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.
Dental care for our children is one of those things many of us do not think about. We automatically schedule all the Well Child visits at the pediatrician and make sure to attend but visits to the dentist often seem to take a back burner. This is especially true for children who are not covered by dental insurance. Half of all kindergartners start school with tooth decay. Statistics show that tooth decay effects 42% of children between 2 and 11 years old.
Children without proper dental care have been found to be at a disadvantage in many ways that are not tooth related. They have more school absences, difficulty paying attention at school and a lower self-esteem. Almost 50 percent of minority, underserved, and Medicaid recipients suffer from untreated caries. Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) volunteers have stepped in to help address these problems. Even with what I thought was proper daily dental care my youngest son developed a cavity that needed treatment. His dentist was able to calm any fears he had and he had a good experience in the dental chair.
GKAS was started in 2002 as a one-day volunteer event in St. Louis, Missouri where 15 dental chairs provided dental care to nearly 400 children in need. This wonderful idea caught on and the American Dental Association took the lead in launching a national GKAS program. Now, 15 years later it is the largest children’s oral health charitable program in the U.S. and has reached over 5.5 million children in need. There have been a staggering 500,000 volunteers, including almost 140,000 dentists, who volunteered their time and resources to provide dental care nationwide to children who may not have otherwise had access. Kids who attend a free GKAS program receive oral health services including education, screening and/or treatment from volunteers.
There are things you can do to help too! Ensure that the children in your life know to brush their teeth twice a day for two minutes using fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, eat healthy and visit their dentist once a year. If your child needs oral health care you can 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 GKAS program available in your area.
Contact Robyn at Robyn@theneighborhoodmoms.com
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