15 Reasons to “Give Kids A Smile”

For 15 years, the ADA Foundation and partners like Henry Schein have ensured children across the country are being seen by dental professionals. Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) is the largest charitable oral health program in the world, and provides free treatment to the kids who need it most.

GKAS has helped millions of children learn about caring for their teeth, receive screenings and fluoride varnishes, and take their first steps towards a lifetime of good oral health. We know the power of a smile, and what it means for a child’s total health, confidence, and happiness.

Now, it’s your turn to help!

Check out all the reasons you should join this national movement for children’s oral health, and then sign up here!

15 reasons why you should participate in the 15th annual Give Kids A Smile program:

1. We’re half a million volunteers strong – and growing!

  • 130,000 dentists and an additional 395,000 volunteers have served at GKAS events across the country since the start of the program.

2. GKAS events take place across the country.

  • Since the program’s inception, GKAS events have taken place in every state across the country.



3. It’s your chance to volunteer in the community!

  • When asked why they participate in GKAS, 92 percent of volunteers said they wanted to serve their communities.*

4. Too many children – especially young children – have cavities.

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one in four children under the age of five already has cavities.


5. Our poorest children are disproportionately affected by tooth decay.

  • Approximately 80 percent of children with tooth decay are in low-income families.

6. Tooth decay is largely preventable!

  • Yet it remains one of the most common chronic diseases of children aged 6 to 11 years (25%), and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years (59%).*

7. Tooth decay is four times more common than asthma among adolescents aged 14 to 17 years.*

8. You can help to end kids’ needless suffering from dental pain and teach them good oral health habits for a lifetime.


9. When surveyed, 78 percent of participants said they joined GKAS to treat patients’ current oral health problems,

10. And 65 percent joined to educate underserved kids about oral health – and keep the problems from returning!*


11. We can’t do it without you!

  • Bringing dental care to underserved children is not a problem the government or organized dentistry will fix alone. It will take all of us — the hearts and souls of the entire community — working together to solve this problem.

12 . Give Kids A Smile is many children’s first visit to the dentist.

  • We work to find dental homes for as many underserved children as possible, so their first visit won’t be their last.

13. Every child deserves access to oral health care.


14. The first GKAS served 400 kids. Today, more than 5.5 million children have been cared for.


15. And because…

there’s no better feeling than putting a smile on a child’s face! 


Want to share this information with your colleagues? Download our infographic!


15 Reasons to Give Kids A Smile – Digital Infographic