Monday, June 28, 2021 2:49 PM
Evidence shows that receiving dental care during pregnancy can improve the health of both baby and mother by reducing the risk of gum disease and poor birth outcomes. Using a $72,000 System and Capacity Building Grant from Delta Dental of Iowa Foundation, Healthy Birth Day Inc. is expanding to provide information and education about the connection between oral and overall health. This expanded outreach is specifically focused on expectant mothers most at risk of losing a baby – women of color, refugees, lower-income individuals and teenagers. Jeff Russell, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Iowa, said the program “squarely addresses” the foundation’s strategic goals of reducing barriers and improving access to dental care through the use of technology and integrated partnerships. “Together, we can address health disparities and increase awareness of the connection between oral and overall health,” he said. The new expansion project builds on the success of the Delta Dental Ignite and Innovation Planning Grant received by Healthy Birth Day in 2020. The organization’s successful Count the Kicks app and campaign helps pregnant mothers monitor baby’s kicks and improves overall healthy birth results. Information will be added to the app that helps expectant parents access dental care. In addition, provider training and education will be increased and enhanced on the importance of dental care during pregnancy.