February is Children’s Dental Health Month (CDHM) in Georgia. While dental offices will conduct volunteer care and education activities all month for children regardless of their economic status, a big focus for 2014 is on February 7—Give Kids a Smile (GKAS) Day. This is an annual one-day volunteer initiative to provide preventive and restorative services to children from low-income families. On this day, the GDA in conjunction with the district dental societies will coordinate free dental care for less fortunate children around the state.

GKAS District Activities

Over the last few years the GDA has moved to broaden its GKAS efforts so that dentists may reach out to low-income children in their own communities. Thanks to these doctors for coordinating district GKAS activities in 2014.

Central District
Dr. Amy Loden

Eastern District (Augusta)
Dr. Andy Chandler

Eastern District (Athens)
Dr. Jennifer Wells

Northern District
Dr. Ryan Vaughn

Northwestern District
Dr. Aaron Schwartz
Dr. Chris Shim

Southeastern District
Dr. Stephanie Skinner

Southwestern District
Dr. Amanda Merritt

Western District
Dr. Alex Cranford


GKAS Individual Office Activities

Some dentists choose to coordinate an event at their own office rather than participating in the larger GDA-sponsored program. The ADA’s web site (http://www.ada.org/3452.aspx) has a planning kit you can download to assist with the logistics of a program at your dental practice. To find children that truly need dental care and whose families cannot afford to provide care, you may wish to contact the school nurse at one of the schools in your area or work with a local health department. Please register your program at the ADA’s web site so that they are aware of your efforts. The GDA also asks that you send your program information to Courtney Layfield at the GDA office at layfield@gadental.org so that your event is reported in a future issue of GDA Action.