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Give Kids A Smile Provides Free Oral Health Care to Nearly Half-Million Children

Thousands of volunteers, NL Baseball’s 2008 MVP Albert Pujols support nationwide program

Contact Information:

Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO, Feb. 26, 2009—The American Dental Association (ADA)'s seventh annual Give Kids A Smile®program provided free oral health services to some 465,800 underserved children across the country. Enrolled through their schools, dental societies, and other community groups, the children received X-rays, fillings, cleanings, sealants, educational materials, dental hygiene products and more, all free of charge.

More than 45,700 dental professionals volunteer time

The majority of children were seen February 6th but in some areas, services were scheduled on subsequent days and have continued as needed. More than 45,700 dental professionals, including 12,500 dentists, participated in "Give Kids A Smile! 2009" (GKAS), volunteering through 1,700 local GKAS programs, many of them operating at multiple sites.

The generosity of three national sponsors supported the massive effort again this year. Thanks to them, 90% of GKAS registered requestors providing services received free product to help care for the kids.

  • Henry Schein Dental provided 3,000 professional dental product kits containing items such as gloves, masks, patient bibs, prophy paste, floss, fluoride gel/fluoride foam/fluoride varnish and fluoride trays. Each kit contains enough items to serve 50 children.
  • Colgate-Palmolive Company supplied 300,000 toothbrushes and 300,000 tubes of toothpaste for children at Give Kids A Smile events.
  • DEXIS® Digital X-ray provided one DEXIS Digital X-ray System to each of the 56 U.S. dental schools participating in Give Kids A Smile, as well as support staff to assist in the taking of X-rays.

National League Baseball's MVP Albert Pujols assists GKAS efforts

The GKAS program is the ADA's major annual outreach to underserved children. St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols joined the Give Kids A Smile team this year. The National League's 2008 Most Valuable Player generously donated his time in recording a public service announcement (PSA) that aired nationwide beginning in mid-January. To view the PSA and find out more about GKAS, visit http://kids.ada.org/ .

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.