Signups underway for Give Kids A Smile

Join the growing number of dentists participating in Give Kids A Smile, the ADA Foundation’s annual volunteer initiative to provide dental screenings, treatment and education at no charge to underserved children.

Give Kids A Smile celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2017. The ADAF encourages supporters to help the program mark this milestone with resources available at adafoundation.org/gkas. GKAS program participants can also visit the GKAS Program Planning Toolbox for operational resources such as sample forms, letters, posters and ads. Step-by-step event planning instructions included in the toolbox are especially helpful for new program coordinators.

The national GKAS kickoff takes place the first Friday of every February to align with National Children’s Dental Health Month. This year, that date is Feb. 3, but coordinators can schedule their program on any date that works best for them.

As part of the ADA’s Action for Dental Health, Give Kids A Smile is a nationwide, community-based movement aimed at ending the children’s dental health crisis in the U.S. It is designed to address the dental health crisis by providing care now to children who are suffering from untreated disease; strengthening and expanding the public and private safety net; and bringing disease prevention and education into underserved communities.

More than 5.5 million underserved children have received free oral health services through GKAS since the program’s inception. Free services are provided annually by roughly 10,000 dentists and 30,000 other dental team members.

Dentists and dental professionals interested in participating in Give Kids A Smile 2017 are encouraged to contact their local dental societies for information on events in their communities or call 844.490.GKAS to get contact information for programs in their area.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month

Now in its 76th year, National Children’s Dental Health Month will officially kick off in February.

The ADA observes National Children’s Dental Health Month annually with a campaign to bring together dentists and other dental professionals, health care providers and educators to “promote the benefits of good oral health to children, their caregivers, teachers and many others.”

“Choose Tap Water for a Sparkling Smile” is the theme of the 2017 campaign. Dentists and local dental societies wishing to participate in the program can download or order posters now from the ADA website. Also available are activity sheets in English and Spanish and other resources.

For more information on Give Kids a Smile, email GKAS or call 312.440.2547.

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Dentists in California now have an opportunity to participate in the Dental Transformation Initiative to help improve dental health for low-income children enrolled in the Denti-Cal program, while receiving enhanced reimbursement by meeting specific incentive metrics. As part of California's 1115 waiver, known as Medi-Cal 2020, the DTI focuses on high-value care, improved access and utilization of performance measures to drive delivery system reform.

The 2017 open enrollment period for Covered California, California’s health insurance marketplace for the federal Affordable Care Act, continues through Jan. 31. CDA reported in September on the partial list of participating dental plans for 2017. The complete list of providers, along with the 2017 embedded children’s dental plans, has now been released.