On September 12, 2022, Indonesia commemorates National Dental and Oral Health Day (HKGN) with the theme “Recover together with Indonesia’s healthy smile”. With this theme, it is hoped that the Indonesian people will be enthusiastic in carrying out dental and oral care so that Indonesia can smile healthily. Since the last 2 years, when cases of the Covid-19 pandemic were high, dental and oral health services for the community were limited to suppress the spread of the Covid-19 virus. This increases the risk of dental and oral problems in the community, including pregnant women.
Pregnant women are more prone to dental and oral health problems such as cavities and gingivitis. During pregnancy, increased levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone can cause the gum tissue to overreact to local irritation and increase the risk of plaque/tartar formation and swelling of the gums. In addition to the increase in hormones, complaints of morning sickness/nausea and vomiting experienced by pregnant women in the 1st trimester cause stomach acid to rise to the mouth, causing tooth enamel (the outer layer of the teeth) to be damaged and increasing the risk of cavities. Inadequate calcium requirements for the mother and fetus also cause problems with the bones and teeth of pregnant women and the formation of bone tissue and teeth of the fetus.
Pregnant women who experience dental health problems such as dental infections will be at risk of increasing the incidence of Low Birth Weight (LBW), premature birth and preeclampsia. For this reason, pregnant women need to maintain oral and dental health through efforts such as diligently brushing their teeth at least 2 times a day and using mouthwash after brushing their teeth, consuming foods high in calcium such as anchovies, tofu, tempeh, nuts, and other products. dairy products and taking calcium supplements. If pregnant women are still nauseous and vomiting, pregnant women are recommended to rinse their mouth with water first and then continue by brushing their teeth.
The Summit Institute for Development, through the Thrive-GEN project which is now transforming into the NextGEN project, aims to improve maternal and child health in Indonesia with various innovations. One of the innovations used is the connection of the WhatsApp API system with antenatal services, with the aim of providing education about maternal and infant health for pregnant women. Many partners are involved in this program such as the Health Office and its networks, program planners and implementers from various sectors. The scope of the SID program with partners includes Banggai, Magelang, East Lombok and will be expanded to include pregnant women in West Lombok, West Sumba and Ende. In addition to receiving health education through the chatbot feature, pregnant women in the area can also conduct consultations through counseling services with midwives regarding complaints/discomforts experienced by pregnant women including dental and oral health problems. With easier access and reach of health information/education for pregnant women, it is hoped that maternal and infant mortality and morbidity will decrease so that it can accelerate the achievement of MMR and IMR according to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets, namely AKI 70 per 100,000 live births and IMR 12 per 100,000. 1000 live births.