To celebrate National Children’s Dental Health Month, BeneCare is giving away oral health kits to local kids in its service areas. National Children’s Dental Health Month is recognized every February to increase awareness and stress the importance of oral health and its effect on overall good health.
The origin of National Children’s Dental Health Month dates back to 1941. The observance started with a group of Ohio dentists who wanted to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of children’s dental health. To that end, they established the first Children’s Dental Health Day on February 3, 1941, in Cleveland.[i]
In 1950, President Harry S. Truman issued a presidential proclamation declaring the first National Children’s Dental Health Day. The American Dental Association (ADA) expanded the observance to one week in 1955 and then to an entire month in 1981.[ii] Today, National Children’s Health Month (NCDHM) is recognized each February and a different theme is highlighted each year.
HELPING UNDERSERVED CHILDREN.
As part of the NCDHM, the first Friday in February marks the kickoff of the annual Give Kids A Smile® (GKAS) program.[iii] GKAS is a national series of events that provides underserved children with free oral healthcare throughout the year.
The first GKAS event was held in 2002 by Drs. Jeff Dalin and B. Ray Storm.[iv] The Doctors set-up 15 patient chairs in a dilapidated dental clinic in St. Louis where almost 400 children received free dental care. Today, tens of thousands of dental professionals across the country provide complimentary dental care to hundreds of thousands of underserved children.[v]
In recognition of NCDHM, we have teamed up with dental offices throughout its service area to distribute free oral health kits to children. Each kit will be used as a teaching tool to encourage kids to practice good oral hygiene, a beneficial health habit that will serve them for a lifetime.
We would like to thank all of the dental offices that are helping us distribute these kits to local kids. This special month-long observance is a great way to raise awareness among the general public about the importance of dental health and its effect on overall health.
RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN’S DENTAL CARE.
To find children’s dental care assistance in your area, please visit the American Dental Association’s “MouthHealthy” webpage for additional information.
[i] Jenifer Garvin, “National Children’s Dental Health Month turns 80,” American Dental Association, February 1, 2021, https://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2021/february/ncdhm-turns-80, accessed on January 19, 2022.
[iii] Give Kids A Smile is a registered service mark of the American Dental Association.
[iv] American Dental Association, https://www.ada.org/resources/community-initiatives/give-kids-a-smile/about-give-kids-a-smile,, accessed on January 19, 2022.