The 2009 Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) Day is set for Friday, February 6, 2009. On 2008’s GKAS Day, 47,000 dentists and volunteers participated in 1,888 programs and provided 480,000 underserved children with free oral health education, screenings, and treatment. Programs took place in individual dental practices, dental and hygiene schools, and other community locations nationwide.

"It’s so important for dental professionals to register and be a part of Give Kids a Smile Day," said Molly Pereira, associate executive director at Colorado Dental Association, and a GKAS program coordinator. "This is the largest nationwide effort to not only help deserving kids on a designated day, but also draw attention to the fact that each of our states share the access-to-care problem and are committed to making a difference. While dental associations across the nation are working on the long-term solution, we can’t ignore the immediate needs of these children, desperate for dental attention."

GKAS sponsor DEXIS is donating the use of 50 digital x-ray systems and personnel to assist in taking radiographs at dental schools hosting GKAS events.

The ADA is accepting requests for free consumer and professional products for GKAS events from now through November 14, 2008. Kits can treat 50 children. Even though product donations from program sponsors are very generous, the ADA is not able to fill all requests. Please be prepared to make alternate arrangements for products if necessary. The ADA will post a list of product recipients on December 1, 2008, on its Web site. Products will be shipped the week of January 19, 2009.

You can register your program and request free products at www.ada.org/goto/gkas www.ada.org/goto/gkas.

[GKAS, October 2, 2008]