Give Kids a Smile Coming Close to Home

Give Kids a Smile children


Thousands of children in Minnesota face barriers to obtaining oral health care across the state. It isn’t only a problem in the Midwest; it is a problem that affects the nation as a whole.

I’ve discussed the amazing generosity of Give Kids a Smile in other parts of the country, but now that kindness is returning home to Minnesota for the 11th consecutive year, February 1-2.

Minnesota dentists will be providing free dental care services for children in need with the charitable help of the Minnesota Dental Association, along with sponsorship from Health Partners and 3M ESPE.

Dental disease is a chronic problem for many children and remains even more prevalent than childhood asthma. In fact, tooth decay affects 50 percent of U.S. first graders, according to the Minnesota Dental Association.

Nearly 50,000 children in Minnesota have been able to overcome financial and accessibility barriers through free dental care offered by Give Kids a Smile events throughout the state.

Volunteers speaking multiple languages, engaged school nurses, dental professionals volunteering their time, and the help of the United Way’s 2-1-1 number to conveniently schedule appointments during the 2-day event have helped make this program an incredible success throughout the years.

This year, 6,000 children with the help of more than 200 dental clinics statewide are expected to receive free oral care – helping to promote healthy teeth and good oral health habits for life.

The Minnesota Dental Association has a wide array of tools and tips on how you can help share news of the event. In addition, if you would like to arrange care for a group of children in need please contact for more information. To learn more about the MN Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile event, go to or follow them on Facebook.

If you are a dental professional looking to get involved, please consider helping out at a Give Kids a Smile event in your region – it’s a tremendous program we are proud to be a part of!


5 comments so far

  1. David on

    It’s always a shame when children cannot get care they need. I hope you reach a lot of professionals with this message

    • 3M ESPE on

      Thank you for your post. We shall be partnering with Give Kids A Smile and many other state dental associations in many cities across the country this year. I have participated in several of these events. It is one of the most rewarding and satisfying volunteer activities I have ever engaged with.
      Best regards

  2. Inquirer on

    Hello David,

    I’ve searched high and low for an answer to a trivial question: is ESPE an acronym, and if so, what does it stand for?

    • 3M ESPE on

      The founding owners of the German dental company ESPE were Drs. Schmidt and Permann. The ESPE dental company was built in Seefeld, a small town in Bavaria, Germany. The area was heavily forested with many Aspen trees. The company name ESPE was created from the two initials S and P from the founder names and two E’s to make the word ESPE which means Aspen in German.
      3M Dental purchased ESPE in 2001 to become 3M ESPE.
      Best regards,

  3. Give Kids A Smile is a tremendous program from the ADA! Kudos to all of the Dentists who participate.

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