Since February 2003 when the Wisconsin Dental Association joined the American Dental Association in launching Give Kids A Smile®, volunteer dentists, dental team members, dental and hygiene students and community advocates have provided more than $9 million in care to over 70,500 Wisconsin youngsters.

GKAS® children’s dental access program is held during National Children’s Dental Health Month in Wisconsin and enhances the oral health of children. Activities also highlight for policymakers the ongoing challenges that disadvantaged and children face in accessing dental care.

WDA dentists may choose to work with community clinics, public health departments or school nurses to identify and treat children most in need of dental care. Sometimes a local dental society organizes a large-scale GKAS® event in cooperation with a specific youth or social service organization.

In other Wisconsin communities, groups of school children welcome WDA dentists into their classrooms to learn about good daily oral hygiene practices, while other students visit private dental practices where they receive basic services such as teeth cleaning and exams at no cost to their families.

The WDA does not make referrals for care, because GKAS® activities vary substantially across Wisconsin depending on local dentists’ involvement.

Public individuals seeking more information about GKAS® programs should click here


Identifying kids in need

Momentum for GKAS® can be generated by state and local dental societies, dentists in private and public practice, dental schools, dental health insurance companies and industry partners working in local coalitions. Such partnerships can:

  • Identify key access barriers in the provision of oral health care to target populations
  • Explore alternative ways to address these barriers
  • Create opportunities for community members to join together in expanding access
  • Develop a sustainable action plan for implementing local oral health care access programs for the target populations

The following are examples of local resources that might help you identify low-income children in your area who would benefit from GKAS® care:

Inviting elected officials

It is more important than ever to invite elected officials to your event.

This interaction helps put real faces on the barriers to care issue and demonstrate how Wisconsin dentists and dental teams continue to serve low-income children.

Find contact information for your local legislators in the Wisconsin Legislative Directory.

Contact Director of Government Services Matt Rossetto at [email protected] for help inviting your legislator.

Dental records

Registering with the WDA and ADA also makes you eligible for free pediatric records.

The Dental Record, a division of WDA Professional Services, is again providing two of its forms – Dental Medical History and Children’s Clinical Examination – for use in conjunction with GKAS® events.

The Child Medical History form also is available in Spanish.

Participants should not photocopy the copyrighted forms and are asked to purchase any forms for non-GKAS® needs directly through The Dental Record.

Forms can be requested by calling 800-243-4675 or www.dentalrecord.com.


GKAS® does not involve filing claims, so participating dentists are not required to use Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy forms for their events.

However, the ADA recommends the use of HIPAA privacy forms as a “good faith” effort and to alleviate any concerns parents or volunteers might have.

The ADA developed the following forms in English and Spanish for use with GKAS®:

Notice of Privacy Practices

Acknowledgement Form

Liability and abandonment

The following documents are posted in Microsoft Word format so they can be personalized for your event:

The ADA has provided further HIPAA information in the Legal, Insurance and Risk-Management Considerations Guide.

Whitepaper on short-term charitable events

The American Dental Association Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs published in September 2015 a white paper addressing ethical challenges that arise in the context of short-term charitable events, such as Give Kids A Smile and Mission of Mercy. In addition to guidance about how to avoid potential ethical risks, the document includes checklists that event organizers and providers can use to ensure likely ethical issues are considered.