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Apply For Braces

Smiles Change Lives … Helping Families With The Cost Of Braces & Changing Lives One Smile At A Time


Smiles Change Lives (SCL) matches caring orthodontic providers with qualified and motivated children in need of braces. Since 1997, SCL has helped nearly 10,000 kids receive happy, healthy new smiles.

Children applying for our orthodontic program must meet the qualifications noted below and be motivated to follow the assigned orthodontist’s treatment plan, which averages between 20 and 36 months.

Children and families are welcome to apply for treatment through SCL, regardless of where in the U.S. they reside. SCL works with families and treatment providers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

SCL provides for orthodontic treatment ONLY. Extractions, cleanings, oral surgery or other treatment that may be necessary before, during or after orthodontic treatment are the financial responsibility of the patient’s parents or guardians.


  • Be 7-18 years of age;
  • Have “good” oral hygiene;
  • Have 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).


smiles change lives photos requiredIf you have determined that your child is a good candidate for our program, you are now ready to begin the application process. The application can be completed online or offline.

Before you begin though, there are several required documents that will be submitted as part of the application process. Having them at the beginning of the process will save you time and help with planning.

  • Photos Required (Photo Instructions)
  • Explanation From Child – This is an opportunity for your child/the applicant to describe in their own words why it is important for them to get braces and what it will mean to them personally.
  • Letter from Parent/Guardian – Let us know why it is important to you for this child/applicant to have braces.
  • Federal Income Tax Return or Supplemental Security Income Awards Letter (Financial & Tax Info)
  • Determine the current wait time for your area.

Complete Application Online:

smiles change lives online applicationWhile the online application can be done on a cell phone, you will find it easier and possibly faster if done on a desktop PC.

We have also compiled an Application Checklist to follow that explains the required items in greater detail. We also recommend you review the Program & Application Process Overview before you begin the online application.

Complete Application Offline – Print, Complete & Mail Application:

smiles change lives applicationIn addition to the application, you will notice that the download also contains detailed instructions, a checklist to help you complete the application fully, and some consent forms to sign.

NOTE: SCL only accepts the current version of our application. Download a current application by clicking the button above. In addition, all applications received will be subject to the most current fee structure regardless of the fees specified on the application submitted.

The Application & Approval Process

Upon receipt of a COMPLETE application, the application will be reviewed and the family will be notified in about three weeks whether or not the child qualifies for the next step. If your application is INCOMPLETE, you will be notified and in order to be considered for the program, you will be required to submit a NEW complete application, including an additional $30 (USD) non-refundable fee.

Once SCL has received a complete application, it will be reviewed by the SCL Review Panel and the family will be notified whether the child (i) is qualified for the program and will placed on a wait list, (ii) is declined for the program, or (iii) will need further evaluation (due to poor oral hygiene, dental development, or other potential issues).

If your child is qualified for the program, SCL will work to assign the child with a provider. Providers are assigned at SCL’s discretion and a search may be done up to a 100 mile radius. If there are no treatment openings in your area, you will be notified that you have been put on a wait list and that we are working to identify a treatment provider in your area for your child.

NOTE: The waiting period for this step of the process varies and can be longer than twelve (12) months based on area demand. Likewise, treatment providers are limited in some areas, and SCL cannot make any guarantees of placement with a provider. If a child is 17 or older when he or she applies, please be aware that the chances of placement with a treatment provider are greatly reduced depending on wait times in your area as treatment cannot be started after a child turns 19. If a treatment provider has not been assigned BEFORE your child turns 19, he or she will be removed from the wait list and will no longer be eligible for treatment.

Once a treatment provider is identified for your child, you will be notified and will have 30 days from the date of the notification letter in which to pay the nonrefundable $650 (USD) required financial investment. We cannot accept partial payments. We cannot accept payments from Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts. If this fee is not received by SCL in full within 30 days of notification, your child will lose his/her placement in the SCL program.

*Do you live in Coffey, Lyon or Osage County in Kansas? Please download our Jones Foundation Application for braces.













Changing Lives… One Smile At A Time...
  • "Our son would have gone without braces if it wasn't for SCL! Thankful for this program and staff that care. We are currently in treatment. It is already making a difference. "

    - Alice W.

    5 star review
  • "Amazing program that has truly changed my life. Once I was accepted it was such an easy process. Thank you so much!! I would recommend any one with low income and bad teeth to go through the process."

    - Alexandria W.

    5 star review
  • "Just had our last appointment. Being a school teacher I didn't make a lot of money. This program allowed me to give my daughter a smile that she shares with everyone. Thanks."

    - Tiffany L.

    5 star review
  • "I just had not one but two daughters finish having their braces on through Smiles Change Lives and we are so happy with the results. Thank you for providing this service!"

    - Daya G.

    5 star review
  • "This is an incredible organization with Orthodontists donating their skills to change children's lives. More people in need should know about this fantastic program"

    - Judith W.

    5 star review
  • "My son has finally been accepted, approved, and assigned an orthodontist. He goes tomorrow for his first appointment to start getting his braces. Thanks SCL, you have made my son very happy."

    - Alan P.

    5 star review
  • "I am so thankful for smiles change lives for helping a struggling mother out. What an amazing program that helps families."

    - Joy S.

    5 star review
  • "I cannot say enough GREAT things about this program! They have given both of my daughters a new outlook on life, & self confidence that I could never teach."

    - Shelly P.

    5 star review

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