Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) got its start in St. Louis, MO, in 2000 with the help of a few community-oriented dental professionals in response to the need to provide children of families who cannot afford dental care with access to quality care. Through the dedication of dentists and volunteers, and the support of schools, organizations, corporations and individuals, GKAS has provided comprehensive dental care to undeserved children since the first clinic in February 2002. Clinics are conducted twice each year at the Center for Advanced Dental Education at Saint Louis University. Comprehensive dental care, home hygiene supplies, educational materials, lunch and fun are provided free of charge in a kid-friendly environment.
Soon after beginning GKAS in St. Louis, the American Dental Association (ADA) adopted the concept and established a national clinic day. Each year during National Children's Dental Health Month (February), similar are held simultaneously in cities across the country. Since the inception of this national effort, more than 5 million underserved children have received care. St. Louis is proud to have started GKAS and served as the catalyst for the ADA’s national expansion of these services for children.
GKAS St. Louis continues to be a leader both locally and nationally in developing and implementing access to healthcare services. We continue to develop new and innovative delivery systems to address the dental health needs of children.