This post was sponsored by Give Kids A Smile as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
My family and I try to help serve in our community as often as we can. We are very active members of our church and participate in numerous service projects with our congregation. Recently we have made “Courage Capes.” Courage Capes are for firefighters and police officers to give to children who have been through a fire or other traumatic situation. We have also made birthday bags for an organization in our area that houses children who are homeless or refugees. The organization has a birthday party once a month for all the children living there at the time. It is so important for my family and me always to find new ways to give back and serve in our area. It helps teach my children to look beyond our situation. It gives them an opportunity to learn about service and kindness. Give Kids A Smile is another great organization that helps serve children in areas all over the United States. They are helping children by taking care of one smile at a time.
Unfortunately, too many children in our country are suffering from tooth decay. Tooth decay is the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the U.S. Tooth decay affects 42 percent of children aged 2 to 11 years old and almost 50 percent of minority, underserved, and Medicaid recipients suffer from untreated caries. Give Kids a Smile is a large and national grassroots movement powered by volunteers to do something about this awful tragedy.
Smiles are one of the first things people notice about you. Our smiles are so powerful. A child’s smile affects their self-esteem, and their ability to pay attention at school. It is so heartbreaking to think that half of all children enter kindergarten with tooth decay. I adore my kid’s smiles. Their huge grins when they giggle make my day. I always want to make sure those smiles are staying healthy and protected.
The Give Kids A Smile program has been running for 15 years. They have had more than half a million volunteers, including dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental technicians, dental office staff, dental students, teachers, parents, school nurses, and many other community health professionals. These volunteers have given their time and talents to provide oral health services including education, screening, preventive care, and dental treatment to kids who otherwise might not receive them.
Give Kids A Smile is celebrating the national program’s 15th anniversary. This organization started in St. Louis, Missouri with 15 patient chaires to provide free dental care. They successfully say 400 children in need. Now today with the support of the American Dental Association, Give Kids A Smile has grown to hold 1,300 events in all 50 states reaching more than 5.5 million underserved children. It is the largest oral health charitable program in the U.S.
I loved learning about this amazing organization and wanted to find out how I could take part in it. First teaching kids good oral habits is a great first step. Make sure the kids around you know to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, eat healthy meals, and visit their dentist once a year. There are so many great resources to learn from and utilize the Mouth Healthy website.
There are volunteers busy getting ready for another year of events as the program celebrates its 15-year anniversary. You can attend, volunteer, and/or donate to help alleviate the silent epidemic of tooth decay. You can also help create awareness about the future of children’s oral health in this country, and you can help. Find out more at ADAFoundation.org/GKAS. Also, check out the Give Kids A Smile Facebook page.
Also if your child needs oral health care, visit ADAFoundation.org/GKAS and click “Find Dental Care for Your Child” for a list of resources. Or, call 1-844-490-GKAS (4527) to see if there is a Give Kids A Smile program available in your area.