February 4, 2022
Give Kids A Smile® Day (GKAS) is a national children's dental access day, during National Children's Dental Health Month, originated from the American Dental Association and promoted through the Louisiana Dental Association. It is part of a nationwide effort to provide dental screenings, education and an opportunity for future dental services to children who do not have access to regular dental care. The GKAS campaign also hopes to highlight for policy makers the ongoing challenges that low-income and disabled children face in accessing dental care.
The overarching concept of the initiative is to create a national umbrella for the numerous charitable education, screening, prevention and comprehensive treatment programs already in existence by having as many of them as possible occur on the same day. At the same time, the campaign provides a framework for identifying, cataloging and recognizing the many access programs that take place throughout the year.
Each year, Louisiana dentists provide a range of different activities across the state for GKAS. Activities vary from dentists providing brushing demonstrations and oral health discussions in schools and community groups, to dentists opening up their own practices to provide free diagnosis and treatment of children's dental health. The LDA also attempts to schedule media appearances in each of the nine components in order to book interviews where dentists can discuss GKAS, as well as provide oral health tips for parents and children.
For more information on national programs related to GKAS, as well as the background of the event, media kits, ADA sign ups, to request samples from GKAS sponsors and more, visit https://www.ada.org/en/public-programs/give-kids-a-smile.