Helping Children Through Give Kids A Smile

The American Dental Association began the Give Kids A Smile program in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to underserved children. The program initially began as a one-day event in February, but has since grown to local and national events year-round. Dentists and other team members volunteer their time, and services, to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States. Each year, approximately 450,000 children benefit from more than 1500 events, all because of the efforts of 40,000 or more  annual volunteers.

2014 Give Kids A Smile Day National Kickoff Event

Celebrating its 12th year, the national kickoff event will be held at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  More details to follow.

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A child’s primary teeth, sometimes called “baby teeth,” are as important as the permanent adult teeth.

  • Primary teeth typically begin to appear when a baby is between age six months and one year.
  • Primary teeth help children chew and speak.  SEE VIDEO
  • Primary teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are developing under the gums.

The ADA recommends that a dentist examine a child within six months of the eruption of the first tooth and no later than the first birthday.

  • A dental visit at an early age is a “well baby checkup” for the teeth.
  • Besides checking for tooth decay and other problems, the dentist can demonstrate how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to evaluate any adverse habits such as thumbsucking.