Keep Your Kids Smiling

By Angela Bekiaris

February 1 marks Give Kids A Smile Day. The American Dental Association (ADA) Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile programme was launched nationally by the American Dental Association in 2003, more than 5.5 million underserved children have received free oral health services. These free services are provided by volunteers including approximately 10 000 dentists annually, along with 30 000 other dental team members.
With February being Children’s Dental Month, it’s vital for parents and kids to understand the importance of good dental hygiene.
(See our tips on how to keep your teeth pearly white and in tip-top shape – previous article).

The History Of Give Kids A Smile day
In 2002, Drs. Jeff Dalin and B. Ray Storm held the first Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) event in a run-down soon-to-be-demolished dental clinic in St. Louis, where 15 patient chairs were scraped together to deliver free dental care to nearly 400 children. The ADA then recognised that this grassroots effort had great potential to raise awareness nationally about the importance of oral health to overall health, and about the staggering need that exists among millions of children who go without care, so in 2003, Give Kids A Smile evolved into a nationwide programme with the collaboration of the ADA, Henry Schein, Procter & Gamble, and DEXIS.
Sixteen years later, events take place throughout the year, kicking off annually on the first Friday in February, which is Give Kids A Smile Day. Thousands of dentists and volunteers give their time to provide free oral health education, screenings, and treatment to underserved children.

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