Since they were born, both my daughters have gone to their well-check ups at their pediatrician regularly. I religiously set up their appointments when needed and we continue to never miss a check up.
This post was sponsored by Give Kids A Smile as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
However, I somewhat failed to recognize the importance of their dental health until my oldest was about to go to Kindergarten. I never saw it as a priority and it was always pushed to the back burner until one day it hit how important it should be for them to be going to the dentist. I realized that I was hurting their chances of them having healthy teeth by not taking them.
I found a local pediatric dentist and made check-ups for both my girls. They were 5 and 3 when they first went to the dentist. I wish I had taken them earlier because I have since learned that half of all children are entering kindergarten with tooth decay*!
Despite the availability of Medicaid, so many children continue to suffer with tooth decay, which is the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the U.S.
I’m grateful that I was able to take my children to the dentist and we now schedule their appointments every six months but I realize that some children may not be as lucky.
There is an amazing program called Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) where volunteers are dedicated to improving the smiles and oral health of all undeserved children nation wide.
Now in its 15th year it is the largest children’s oral health charitable program in the United States. Since 2002 it has expanded, through the dedication of volunteers and the support of the American Dental Association, to more than 1,300 events in all 50 states They have reached over 5.5 million children in need so far!
There have been more than half a million volunteers who have given their time and offered their talents to provide oral health and dental treatments to children who might not other wise receive it. Children who attend a GKAS program receive free oral health services that include screening, education and\or treatment from one of the many wonderful GKAS volunteers.
As a mother, this information just makes me so happy that these sweet children are able to get the dental assistance they need.
There are some ways you can help insure your loved ones are taking care of their teeth.
- Make sure your children are brushing their teeth two times a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste
- Floss once a day
- Eat healthy meals
- Visit the dentist at least once a year
For more dental health tips, visit the Mouth Healthy Website, and to learn more about GKAS or how you can become a volunteer please visit the website or find Give Kids A Smile on Facebook. If you your child or a child you know needs oral health care you can visit their website or call 1-844-490-GKAS to see if there is a GKAS program available in your area.
* National Maternal and Child Oral Health Policy Center
Photo cred: Give Kids A Smile Day, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Davie, Fla., February 5, 2016. Photo credit: ADA Foundation