The Give Kids A Smile (GKAS) program, launched nationally in 2003. The program provides underserved children with free oral health care.
Each year approximately 6,500 dentists and 30,000 dental team members volunteer at local GKAS events to provide free oral health education, screenings, preventive and restorative treatment to over 300,000 children.
Give Kids a Smile Day seeks to raise awareness nationally about the importance of oral health to overall health, and about the staggering need that exists among millions of children who go without care.
Global non-profit, Operation Smile, supports this cause as they provide free reconstructive cleft surgery and dental care for 19,000+ children each year.
For nearly four decades, Operation Smile has improved the health and dignity of patients with cleft conditions, providing them with new smiles and helping them to better breathe, eat, speak and live a better quality of life in greater confidence.
Dr. Carmen Kamas-Wieting is a dentist in Houston, Texas. In addition to providing oral care and education to the people in her community, Dr. Kamas-Wieting serves as the Dental Medical Advisory Council Chair for Operation Smile. On top of her role as the chair Operation Smile’s Dental Advisory Council, she also volunteers with multiple programs and has attended over 50 missions with the organization.
Dr. Kamas-Wieting is actively aware of the impact culture can have on oral health. She seeks to educate patients, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, on the pitfalls of bad oral health, and how to maintain good oral health.
Operation Smile revolutionized cleft surgery globally in 1982. With nearly four decades of experience as one of the largest surgical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile staff, its private-public partnerships and thousands of volunteers have improved the health and dignity of patients with cleft conditions, helping them to better breathe, eat, speak and live lives of greater quality and confidence.
While one cleft surgery can bring immediate transformation to a child’s life in as little as 45 minutes, Operation Smile is committed to providing patients with health that lasts—being there to offer patients additional surgeries, dentistry, psychological services, speech therapy and other essential cleft treatments. Its training and education programs elevate local surgical standards and entire health systems to aid safe surgery and strengthen a global network to reach more people earlier in their lives. You can learn more about their transformative and healing work by visiting operationsmile.org or by following @operationsmile on social media.