The MDA is thankful for all of the volunteers that donate their time, talents, and resources to Give Kids a Smile. Without you, thousands of children across Minnesota would not be smiling as big (and as healthy) as they are today.

Ways to Get Involved

Host an Event at Your Clinic

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For this option, you and your team set a day aside to open your clinic doors to children in need. The number of children you serve and the types of services you provide depends on the size of your space and staff.

Volunteer as an Individual at Another Clinic

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If you want to use your talents to serve children, without hosting an event at your own clinic, you can volunteer to pitch in at another clinic location. Once you register for this option, the MDA can help match you with a clinic if needed.

Smile Factory

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This is a great option for specialists, such as endodontists and oral surgeons, as well as general dentists, who want to help complete treatment of some of the most extensive cases identified at Give Kids a Smile locations. Professionals who register for this option will be listed on a referral sheet, which is made available to clinics hosting Give Kids a Smile events. This is a dentist-to-dentist referral. Smile Factory providers complete care at a time convenient to the provider and child/parents.

Make a Financial Contribution

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The Minnesota Dental Foundation provides financial support to the statewide Give Kids a Smile program. Your gift can help extend the reach of charitable care.

Certificate of volunteer service/CE

Dental professionals may wish to track volunteer service hours, which may now be applied as elective CE credits toward the new Minnesota Board of Dentistry CE/Professional Development requirements.  To help them document their participation in GKAS, the MDA has provided this simple Volunteer Certificate. Please note, one hour of volunteer service equals one elective CE credit.


The MDA publishes a Give Kids a Smile newsletter that relates practical information about this program to all dentists in the state. Articles include: tips for seeking free supplies, answers to legal questions regarding volunteer dentistry, ideas for planning your event, information about sponsors, and more. Click on the following PDFs to view past newsletters:

Smiles Change Lives

The Minnesota Dental Association is pleased to partner with “Smiles Change Lives,” a national nonprofit organization that provides access to orthodontic treatment for children whose families cannot afford the full cost of braces.

Providers who treat children during “Give Kids a Smile” are asked to watch for children who could benefit from the “Smiles Change Lives” program. Specifically, please watch for patients who fit the following requirements:

  • Be 7-21 years of age;
  • Have “good” oral hygiene and no unfilled cavities;
  • Have a moderate to severe need for braces;
  • Not be wearing braces currently;
  • Family must meet the SCL financial guidelines (varies by geographic location); and
  • Be willing to pay the non-refundable $30 (USD) application fee and the non-refundable $650 (USD) required financial investment (per child).

Providers are encouraged to consider become a child’s referring dentist and work in coordination with one of the more than 75 orthodontists in Minnesota who volunteer for the “Smiles Change Lives” program.