Smile For A Lifetime

Orthodontic Approval Process

Smile for a Lifetime (S4L) is an international program that provides orthodontic scholarships to children ages 11-18 who normally would not be able to afford treatment. S4L will not charge a fee for the orthodontic treatment – participating orthodontists donate their services, including the cost of one set of retainers once treatment is complete. There is a $20, non-refundable application fee and, if you are approved for treatment, a $480 administrative fee, paid to the national office.

All applications need to be completed online. Click on “Apply today” and submit your application. Once your application is received and all needed material is submitted, the S4L national office will contact you within 30 days.


Scholarships are chosen by a local screening committee and the process is competitive. Scholarships are limited and based on financial need, orthodontic need, and a complete and accurate application. Successful applicants will be between the ages of 11 and 18 and have:

  • Family income of no more than (200%) of the federal poverty level.
  • Good dental hygiene practices and must have had a dental check-up in the past 6 months.
  • A functional and/or aesthetic need for braces.
  • Enrolled in school and in good standing.
  • A positive attitude.
  • Willingness to abide by the treatment plan set forth by the orthodontist.
  • Two positive letters of recommendation. At least one of them from a community leader and/or teacher.