National Give Kids A Smile Day
The first Friday in February is observed as Give Kids a Smile Day. No, this isn’t a holiday that’s designed to give parents and grandparents a reason to make children happy or to entertain them so that they smile. Instead, it’s a day that’s dedicated to protecting their teeth and encouraging a foundation of good oral care.
At the heart of this holiday is an initiative that helps poor kids receive the dental care that they so desperately need. In the U.S., dental health can be prohibitively expensive for some people, which means that there are plenty of children who aren’t getting the dental care that they need to keep their teeth their entire life. Fortunately, this holiday attempts to change that sad statistic.
The History Of Give Kids A Smile Day
In 2003, the American Dentists Associated created the Give Kids a Smile Program. This was a way for dentists to work with their communities to provide children with dental cleanings, oral health education, screenings, and other forms of preventative treatment.
This holiday started out as simply a one-day event observed during one particular year, which is still encapsulated by this holiday but has grown to be an event that’s now observed every year.
According to recent statistics, approximately 25% of American children under the age of 5 already have cavities and over 10 million children receive no dental care. This is an unfortunate situation since dental care is not only cosmetic but is specifically tied to good health. In other words, dental health is healthcare.
Facts About U.S Dental Care
Unfortunately, we can’t talk about Give Kids a Smile Day without talking about why such a holiday initiative is even needed. Below are some statistics about U.S. dental care that we feel sheds the light on this subject and hopefully encourage people to advocate for those who can’t afford dental healthcare.
- The U.S. is ranked in the 9th position in overall dental health.
- Denmark, Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico all have better overall dental health than the U.S.
- Only 7% of Americans surveyed say they are happy with their teeth.
Observing Give Kids A Smile Day
During this holiday, parents of children who need dental care should seek out the dentists in their area that are providing free services and take advantage of those free services.
It’s also a good idea to spread the word about this holiday to families who might need to take advantage of the free dental services provided on this day. This can be done in person, or it can be done by using the hashtag #GiveKidsASmileDay on social media.