Southern Mom Loves: You Can Help Give Kids a Smile Too!

You Can Help Give Kids a Smile Too!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

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.

February is National Children's Dental Health Month, so let's talk teeth! Did you know that roughly half of all children enter kindergarten with tooth decay? That's a lot of kids! A lack of affordable access to dental care is a big reason for this, but that's no reason for our kids to have to go through life dealing with mouth pain and a lack of self-esteem about their smile. That's where the grassroots organization Give Kids A Smile comes in, and you can help too.


I remember growing up with a single mother and dental insurance was so expensive, but going to a dentist without it was even worse. My mother counseled us to take good care of our teeth because we just couldn't afford to go regularly.

Guess who!

I'm lucky I didn't have too many problems, but I attribute that to my mom. She didn't buy sodas or a lot of sugary snacks and encouraged tooth brushing twice a day. My husband and I are lucky that we can take our kids to the dentist twice a year, but there are many people that can't.

There have been some improvements in the coverage of children’s dental care under the Affordable Care Act, but it's not making much of a dent in the problem. Too many children are still suffering with tooth decay, the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the U.S.

Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. 
Photo credit: ADA Foundation.

42% of children aged 2 to 11 years old and almost 50% of minority, underserved, and Medicaid recipients suffer from untreated tooth decay. It's such a shame that American children have to suffer through such pain in one of the richest and most medically advanced countries in the world. 

Give Kids A Smile

There are lots of dental professionals that feel the same way and 15 years ago they decided to do something about it. Give Kids A Smile began as a one-day volunteer event, but the idea caught on with the American Dental Association and now it's a nationwide program celebrating their 15th year!

Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. 
Photo credit: ADA Foundation.

This association of volunteer dental professionals including dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental technicians, and many other community health professionals, have given their time to provide oral health services to kids who otherwise might not receive them.


Happy 15th Anniversary! 



What started as a one-day grassroots event for 400 kids in St. Louis has expanded, through the dedication of volunteers and the support of the ADA, to more than 1,300 events in all 50 states reaching more than 5.5 million underserved children. Bravo!

How can I help?

There are lots of ways you can help!


1. Make sure to encourage the kids around you to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes, floss once a day, eat healthy meals, and visit their dentist at least once a year. Check out the Mouth Healthy website for more tips!

2. Show your support by liking the Give Kids A Smile Facebook page. Such an easy thing to do!

3. You can attend an event, volunteer your time, and/or donate to help GKAS provide much-needed oral care to kids all over the US! Visit the Give Kids A Smile website for more information. It's a worthy cause that deserves support!

4. Thank your dentist for volunteering to help kids in need. Even if they haven't volunteered...yet. If they don't know about Give Kids A Smile yet, you can tell them about it. ;)

Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. 
Photo credit: ADA Foundation.

The long-standing dedication of these volunteers should be applauded and it warms my heart when we, as Americans, come together to help those in need. <3


Have you heard of Give Kids A Smile? Do you have a good oral care routine? I love to read your comments!

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