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Give Kids A Smile Celebrates 13 Years of Providing Dental Health Education, Care and Prevention Programming

Thousands of Events Nationwide Help Children Improve their Dental Health Free

February 06, 2015

Contact Information:
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO — February is National Children’s Dental Health Month (NCDHM), and to honor the occasion, Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) programs are planned nationwide throughout the month and all of this year to share critical dental health care and education with children in need.

Today, at the GKAS Kickoff event in Arizona, more than 500 children from the Mesa Public School District received free dental care and learned why it’s important to take daily care of teeth and gums through demonstrations with hand-held models of teeth and over-sized toothbrushes. Volunteers from the Arizona Dental Foundation and the A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health organized the event and provision of care, with some volunteers dressing up in kid-friendly themed costumes to lend spirit to the morning. Colgate, Dexis and Henry Schein Dental are the national sponsors of Give Kids A Smile Day.

The GKAS program began in 2001 in St. Louis, and the American Dental Association launched it nationally in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. Initially a one-day event in February, coinciding with National Children’s Dental Health Month, the program has since grown to local and national events year-round.

Dentists and other team members volunteer their time and services to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States. Throughout 2015, approximately 350,000 children will benefit from more than 1,500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more annual volunteers.

Give Kids A Smile is part of the ADA Foundation. For more information about how Give Kids A Smile Programs are organized across the country, please visit ada.org/givekidsasmile. To learn about mouth healthy habits, please visit MouthHealthy.org, which features fun quizzes, slideshows, videos and articles about dental health topics for every age and stage of life, plus the ADA Dental Symptom Checker.

Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 159,000 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 ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA's consumer website MouthHealthy.org