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Orthodontic Scholarship

Smile for a Lifetime is an international program that provides orthodontic treatment to children & young adults (ages 8 - 18) who normally would not be able to afford the cost of  treatment.  We have a team of specialists who donate their time and talents to the Smile for a Lifetime program in hopes of helping underserved children & youth in their communities.

Smile for a Lifetime charges a $20 application fee to process the application. Once the application has been reviewed and a participating orthodontist is located, a final payment of $480 is charged. No other fee will be charged. Participating orthodontists and orthodontic manufacturing companies donate their services. We even donate one set of retainers when treatment is complete.


Smile for a Lifetime has orthodontic providers located across the United States and Canada. We actively recruit providers to join our team on a regular basis.

Program Overview and Application Process


  • Currently not wearing braces or a retainer.
  • Applicants are ages 8 to 18 years old.
  • Have “good” dental hygiene practices.
  • Must be enrolled in school with a C average or above GPA.
  • Must have a social impediment or moderate/severe need for braces.
  • Family income of no more than 200% of the federal poverty level. 
  • Must provide one letter of recommendation from someone in school or the community.


  1. All applicants must apply online through the Smile for a Lifetime website.  The initial application is $20 (non-refundable) and the final application fee of $480 is due once the application is approved and an orthodontist is located.
  2. Once your application is submitted, you will have 30 days to fax or email all the needed information listed. If these items are not returned within 30 days, your application may be archived and you will be required to start the application process over.
  3. Once an applicant has submitted all the required documentation (proof of income, 1 letters of recommendation, current report card, dental clearance form, picture of applicant’s teeth, student essay and a complete application), the application will then be  Pre-Qualified
  4. Once an application is pre-qualified, Smile for a Lifetime will begin the process of finding an orthodontist in your hometown. There is no guarantee that an orthodontist will be located or that an applicant will receive a scholarship.  Once an orthodontist is located, you will have 30 days from the date of the notification to pay the remaining $480 non-refundable application Fee.
  5. The process is competitive and can take up to 6 to 12 months as doctors are limited as to how many scholarships are accepted each year.  
  6. Meeting the minimum qualifications is not a guarantee of a scholarship. 
Please complete the attached forms and return by email or fax:
  • DENTAL CLEARANCE – To be completed and returned by the child's dentist. 

  • PICTURES - Closeup photos of teeth taken from your phone  

  • PROOF OF INCOME - (Income Eligibility Guidelines listed under Appy for Braces icon above) Proof of income must be submitted in the form of a COMPLETE copy of the most recent year's federal tax return (to include ALL pages, schedules or statements, and child's name needs to show as a dependent and 2 most recent pay stubs for each parent.

  •  STUDENT ESSAY The student essay is an important part of the approval process. Please let us know how receiving braces could change your life in a dramatic way (please use the attached form).

  •  LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION - Please submit one letter of recommendation written by someone in the community, such as a guidance counselor or teacher explaining why this child is deserving of a scholarship for free braces (letterhead please, not by email).

  • REPORT CARD - Please submit a recent report card showing a C average or above GPA, recent grades will prove enrollment in school.  

Please return by email to [email protected] or by fax 719-312-6000.

Placement with an orthodontist is not guaranteed. Smile for a Lifetime staff work hard to find orthodontists within 30 to 45 minutes of your home.  The average wait time to be matched with an orthodontist is between 6 to 12 months. Some locations can take longer. The application process is competitive and not all qualified applicants will be guaranteed a scholarship. 

 applications must be completed online. (Children ages 8 - 18 years old)

U. S. Applications, only apply if you are in the United States.

Start Application
Final Payment Only

Canadian Applications, only apply if you are in Canada.

Canada Start Application
Canada Final Payment Only