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This year, nearly 1200 GKAS events are scheduled across the country, and an estimated 300,000 underserved children will receive free oral health education, screenings, and preventative care.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has launched the 21st year of its Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) program. Since its inception in 2003, GKAS volunteers have provided free oral health education and services to more than 7 million underserved US children, according to a press release from the ADA Foundation.
This year, nearly 1200 GKAS events are scheduled across the country, and an estimated 300,000 underserved children will receive free oral health education, screenings, and preventative care, such as cleanings and fillings. According to the press release, these services will be provided by approximately 30,000 dentists and dental team members who volunteer at local GKAS events, using oral care products donated by national sponsors Colgate-Palmolive and Henry Schein, Inc.
“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 of the ADA 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 beginning, Henry Schein has contributed more than $20 million in oral health care products in partnership with its supplier partners. The company has also provided thousands of hours of prepping and sending more than 40,000 dental kits to ensure volunteers had the supplies to deliver needed oral health care, the ADA’s statement read.
Colgate-Palmolive has supported GKAS since 2007 as the exclusive sponsor of essential health and hygiene products to help build proper oral hygiene habits. Supplier partners for the 2023 GKAS campaign include 3M, Ansell, Centrix, Dentsply Sirona, Hu-Friedy, Pulpdent, and others.