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email melanie@smileschangelives.org

FAQs About Our Orthodontic Program For Kids & Parents

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





Can I fill out the application online?

Yes, we now have an online application that is available in addition to one that can be downloaded and printed.

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Can I still apply if I’m already 21?

Yes. We do accept applications for children who are 21 years old and will work to get them treatment if possible. However, if you are 19 or older when you apply, please be aware that your chances of placement with a treatment provider are greatly decreased depending on wait times in your area.

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Can my child still be accepted if I don’t submit my tax information?

No. A copy of the most recent year’s Federal Tax Form 1040/1040A or a current SSI awards letter is REQUIRED. The ONLY exception to this standard involves foster care families who should review the foster care families information page. There are no exceptions to this policy except when it comes to foster care families. Applications submitted without tax information or with forms that have been altered in any way, will not be accepted.

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Is the personal essay required? What should I write?

No, it is optional but highly encouraged. Additional letters of support are also optional but encouraged.

Essays and letters of support should indicate why the child needs braces, how their teeth have affected them, how they think their life will change if they get braces, plans for the future, or anything that the child would like to express. The essay can be in any format and can be any length.

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How do I know if my family meets the income requirements?

There is a chart available to assist you in determining your financial eligibility by clicking here.

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I have more than one child in need of braces. Do I have to submit a separate application for each of them?

Yes. A separate application, tax/SSI forms, dental referral form and $30 (USD) non-refundable application fee is required for each child who is applying to receive treatment through SCL. Likewise, if more than one child is accepted into the program, there is a $650 (USD) non-refundable required financial investment for each child.

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What kind of photos are required for the application?

Photos of the applicant are required as part of the application. Without photos, the applicant’s approval or denial cannot be determined. Below is an example of the eight different photos that are required for each applicant. Refer to these photos as you are taking pictures of the applicant. Click here for detailed information, descriptions and some tips on photos needed. Here is an example:

sample photo requirement for smiles change lives

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Why is there a $650 required financial investment?

The required financial investment is your investment in your child’s beautiful new smile as well as a pledge of you and your child’s commitment to the time and effort required throughout this process. Likewise, when you pay the fee, you know that not only will your child benefit, but that you are also “paying it forward” to help the program be available to assist other children and families in the future.

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Can I make payments on the required financial contribution?

No. At this time we cannot accept partial payments. The Program Fee must be paid in full within 30 days of notification of the child being assigned to a treatment provider. The required financial investment is a one-time, out-of-pocket fee.

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What if I can’t pay the required financial investment within 30 days?

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 and will need to reapply with a NEW application. This is due to the fact that the demand for assistance goes beyond our ability to ensure treatment for every child.

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Does having dental insurance help or hurt my child’s ability to receive treatment?

Dental insurance plays no part in the SCL treatment program. Likewise, you are not able to use your insurance to help pay the required financial investment. The required financial investment is a one-time, out-of-pocket fee. In addition, we cannot accept payment from flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs).

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Can I still get braces if I have cavities?

No. You cannot be approved for the SCL program or get braces while you have unfilled cavities. However, once your cavities have been filled, you can apply (or reapply) to the SCL program.

It is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene while you are awaiting treatment and throughout the treatment process. If we are able to assign you to a treatment provider and find that you have developed cavities, we reserve the right to remove you from the program.

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Can I get Invisalign through Smiles Change Lives?

No. SCL only provides assistance for regular, metal braces.

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My child has been waiting a long time and hasn’t seen a orthodontic provider yet. Is my child still in line for treatment?

Yes. Your child is still in line for treatment. Because the demand for our program is very high in several areas, the wait can be quite lengthy. Please check our Waiting List for the estimated waiting period in your area.

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Do you have any orthodontic providers in my area?

To see if SCL has any orthodontic providers in your area, please check our Provider Directory. Select your state from the drop-down list provided, and click “Search”. A list of providers in your state will be listed alphabetically by name.

SCL is actively recruiting providers throughout the nation. Even if you do not see a provider listed for your area, please submit your application. This will help us determine where to focus our recruitment efforts.

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I see that there is an orthodontic provider in my area. Why can’t my child go to that provider?

Due to the high number of children that are receiving treatment through SCL, the orthodontic provider in your area may not have availability to treat additional patients at this time. SCL orthodontic providers donate their time and services to treat children in our program and the number of children each provider can treat varies as children enter and exit the program.

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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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Smiles Change Lives
Helps Families Across the
United States & Canada

smiles change lives helps families with the cost of braces

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