Ohio State Dental Journal

College of Dentistry Kicks Off ADA’s National Give Kids A Smile Day

The GKAS student planning team attended an early morning breakfast to kick-off the day.

Give Kids A Smile Day is always an exciting day at the College of Dentistry, and the event this February 2 was no exception. Named by the ADA as the national kick-off site, the college welcomed ADA leaders and event sponsors who flew to Columbus from around the country to celebrate and lend support to student practitioners.

“Give Kids A Smile is first and foremost about impact,” William R. Calnon, DDS, president of the ADA Foundation said. “Ohio State’s 2018 Give Kids A Smile program is a perfect example of our profession coming together, and bringing together others who have valuable skills and talents to share, to generate better health outcomes for kids in need. We admire the passion that the Ohio State team brings to the GKAS program.”

“Learning in class about Give Kids A Smile and how it helps address the needs of the community is one thing, but really seeing it happen is incredible,” -- Haella Holmes ’19 (DDS)

The College of Dentistry has held GKAS events twice annually since 2012, providing over $318,000 in treatments to more than 1,100 children throughout Ohio. For the February event, practitioners provided more than $55,000 in care to 171 children.

“You are here because you care – about children in need, about our college, and our efforts to help bridge the gap in access to dental care," Patrick Lloyd, dean of the College of Dentistry said as he addressed student leaders at an early morning kick-off breakfast before the event. “And you care about making a difference in people’s lives – not just making a difference, but making things better.”

“Learning in class about Give Kids A Smile and how it helps address the needs of the community is one thing, but really seeing it happen is incredible,” said Haella Holmes ’19 (DDS), who led the student planning team. “With our Give Kids A Smile event, we try to increase access to care in underserved communities of Central Ohio and we try to provide a dental home for those kids.”

“For many children, a Give Kids A Smile event is their first real dental experience, and we want it to be a great first experience for them so that taking care of their smiles becomes a lifelong habit,” Joseph P. Crowley, ’76 DDS, president of the American Dental Association said. “Kids with poor oral health status are almost three times as likely to miss school as a result of dental pain. Our goal is to provide the care they need and put them on a path to a lifetime of good health so they can succeed and make their dreams reality.”