Written by Sekar Ningtyas Kinasih, Content Writer
Project Child Indonesia
The children who suffered in oral health problems tend to have- doubled-susceptibility in facing the crisis of self-confidence, hard in socializing, even at worse-they tend to avoid smiling and laughing compared to other kids that owned better healthy teeth and mouth.
The condition towards people’s teeth and mouth health care circumstantially counted as a significant indicator of the overall health within the human body. This fact has brought up by a realization in the existence of the teeth itself – that is functionally working as a first-entry-point of foods before passing to the digestive system for nutrient absorption. Even though people understand that the role of teeth is not simple, unfortunately, the level of awareness amongst Indonesian for taking care of their oral health is really poor. Not surprised, this situation sums up to the current major teeth diseases such as cavities (caries), a buildup of coral teeth, abscesses (swollen gums)– even at worse, some recent studies show that the infections on gums could lead to heart disease.
Adopting from the result of Basic Health Research of 2018, Indonesia has claimed as one of the countries with the percentage of 57,6 out of the total populations with the highest prevalence of dental and oral health problems. The worse case reveals that 93 percent nominal of cavities sufferers are dominated by kids — where it possibly bring to broader consequences which affecting to academic potential and self-confidence of children as future provisions. This phenomenon intensively become matters for every party in our country; as such it’s become the foremost reason of “Indonesia Free from Caries 2030” establishment– generated by the Indonesian Minister of Health that fully supported by Indonesian Dentist Association (PDGI) through carry out the socialization of the importance of children’s oral health to various schools, provide mass fluoride administration and the closure of molar teeth which oftentimes prone to caries.
“The percentage of children in Indonesia who experience a toothache in 2018 is 64 percent, whereas 41 percent of them confessed if the intensity of the pain has reached to be moderate to heavy levels. This issue might be a major impact on the children to deal with lots of difficulty at school, both cases of academic and socialization”, said one of the dentist, Dr. Ratu Mirah is as well known as a Division Head for Health & Wellbeing and Professional Institutions of the Unilever Indonesia Foundation.
Unwittingly, the disruption of children’s oral health has become a serious challenge that we should not be underestimated. The circumstance of what they feel about the aches is affecting the lower productivity at school, minimize the capacity in taking the lessons and loss of appetite which could affect incomplete nutrition of the children’s growth. Not to mention, it’s often because of the lack of preventive actions from parents that most of the time they take the children to see a dentist when problems arise — not by doing the check-up routines for once in every 6 months. Hence, the concern towards education about oral health to the children needs to be prioritized since it’s become a basic principle to build up children’s confidence in interpersonal experience when socializing and exploring various things that can be valuable for their future.
Poor knowledge of Indonesian regarding dental health requires roles from numerous parties — not just depends on active facilitator such as Puskesmas; but as well as from the guidance of UKS (Unit Kesehatan Sekolah), local governments and the involvement of non-government organizations that commonly get attached into the remote areas. This awareness leads to Project Child Indonesia initiation to take action as a form of support to the Indonesia Free from Caries 2030 program by establishing a free dental check-up that held on 7 August 2019 at one of PCI’s SS programs; Sungai Gajah Wong. The activity purposely targeted to the residents around the river; both parents and children, where each individual got the opportunity to have a live consultation with our collaborator from Opal Dental Clinic’s experts (doctors).
During the consultation period, the results revealed that there were about 20 people (children and adults) who possessed similar diseases such as cavities or the emergence of caries, imperfect teeth growth, coral’s build-up and the condition of spaced teeth. Therefore, Project Child Indonesia hopes this action could be a starter point for every individual in upgrading their awareness to get to know about why oral health education is necessary, as it becomes a basic line for the parents to make a new form the children’s habit of brushing teeth twice a day– reducing particular consumptions that possibly trigger to the caries growth such as eating too much sweetness or drinking of any kind beverages that contain high sugar level– while frequently to take lots of drinking water and gurgle more instead.