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Give Kids A Smile sign-up now available

The seventh annual national Give Kids A Smile event is just four months away, and it's time for program coordinators and dentist participants to register their programs and request free products from GKAS program sponsors Colgate and Henry Schein Dental.

The 2009 GKAS day is set for Friday, Feb. 6. Participants can register their programs and request free products at www.ada.org/goto/gkas.

"It's so important for dental professionals to register and be a part of Give Kids a Smile Day," said Molly Pereira, associate executive director, Colorado Dental Association, and a GKAS program coordinator. "This is the largest nationwide effort to not only help deserving kids on a designated day, but also draw attention to the fact that each of our states share the access-to-care problem and are committed to making a difference. While dental associations across the nation are working on the long-term solution, we can't ignore the immediate needs of these children, desperate for dental attention."

"Please sign up today for Give Kids A Smile Day—participation is easy and several resources are available through the ADA and your state's dental association to help you with your GKAS program," said Ms. Pereira. "Help us establish GKAS treatment statistics to share with legislators and policymakers to bring attention to the fact that these children need a better health care system."

The ADA will accept requests for free consumer and professional products for their events now through Nov. 14. Kits can treat 50 children. (Even though product donations from program sponsors are very generous, the ADA isn't able to fill all requests, so please be prepared to make alternate arrangements for products if necessary. The ADA will post a list of product recipients Dec. 1 on the Web site and products will be shipped the week of Jan. 19, 2009.)

GKAS sponsor DEXIS is donating the use of 50 digital X-ray systems and personnel to assist in taking radiographs at dental schools hosting Give Kids A Smile events.

Visit the Web site to register your program, request free products and get additional details. E-mail questions to gkas@ada.org.

And, those looking for new ideas to energize their GKAS programs should check out the proceedings from the second GKAS Promising Practices Symposium. Symposium proceedings can be viewed online.

Some 47,000 dentists and volunteers participated in 1,888 programs during the 2008 Give Kids A Smile day, providing approximately 480,000 underserved children with free oral health education, screenings and treatment. Programs took place in individual dental practices, dental and hygiene schools and many other community locations nationwide.