Children's Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association (ADA) held the first national observance of Children's Dental Health Day on February 8, 1949. This single day observance became a week-long event in 1955. In 1981, the program was extended to a month-long celebration known today as National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM). NCDHM is celebrated in the month of February each year.

Since 1941, the observance has grown from a two-city event into a nationwide program. NCDHM messages reach millions of people in communities across the country and at numerous armed service bases abroad. Local observances often include poster, coloring, and essay contests, health fairs, free dental screenings, museum exhibits, classroom presentations and dental office tours.

Dental professionals planning classroom visits, can find resources, such as tips, worksheets, games, etc., on the ADA Web site at

What's the Difference Between National Children's Dental Health Month (NCDHM)
and Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS)?

GKAS is an annual centerpiece to National Children's Dental Health Month and is observed every year on the first Friday in February, while NCDHM is celebrated during the entire month of February. National Children's Dental Health Month focuses on providing oral health education to all children despite their economic status. GKAS was designed to provide education, preventive and restorative care to low-income children who do not have access to care.