FREE DENTAL CARE AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE KIDS
Register Now to Attend the Next Give Kids A Smile Clinic Being Held in Early February
ST. LOUIS, MO (Jan. 9, 2017) - Give Kids A Smile today announced registration is now open for the next free dental health care clinic for kids set for Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11 at Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education. The event is designed to meet the needs of toddlers and school-aged children through 8th grade, who are Medicaid-eligible, qualify for a school lunch program or need dental assistance due to other circumstances. Over this two-day period, the organization has the capacity and resources to provide comprehensive dental services, completely free of charge, for up to 600 kids. Care is provided by appointment only and timeslots fill quickly. To register, call Give Kids A Smile at 636-397-6453.
“We are all supposed to be brushing twice daily, flossing, using mouthwash and visiting the dentist twice annually,” commented Joan Allen, executive director of Give Kids A Smile. “These dental health basics are essential to not only our dental health, but also our overall health. Yet, for a variety of circumstances, some families simply cannot afford it. In fact, over the years we’ve seen an alarming number of children who have never been to the dentist. Many patients don’t even have their own toothbrush and either aren’t brushing or are being forced to share a toothbrush with family members. Give Kids A Smile is here to help."
Each child registered to attend the upcoming clinic will receive X-rays, professional cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, as well as fillings, root canals and oral surgery, as needed. Organizers also work hard to create a non-intimidating, fun-filled environment for the kids. Founding sponsor Delta Dental of Missouri provides an entertainment area for children after they receive services. The space features face painters, balloon artists, games and more. Delta Dental’s Tooth WizardSM strolls the clinic floor, along with a Spanish-speaking Tooth Fairy who helps communicate to non-English speaking children. At the conclusion of the event, each child goes home with a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss, as well as a free book courtesy of the St. Louis County Library Foundation.
To date, Give Kids A Smile has provided $8.2 million worth of comprehensive dental care services completely free of charge to 15,096 local underserved children through over 30 consecutive clinics.
To learn more about the work of Give Kids A Smile, or to register for the upcoming clinic, call 636-397-6453 or log on to www.gkas.org and click on “patient information.” The registration process includes the completion of health history and consent forms. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis.
Give Kids A Smile was developed by Jeffrey Dalin, DDS; B. Ray Storm, DDS; Tom Flavin, DDS; Mark Ortinau, DDS and Jan Storm, RDHB, in February 2002 to provide children of families who cannot afford dental care with access to the benefits of dental services. GKAS is made possible thanks to major contributors including Delta Dental of Missouri and the Missouri Foundation for Health, which is a philanthropic organization whose vision is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves. Other supporters include William R. Orthwein, Jr. and Laura Rand Orthwein Foundation, Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education, Colgate-Palmolive Company, DEXIS, First Pacific Corporation, Greater St. Louis Dental Society, Henry Shein Dental, Keller Dental Laboratory, Patterson Dental, STL Cardinals Care and Cuivre River Community Trust. Hundreds of local dental health professionals also donate their time and talents each clinic to provide the much needed care.