1/10/12 – Give Kids A Smile Announces Patient Openings For Next Free Dental Clinic

ST. LOUIS, MO., Jan. 10, 2012 … Each February and October, Give Kids A Smile hosts free dental clinics for local children in need. Children are identified with the help of local schools, churches and organizations, but time slots currently remain. If your child is Medicaid-eligible, qualifies for a school lunch program or needs dental assistance due to other circumstances, please call Give Kids A Smile at 636-397-6453 to register for the next clinic set for Feb. 10 and 11 at Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education.  The deadline is Tuesday, Jan. 31. Available appointments will fill quickly.

At each clinic, approximately 600 infants, toddlers and school-aged children are seen by dental professionals. Comprehensive services include X-rays, professional cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, as well as restorations, endodontics and oral surgery as needed. Those under age four receive special, age-appropriate care in the Tiny Smiles area of the clinic. Those in need of extensive dental services that cannot be completed within the allotted clinic timeframe can obtain the needed, and often critical, follow-up care at no cost through one of the many private dental offices enrolled in GKAS’s Smile Factories program.

Dental care services are provided in a fun-loving atmosphere. Delta Dental of Missouri’s Tooth Wizard, Panda and Spanish-speaking Tooth Fairy, along with a juggler, stroll the clinic floor, while face painters, balloon artists, games and music captivate the kids in Delta Dental’s entertainment area. Children receive prizes, a dental care kit, a nutritious sack lunch and a children’s book donated by the St. Louis County Library Foundation.

To date, GKAS has provided 10,632 local children with $4.6 million in services with the help of more than 8,900 volunteers through 20 consecutive dental clinics.

“We understand that many families are experiencing economic hardships and other situations which may be preventing them from making their child’s dental health care a top priority,” commented Joan Allen, executive director of Give Kids A Smile. “At the same time, we understand the profound impact dental disease can have on children. We are pleased to be able to offer these free services to those in need and encourage parents to register their children as soon as possible as we only have a limited number of available time slots and they will fill quickly.”

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.

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 currently afford dental care with access to the benefits of modern dentistry. GKAS has been made possible thanks to major local contributors including Delta Dental of Missouri, Keller Dental Laboratory, Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education, the Missouri Dental Association, Patterson Dental, Goetze Dental, Guardian Life Insurance and First Pacific Corporation and others. As well as through the support of the Greater St. Louis Dental Society and Young Dental and national sponsors Colgate, Henry Shein Dental and Dexis.

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For more information, contact:

Kelly Harris, The Hauser Group, 314-436-9090

Joan Allen, Give Kids A Smile, 636-397-6453