CHICAGO, February 3, 2023—The American Dental Association Foundation announces the 21st year of its Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program, which officially launches today at this year’s national kick-off event in St. Louis, MO where the program first began. Since its national launch in 2003, GKAS volunteers have provided free oral health education and services to more than seven million underserved children in the U.S. To learn more about the program’s impact on helping improve oral health and total health over the years, click here to watch last year’s 20th anniversary video.
In 2023, nearly 1,200 GKAS events are scheduled to take place throughout the U.S., and it is estimated that approximately 300,000 underserved children will receive free oral health education, screenings, and preventive and restorative services, such as cleanings and fillings. These services will be provided by approximately 30,000 dentists and dental team members who volunteer at local GKAS events, using essential oral health care products donated by national sponsor, Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE: CL), as well as Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) and its supplier partners.
“What began as a grassroots effort in St. Louis has become a national movement to ensure access to quality oral health care for all children,” said Dr. Craig Armstrong, Chair, American Dental Association Foundation. “The success of GKAS would not be possible without dental professionals who volunteer at local events each year in addition to national sponsors, Henry Schein, and Colgate. My sincere appreciation and thanks to all who have been a part of the program, some from the very first day. We are all involved for the right reason – to Give Kids A Smile and help children in need.”
Since the program’s inception, Henry Schein has contributed more than $20 million in oral health care products in partnership with its supplier partners. Team Schein has also provided thousands of hours preparing and sending more than 40,000 dental kits to ensure volunteers had the supplies to deliver much needed oral health care.
“Henry Schein is pleased to be an exclusive national partner of the ADAF’s signature access-to-care program Give Kids A Smile since its national launch in 2003,” said Dave Steck, Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Dental Group, Henry Schein. “GKAS represents Henry Schein’s commitment to expand access to care to those who need it most. Congratulations and thank you to the American Dental Association and ADA Foundation for your leadership, to our supplier partners for their unwavering commitment and collaboration, and all the volunteers who have donated their time and expertise to grow GKAS into one of the largest, charitable dental health programs in the country.”
Since 2007, Colgate-Palmolive has supported GKAS as the exclusive sponsor of essential health and hygiene products to help build proper oral hygiene habits, which reflects the Company’s purpose to reimagine a healthier future for all. In addition to supporting GKAS, Colgate-Palmolive promotes health equity and optimal health and wellbeing among underserved children and their families through its KnowYourOQ initiative, a free oral health resource that helps determine your oral health quotient, and its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® initiative. Established in 1991, the initiative leads global social impact efforts that empower children and families to achieve healthy and bright futures, and has reached more than 1.5 billion children in over 100 countries around the world.
“As the worldwide leader in oral care and with the Colgate brand found in more homes than any other, Colgate is committed to our purpose to reimagine a healthier future for all,” said Dawna Michelle Fields, Director, Community & Operations, North America, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Program and National Advisory Committee Member, Give Kids A Smile. “Colgate-Palmolive is proud to be a long-time supporter of the Give Kids A Smile program and promote oral health literacy, which is foundational for children’s overall health and wellbeing.”
Supplier partners that are supporting the 2023 Give Kids A Smile program through product donations also include 3M, Ansell, Centrix, Colgate, DASH, Dentsply Sirona, DMG America, Halyard, Hu-Friedy, Medicom, Pac-Dent, Premier, Pro2 Solutions, Pulpdent, Richmond, Sempermed USA, Sunstar, and TIDI Products.
For more information about Give Kids A Smile, visit: www.adafoundation.org/GKAS.