What is Give Kids A Smile®?
The Give Kids A Smile® name was first used by the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and a group of dentists who set up a temporary full-service clinic that treated nearly 400 children over two days in February 2002.
Since then the program has grown enormously, and in 2007 resulted in treatment of over 758,000 children. Events took place at approximately 2,250 locations across the nation, with over 39,000 dental team volunteers and 14,400 dentists, providing free services to underserved children.
What's the difference between Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) and National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM)?
Give Kids A Smile is an annual centerpiece to National Children's Dental Health Month and is observed every year on the first Friday in February, while NCDHM is celebrated during the entire month of February. National Children's Dental Health Month focuses on providing oral health education to all children despite their economic status. Give Kids A Smile was designed to provide chair-side education, preventative and restorative care to low-income children who do not have access to care.
Why Should Mississippi Dentists Participate in GKAS Day?
A one-day event like Give Kids A Smile isn’t a cure-all; it’s a wake-up call. People shouldn’t have to depend on charity for basic dental care. It’s time for politicians, parents and others who care to work together toward a solution. Give Kids A Smile is meant to accomplish two things, help children get the dental care they so desperately need AND raise awareness that our children deserve a better health care system that addresses their dental health needs.
An overarching goal of GKAS is to educate the policymakers and parents that good oral health is integral to overall health. We need commonsense, market-based solutions and other reforms that will encourage more dentists to participate in public health insurance programs.
How can dentists and dental team members get involved?