Smiles Change Lives

SCL-logo-tag--low-res-.jpgApproximately 20% of all children in the United States are living with moderate to severe malocclusions (crooked teeth and misaligned jaws). Many come from working families living in poverty. Without assistance, these children will not receive the treatment they need. The Smiles Change Lives program serves kids who suffer from the social, emotional and physical repercussions of dental deformities such as missing, broken and impacted teeth. Many of these children have difficulty speaking and chewing. Others suffer from constant pain or are the targets of bullying. 

Through Smiles Change Lives, these children can get access to life-changing orthodontic treatment without the full cost of braces. Headquartered in Kansas City, the SCL program has treated more than 10,000 children since 1997. With its origin as the Virginia Brown Community Orthodontic Partnership, Smiles Change Lives has emerged as the nation’s leader in providing access to orthodontic care for qualified and motivated youth. For more information, or if you would like to start the application process, visit

How Smiles Change Lives Works

Smiles Change Lives has a unique model that matches children from families who cannot afford the full cost of braces, with caring orthodontists willing to provide such treatment. Each family must agree to abide by the program’s rules and contribute a set amount to SCL to be approved for the program. SCL uses these funds to recruit more doctors willing to treat more children. In this way, each family truly "pays it forward" – by helping their own child, they are making it possible for the next child to be treated as well. Since its inception, more than 99% of the children approved for SCL have successfully completed treatment.

  • Are 10-18 years of age;
  • Have no unfilled cavities;
  • Have good dental hygiene;
  • Are not currently wearing braces;
  • Meet the SCL financial guidelines (varies by geographic location); and
  • Are willing to follow the SCL program rules and make the required financial contribution.

How to apply

Interested families who believe they may have a qualifying potential patient can learn more and start the application process at