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Orthodontic Scholarship

Smile for a Lifetime (S4L) is an international program that provides orthodontic scholarships to children and young adults (ages 8 - 19) who normally would not be able to afford treatment. S4L will not charge a fee for the orthodontic treatment -- participating orthodontists and orthodontic manufacturing companies donate their service, including the cost of one set of retainers. The only fees incurred are an initial $20 non-refundable application fee and a $480 investment fee to cover that of the program.


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.
  • 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.
  • Applicants are children or young adults (age can vary per provider)
  • Family income of no more than 200% of the federal poverty level (may vary per provider).
  • Must follow and abide by the treatment plan set forth by the orthodontist. 
  • Should demonstrate a willingness to get involved in the community through volunteer service. Some orthodontists may require 20 hours of volunteer service.
  • Must have positive letters of recommendation from at least two community leaders or teachers. 
  • Be willing to/follow through with paying the non-refundable $20 Application Fee and an $480 Investment Fee (per child).


  1. The screening committees of Smile for a Lifetime will select applicants on an ongoing basis. Selection is based on the information provided within this application, orthodontic and financial need. Please ensure that all needed information is submitted. Incomplete applications will not be submitted for review.  The application process is competitive and not all qualified applicants will be guaranteed a scholarship. 
  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, 2 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-QualifiedScholars are chosen by a local screening committee and the national S4L office. Scholarships are limited and the process is competitive.
  4. Once an application is pre-qualified, S4L will begin the process of finding an orthodontist in your hometown.  Once an orthodontist is located, you will have 30 days from the date of the notification to pay the remaining $480 Investment Fee.
  5. Once the Investment fee is paid the applicant will be placed on a waitlist to see a selected S4L orthodontist for Final Approval.  The process is competitive and can take up to 4 to 6 months as doctors are limited as to how many scholarships are accepted each month. Once the applicant is on the waitlist, the $480 Investment fee is non-refundable. The ONLY reason the investment fee would be refunded is if your child is not selected for a scholarship.  If you chose to leave the program or wish to find an orthodontist on your own, the investment fee is Non-Refunded.
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 (dentist may return along with dental clearance form).

  • PROOF OF INCOME -  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. Note: we do not accept Social Security benefits letter as proof of income, will need to include more information.

  •  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 two letters of recommendation written by someone in the community, such as a guidance counselor or teacher explaining why this child is deserving of a scholarship (no formal letter attached).

  • 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. The approval process can take 4 to 6 months from the time you have turned in all of your paperwork. The application process is competitive and not all qualified applicants will be guaranteed a scholarship. 

All applications must be completed online. (Children ages 8 - 19 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