Volunteer

Give Kids a Smile Dentist with Patients

Thank you for your interest in volunteering for Give Kids a Smile!  The two-day, statewide event is Friday, Feb. 2, and Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, however if those dates don’t work for your clinic, alternative dates may be scheduled.

REGISTERING WITH THE MDA AND THE ADA

It is very important to know that registering with the MDA and ADA are completely separate. Both organizations have separate and distinct registrations and both provide different types of support. It’s important for your office to register for Give Kids a Smile with the MDA – this way your clinic will be listed in the online and United Way 2-1-1 clinic list that will be posted in January, and it will also provide us with a more accurate number of how many clinics participate in Minnesota.

If you have any questions or need help registering, please contact the MDA at 612-767-8400 or gkas@mndental.org.

Register with MDA Register with ADA

Ways to get involved

Are you ready to join more than 2,500 fellow Minnesota dental professionals in volunteering for Give Kids a Smile? That’s great! The program’s flexibility offers several options for you to get involved:

1. Host an event at your own clinic. 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. The MDA has produced a comprehensive Participation Kit (see below), complete with a check list and sample forms, to help you succeed with this option. Register here to host an event.

2. Volunteer as an individual or team. 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 any of several other event locations. Once you register for this option, the MDA can help match you with a clinic if needed. (Many dental professionals know about opportunities though their own network of colleagues. Just be sure to register so we can track the number of volunteers.) Register here to volunteer as an individual or team.

3. Smile Factory. 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. Register here to serve as a Smile Factory volunteer. 

4. Make a financial contribution to the MDF. 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. Donate here to make a financial contribution.

Resources, materials and a helping hand are all available

Hosting a Give Kids a Smile event may seem daunting at first. But with careful planning, creativity and support from the MDA, your event can become a special day that your staff looks forward to each year.

The following resources offer helpful hints and practical solutions:

Participation Kit

Because careful planning is the best way to ensure a rewarding experience hosting your Give Kids a Smile event, the MDA has created a participation kit. It compiles 15 years of Give Kids a Smile know-how into one resource just for you! Feel free to print the Participation Kit to use as an easy reference.

Do you have questions about your Give Kids a Smile event? Chances are you do and the answers to your questions are likely in the Participation Kit. It is very important to read the entire kit. Please note the consent to treatment forms (available in several languages). It is important that no screening or treatment be provided to any child who does not have his/her consent form signed by a parent or guardian on the day of service.

Participation Kit

Along with these materials, we encourage you to utilize materials from the Sip All Day, Get Decay and the Power of Sour on Your Teeth campaigns during your event.

Talk With an Experienced Volunteer

Your dental colleagues are happy to talk with you about planning for Give Kids a Smile. To connect with a veteran Give Kids a Smile volunteer, please call the MDA at 612-767-8400 or send a note to gkas@mndental.org. We will have a volunteer contact you to discuss what approaches work best for many of the logistics that go along with hosting an event.

Read More

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:

  • 10-18 years old
  • Have good oral hygiene
  • Are not already wearing braces
  • Have a household taxable income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines
  • Other important details available at smileschangelives.org

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.

Certificate of volunteer service

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.