Affordable orthodontic treatment for children

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Don't wait until school starts to begin planning your child's orthodontic care. Think you can't afford it? Think again. Even in today's tough economy, families have an affordable option for providing orthodontic treatment to their children.

Smiles Change Lives (SCL) is a nationwide nonprofit organization that helps children who desperately need, but whose families cannot afford, braces. "SCL is a tremendous resource for working families who want their children to have a healthy and attractive smile," states Dr. Kelly Toombs, SCL provider and founding orthodontist from the Kansas City area.

"I've been treating SCL patients since the program began in 1997 because I know the transformation that orthodontic treatment can create for a child. I'm adjusting not only a child's teeth and bite, but I'm also giving them a better chance at a successful future," asserts Dr. Toombs who has treated more than 50 SCL patients, a record for the organization.

SCL is seeking applicants nationwide who meet the following criteria:

  • Ages 11-18 with good oral hygiene
  • Have moderately to severely crooked teeth and/or misaligned jaws
  • Taxable family income is at or below 200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines

"We hear over and over again that kids are reluctant to go back to school in the fall because they know their peers will start teasing them again about their teeth," shares Andrea Umbreit, Director of Marketing and Communications for Smiles Change Lives. Unfortunately, many families are not able to provide orthodontic treatment without some assistance.

"Wouldn't it be a great feeling if that same child who was being tormented could now go back to school, with braces and a new sense of self-confidence?" adds Ms. Umbreit. SCL would like to serve thousands of children nationwide this year. More orthodontists are joining the program daily, ready to begin treating qualified SCL patients.

Interested families are encouraged to visit to review financial qualifications for the program. To apply, please visit Smiles Change Lives at You may also call 888-900-3554 to obtain an application via mail. Information is also available in Spanish.

Dr. Toombs adds, "Don't give up on braces for your child. Smiles Change Lives is a program that works miracles for kids and families, I've seen it happen."


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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