall, green trees on either side, a 1950's car drives past, pulling a small caravan. Inside, is a woman preparing dessert, by putting cream on top, whilst mugs hang beside her and books sit on the shelf behind her. Having stopped, both the man and woman who own the caravan are seated by a lake, eating lunch, which consists of sandwiches, jelly, cream and a cherry for each of them. The man wearing a light brown shirt and dark brown trousers, puts a spoonful of the jelly into his mouth. As he eats, we see a close up of his face and his reply to the commentator's comment that '..every..person suffers from some kind of disease of teeth or gums', which involves him showing his teeth the camera. Examined, by a dentist, with a small mirror and pointed instrument, his teeth look shiny and clean. An x - ray of his teeth shows us, with a pen pointing to various points, his fillings and a problem not visible by the eye alone. The man looks sheepish as the voiceover asks him when he last went to the dentist. His wife, looks on and eventually we look at her teeth. A pair of hands examine them, moving the lips out of the way. Close up there is a piece of plaque, which is removed. She looks at the camera and talks to the commentator.

In a community hall, there is a choir, conducted by a man. There are women of all ages, as this row shows. The men are dressed in suits, with short hair and stand at the back of the group. The choir has 100 people in and whilst singing one group leaves because they have complete or partial dentures; the screen shows that 40 leave; then 16 leave because they need teeth removed and finally a group leave that need some fillings or other treatment, meaning only two people out of the whole group have good teeth, and they remain in the hall.

The front page of a newspaper from Mon, October 1, 1951, has the headline, 'Dental disease causing alarm: only 2 per cent. Have perfect teeth'. A balding man is reading the paper, but ignores this article and picks up a different paper. This headline is related to Smallpox. The next to Diphtheria. He looks up from his breakfast at his family. He eats his cereal and claims it isn't as bad as all that. His family look up and his eldest daughter offers him an apple. Her mother says 'Don't be silly Sarah, you know your father can't eat apples cos of his dentures'. The daughter shrugs and eats an apple, whilst her father must do with porridge. His younger daughter eats an apple as well, smiling as she eats. An older version of herself, stands in a window, removes her false teeth and smiles, toothless and not as attractive as before. Returns to girl as she is now and she smiles.

Up to a model of some teeth, walks a man in a white coat, who then points to various parts of a tooth, taking one out to show us the root. Teeth have three layers as this drawing shows, the outside is white, the next layer yellow and the blood vessels, red, with the gum round it. Close up of the three layers, and we see that there are tubes that go through all three, which are very vulnerable to decay. Model of tooth, which has decay in. An arrow moves through the drawing to show how the fibres are killed and the disease spreads, with a flashing light indicating toothache. If caught in time it can be filled, after decay taken out, like this model shows. A different model shows the teeth and gums from a different angles and the gums are lifted up to see the root of the teeth. Fibres hold the tooth in place and move up and down as we eat. However, like this baby's skin, the gums are very sensitive. A red outline of the baby appears against a yellow background and the germs are shown getting through the skin. The baby sitting on the bed has a painful looking rash on the back of its head.

Close up of the mouth, with the gums and teeth showing. Tooth in the model falls out. Mouth of person is examined and shows early signs of gum infection. Teeth are brushed and begin to bleed. As gets worse the tooth gets looser.

Couple in the caravan sit eating sandwiches which they put down and begin to look concerned. On a river a man rows his boat to a jetty, where another, older man waits for him. The man in the boat has blisters on his hands. He looks up at the man on the jetty. What do his hands look like? They are smooth, but a little dirty. He holds out his hands and smiles. Holding the boat in place he talks to the younger man.

Eskimo's are in boats, on the water. A woman skins the catch using her teeth to aid her. Another girl, further from the shore, uses her teeth to work. One girl uses her teeth on live fish. She bites them as they continue to kick. Four children sit and eat seaweed. It is tough and strengthens their teeth. While the dogs rest, three men eat meat off the bone. Three boys eat as well. The bones are large and the meat is hard to get off. This little child uses a knife to get the meat off. Eventually, he uses his teeth as well. An Eskimo child who has grown up in the wild shows dentists his teeth. We see that they are clean and healthy. Close up of them. However, this Eskimo boy has eaten our diet and his teeth are rotten. The bottom set are not any better.

A man minces meat in a mincer. He takes the food to a pan and cooks it. It is served with cooked vegetables to the couple from the caravan, who are now seated in a restaurant and the camera moves round the room. View of apples and salads, which are good for us. We must also use a toothbrush to brush our teeth as this demonstration shows. Like we see with this comb, brushing up and down works better than brushing across. Shown on dentures. Close up of brush moving up and down. See from further away.

A boy and girl are in a bathroom; the girl is by the sink, whilst her brother is sitting on the bath; both are getting ready to brush their teeth. She turns to the camera, smiles and starts brushing. Close up of her brushing her teeth. Her younger sister is also cleaning her teeth but eats a biscuit straight after. Her mother, perched on the side of the bath looks concerned. She opens her daughter's mouth and sees all the bits of biscuit that will sit there all night. Her mother looks on. Her daughter cleans them again. Her older sister smiles.

In the hall, the tow members of the choir whose teeth were fine are sitting waiting to leave, which they do when the commentator says 'Goodbye'.


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