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Las Vegas dentists ready to Give Kids A Smile

Volunteer Celebration Area features successful programs

Las Vegas—Dentists from the Southern Nevada Dental Society will showcase their Give Kids A Smile program on the exhibit floor at the ADA Annual Session Oct. 10-12 in the Volunteer Celebration Area, where they will screen and provide education to 150 children in need of dental services.

Image: A replica of Greg Biffle's No. 16 car
Collector’s item: A replica of Greg Biffle’s No. 16 car available for purchase sports the GKAS logo.

Children from a Title I Las Vegas elementary school will be bused to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center each morning for free oral health screenings, radiographs and oral health education including videos, games and nutrition counseling. The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures mobile dental van will be on hand to provide dental set-ups for the event.

Children will be prescreened for the SNDS Give Kids A Smile event in February 2012, said Robert Anderson, executive director.

“We are thrilled to be able show dentists from around the country what we do here in Southern Nevada,” said Mr. Anderson. “Our more than 200 volunteers come not only from SNDS, but also every dental education program in Southern Nevada. Dentists, dental students, residents, hygienists and hygiene students and others come together for Give Kids A Smile and provide more than $100,000 in care to more than 200 children each year.”

Mr. Anderson says that the school the dental society has provided GKAS screening and treatment for has reported that its students’ academic performance and oral health status improved noticeably after just three years.

“The program is a true partnership between dental professionals, dental students, the dental industry and the community. Our event has a lot of resources that come together to help children in need.”

SNDS President Joel Casar said, “Southern Nevada Dental Society members look forward to another opportunity to provide dental care for children in addition to our annual GKAS program at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas dental school.”

“The best way to ensure children enjoy a lifetime of good oral health is to teach them the basics, start early and make it fun and part of their routine,” said Dr. Marsha Butler, vice president, Global Oral Health and Professional Relations for Colgate Palmolive Co. “It is important because we help them to build their self-esteem and promote good oral health practices.”

Dr. Butler says Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program has provided oral health education to underserved communities for 20 years, and more than 10 million children have been exposed annually to the interactive program.

Attendees will also be able to learn more about the upcoming Give Kids A Smile/NASCAR event set for Oct. 15 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, N.C. NASCAR competitor Greg Biffle’s No. 16 car, sporting the GKAS logo, will also appear on-site at Annual Session. Volunteer dental professionals will provide oral health screenings and education for up to 350 children on race day at the special event designed to kick off the GKAS program’s 10th anniversary celebration. A collectors’ edition die-cast replica of the No. 16 car with a commemorative plaque stand to display in the dental office will also be available for purchase. Donations will benefit the ADA GKAS National Education and Awareness Program.

The Volunteer Celebration Area, back for its second year at Annual Session, is designed to highlight successful programs that offer access to oral health care for underserved children and adults nationwide and offer those attending some guidance on how to become a volunteer.

In addition to ADA’s Give Kids A Smile Program and Colgate’s Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Program, six other volunteer programs will be showcased in the Volunteer Celebration Area, including:

  • America’s Dentists Care Foundation (Missions of Mercy);
  • National Museum of Dentistry;
  • ADA’s National Children’s Dental Health Month;
  • Smiles Change Lives;
  • National Association of School Nurses;
  • Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America.

The Volunteer Celebration Area will be open Oct. 10-12, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in the 400 aisle, Bayside D of the World Marketplace Exhibition.

For more information visit givekidsasmile.ada.org.