The ADA Foundation held the first Give Kids A Smile event at Howard University College of Dentistry.

The ADA Foundation’s Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program began its 22nd year with a national kickoff event, taking place at Howard University College of Dentistry.

The kickoff event provided free oral health education, screenings and treatment for underserved children.

The program launched nationally in 2003 with the goals of raising awareness and bringing dentists together to provide free oral health care to underserved children. What began as a one-day event the first Friday in February eventually transformed into local and national events taking place year-round.

In 2024, so far 1,211 GKAS events have been registered with the ADA Foundation that will take place at different locations across the U.S. throughout the year.

Each year approximately 6,500 dentists and 20,000 dental team members volunteer at local GKAS events to provide free oral health services to more than 300,000 children, according to the ADA Foundation. To date, more than 7 million children have received free oral health services through the GKAS program.

The Give Kids A Smile program is supported by national sponsors Henry Schein and Colgate, which provide education and product kits to support GKAS events. To learn how to become a part of the Give Kids A Smile movement, visit

Photo 76740062 © Igor Mojzes |