Smiles Changes Lives Offer Free Braces For Low Income Youth

Dental braces are frequently thought of a being a purely cosmetic dentistry procedure that is only available to those who can afford it, or for the lucky few people who have a dental insurance plan that covers the expense of dental braces.

When you consider, the average cost of orthodontic treatment can frequently be as much as $10,000, it’s explains why affordable program such as Smiles Change Lives exists.

Smile Change Lives is a nonprofit organization, which teams up with orthodontists to provide free and affordable braces for low income youth.

Orthodontic treatment and braces provides healthier jaws and teeth, allows comfortable drinking and eating, permits improved pronunciation and speech, and improves self esteem. Dental braces provides much more than simply a nice smile, and they should be available to everyone.

This affordable dental braces program currently services 16 States, with the goal to expand to additional areas and during 2010. As the program grows, dedicated volunteers and qualified applicants wanted.

Dental specialists, general dentists, and all members of the community are encouraged to reach out youth that would benefit from free and affordable orthodontic treatment and braces.

The focus of the program is to help low income youth to get either free or affordable braces. Applicants must meet specific requirements in order to qualify for the Smiles Changes Lives program, some of which include:

  • Applicants must be between ages of 11 and 18.
  • Applicants must reside in a location where the program exists.
  • Applicants must follow the program’s rules and their oral hygiene must be good.
  • The family’s household taxable annual income must be equal to or less than the Federal Poverty Level Guidelines.
  • Applicants or their families must be willing to pay $500.00 towards the cost of the dental treatment.

The Smiles Changes Lives program provides and promotes access to essential, life changing treatment of orthodontics in children from low income families. The program is based in Kansas City and has treated more than 1,200 children since its inception in 1997. It has emerged as the nation’s leader in providing access to affordable braces or even free braces as well as orthodontic care for our underserved youth.

Smiles Changes Lives is governed by a dedicated volunteer board of directors who provide leadership and governance to ensure the vitality and long term health of the organization. It is these individuals who set the direction for our national expansion, sustainability, and growth.

For more information about free and affordable braces and application visit


  1. Barbara Bell says

    U almost had me beliving that the braces were free for low income children, until U you note that I would be responible for $500.00. If I had $500.00 I would pay a bill or put it on grocery’s. It makes me sad with companies try to explot the poor.

  2. Will Catalano says

    Barbara Bell is crazy. My son is in desperate need of braces. Lowest cost I could fined was $5900.oo dollors I can not afford braces for him and have no help. (single dad since he was two now 14. Could I apply and only pay $500.00. I will deliver pizzas for a month or two part time. I could think of a way. Ask churches

    Wow did she really think before sending that. Sometimes you have to sacrifice. No matter how poor……….

  3. Kenna Payne says

    I am a Dental Hygienist in a private practice in Louisiana. This program is to help children have access to care when their families cannot afford braces. I understand that 500.00 is a lot of money for families that are struggling to make ends meet. However, the fact that one can riducule a program that is helping so many children, claiming that they are “exploiting” the poor is preposterous! I am sorry, you are entitled to your own opinion, but when it comes to slandering a program that truly is a God-send for so many families, as it is allowing them a means of providing their children with a beautiful smile at 1/10 of cost. Once again I understand that 500.00 is a lot of money for most people at this day & time, but it is not for anyone to benefit from “exploiting” the poor, but rather to cut the cost of materials for the orthodontists who are willing to give back to the community & serve the underserved. Our office did not even know this program existed until we were notified by a participating orthodontist in our area. She took the initiative to make up packets just to send to general dentists in the area with details about the program, instructions & forms for referring patients, and applications & brochures to give to our patients. This is an orthodontist who went the extra mile to reach out to help as many children as she can not for personal gain, but simply because she cares that much!!!

  4. Kelly Cason says

    $500.00? Somebody is complaining over $500.00 with an amazing Godsend gift like this?? I am thrilled to see that there are Doctors that participate in programs like this! They certainly don’t do it for the notoriety because I didn’t even know a program like this existed. I’ve had guardianship of my seven year old grandson from birth and he is going to require extensive orthodontic work. I have numerous health problems and am barely surviving on Social Security. I will never be able to afford the cost of braces for him. Thank God for programs like this and the amazing Doctors who pay to make it possible. Yes, I said pay! Everything involved costs far more than just the doctors time and $500.00 which means that the Doctors pay to fix these childrens teeth!
    I now have hope to get this little guys mouth corrected.

  5. says

    My Husband & I have four children & three of them need braces our 16,11,8 year old kids they are always getting made fun of at school & my Husband & I are Low Income we Live in Low income housing & are only incrense is MediCal & we can’t affored them on what we get each month is there any help out there for us.

  6. Sasha Florea says

    Does anyone know of anything like this for adults? My teeth are so bad and my parents never wanted to get me braces. I’m now 21 with a 2 year old son. His father and I are getting married in August and I would much rather have braces in my wedding pictures than my teeth how they look now. Thank you.

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