Keeping children safe, strengthening families, and building healthy communities since 1899.

Give Kids a Smile Dental Program

The Bethany for Children & Families Give Kids a Smile Dental Program provides preventative and restorative care to children who do not have access to oral health care.

What is the Give Kids a Smile Mobile Dental Program?

The Give Kids a Smile Dental Program is a community program aimed to increase access to dental care to the underserved, low-income children. This program is endorsed by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the ADA Foundation and is coordinated locally by its Board of Advisors.

What qualifies my child for these services?

Services are available to children ages one to 18. Children who haven’t been to a dentist within the past six months are eligible if they are at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or they have Medicaid insurance or they do not have any dental insurance or they have never been to a dentist.

Where does the program take place?

The Give Kids a Smile Dental Program takes place on the mobile dental clinic that travels directly to schools in Rock Island, Henry, Mercer, Scott, Jackson, and Clinton counties. Licensed dental staff members provide services in the mobile dental clinic. An additional 34 general dentists and specialists provide follow-up work in their offices.

What does my child receive while in the Give Kids a Smile program?

Children who qualify for this program receive the following dental services on the mobile dental clinic free of charge:

  • education to help improve oral health
  • cleaning
  • exam
  • fluoride treatment
  • sealants (if eligible)

Dentists or specialists and Community Health Care provide follow-up care. These services may include:

  • fillings
  • extractions
  • root canals

Who goes to the dentist with my child if follow-up care is needed?

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend follow-up appointments with their children. If a child is referred to a specialist or Community Health Care, the parent must accompany the child to his/her appointments. If parents are unable, Bethany staff will accompany the children to their follow-up visit. Bethany agency vehicles are used to transport the children to the dentist for follow-up work.

How are referrals handled for this program?

School nurses send out a permission form via the children at their school. The forms are returned to the school nurse, who then gives the forms to the Program Supervisor. Give Kids a Smile staff members review the forms for completeness and then, based on the information provided, decides whether or not a child meets requirements for the program.

Program Outcomes

The Give Kids a Smile Dental Program has been very successful since its inception in 2003.

  • Give Kids a Smile has provided dental services to 18,097 children on the mobile dental clinic between 2011 and 2017.
  • 42% of children served have at least one cavity, and 11% have more than five cavities. These children are referred to dental offices for restorative care.


Dental Forms

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Contact Information

Evena Wash
Program Supervisor
(309) 736-6616


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