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Posted on February 9, 2012 | in Dentistry for Kids, Give Back | by

In case Groundhog Day, Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, Washington’s birthday, and Mardi Gras celebrations don’t monopolize your February, here’s a local children’s dental health cause we can all get behind.

The American Dental Association (ADA) is in its tenth year of sponsoring their “Give Kids A Smile®” program, and the aim is simple.

Each year on the first Friday in February, thousands of dentists and their dental team members provide free oral health care services to children from low-income families across the United States.

2012 marks the 10th anniversary of the Give Kids A Smile® program, which is the American Dental Association’s signature oral health access program, designed to encourage parents, health professionals and policymakers to address the year-round need for oral health care for underserved children.

Here’s an after action review of the most recent cavity creep crushing campaign:

2012 Participation Information as of Wednesday, February 8, 2012

# of Events


Est # of Kids:


Participating Dentists:


Other Volunteers:


Nearly 10,000 dental practices helped over 40,000 kids have healthier teeth and gums than they had last week – and it’s not over yet, local dental assault teams will be deploying somewhere in your area all year!

If you think that’s worthy of some social dental love, go ahead and give a ‘Like’ to the Give Kids A Smile® Facebook page.

And if you’re wondering about your local area, or what your dentist is doing to promote local community dental health for our kids, or how to connect with a practice that is offering special care, check with the ADA website here and inquire with your state dental society.

According to the ADA, this year, more than 40,000 volunteer dentists and their team members are expected to treat children for GKAS at nearly 1,600 sites. About 450,000 annually are seen through the program.

About 80 percent of tooth decay in the United States is suffered by 25 percent of the children, according to the National Institutes of Health.

For every child younger than 18 years old without medical insurance, there are at least two children without dental insurance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Medicaid budgets allocate 2 percent or less for dental services, according to the ADA.

Push your dentist to get into the fast lane and knock the cavity creeps out of the park!

“Give Kids A Smile® is a registered service mark of the American Dental Association.”

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.

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