Give Kids a Smile Set to Host Its 25th Consecutive Free Dental Clinic Friday and Saturday

Event Has Made a Tremendous Impact on the Local Community Providing Nearly

13,000 Children in Need with Over $6.2 Million in Free Dental Services


WHO:           600+ infants through eighth graders, their parents or guardians and several hundred dental professionals and lay volunteers.

WHAT:        Give Kids A Smile (GKAS), a free comprehensive dental clinic for local, underserved children.

WHEN:        Friday, Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

                                (Best time to obtain photos/footage is before noon each day)

WHERE:     The Center for Advanced Dental Education on the medical campus of Saint Louis University at 3320 Rutger Street, St. Louis, MO 63104.

SIGNIFICANCE:     While attempts have been made to help safeguard the dental health of our nation’s youth, hundreds of local children continue to fall through the cracks. The Affordable Care Act includes pediatric dental coverage as one of the 10 Essential Health Benefits, but low-income children remain on Medicaid, and few local dentists accept Medicaid patients. This makes it increasingly difficult for these children to get dental care when it’s needed, much less receive checkups as recommended for proper preventive and restorative care. In turn, hundreds of local dental professionals will roll up their sleeves for the 25th consecutive time, lending their time and talents to address these unmet needs. Approximately 600 infants, toddlers and school-aged children up to age 15 will be seen by the volunteering dental professionals. Comprehensive services provided will include X-rays, professional cleanings, fluoride treatments and sealants, as well as restorations, endodontics and oral surgery as needed. Those under age four will receive special, age-appropriate care in the Tiny Smiles area of the clinic. While critical care is being provided, the event is also a lot of fun. Delta Dental of Missouri’s Tooth Wizard 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.

Visiting children are Medicaid-eligible, qualify for a school lunch program or need dental assistance due to other circumstances. To date, GKAS has provided 12,728 local children with $6,201,200 in services with the help of well over 9,000 volunteers. GKAS was started by four St. Louis dentists and a dental hygienist in 2002. The program’s widely-admired success prompted the American Dental Association (ADA) to adopt the program. The ADA is helping establish approximately 1,516 events of varying sizes nationwide, reaching nearly 345,652 kids on Friday, Feb. 7. The St. Louis clinic continues to serve as the nation’s largest and most successful clinic, and is the only one held over a two-day period, twice a year. To learn more call 636-397-6453 or visit

EDITOR’S NOTE: The clinic floor provides excellent photos/footage opportunities. Children, parents/guardians, event founders and volunteers are all available to speak to the very tangible and transformational impact of this two-day event.

For more information, contact:

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

Joan Allen, Give Kids a Smile, (636) 397-6453