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Orthodontic Scholarship

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 and orthodontic manufacturing companies donate their service, including the cost of one set of retainers. The only fees incurred are an initial $20 application fee and a $480 investment fee to cover the of the program. 

Program Overview and Application Process  

QUALIFICATIONS: Your child must meet ALL the qualifications to apply for our program.

  • Not wearing braces currently.
  • Must currently be enrolled in school and must demonstrate a positive attitude.
  • Applicants must be between the ages of 11-18.
  • Must have a social impediment or moderate/severe need for braces.
  • Family income of no more than 200% of the federal poverty level. 
  • Must follow and abide by the treatment plan set forth by the orthodontist. 
  • Have “good” dental hygiene practices and had a dental hygiene check-up in the past 6 months.
  • Should demonstrate a willingness to get involved in the community through extracurricular activities and/or volunteer service.
  • Must have positive letters of recommendation from at least two community leaders or teachers. 

Approval Process: 

  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 the needed information is submitted. Incomplete applications will not be submitted for review. 
  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 Smile for a Lifetime has received all six required forms and a complete application, it will then be reviewed by the staff. Scholars are chosen by a local screening committee and the national S4L office. Scholarships are limited and based on financial need, orthodontic need and a complete and accurate application, the process is competitive.
  4. Once the screening committee passes on the required documents, S4L will begin the process of finding an orthodontist in your hometown.  
  5. Once an orthodontist is located for your child, you will be notified and will have 30 days from the date of the notification letter to pay the  $480 Investment Fee. 
  6. Once the Investment Fee is paid your child will be placed on a waitlist to see a selected S4L orthodontist. This process is competitive and can be longer than 6 months as doctors are limited to how many applications are accepted each month. Once your child 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 find an orthodontist on your own and wish to leave the program, the investment fee is not 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 - Must submit a Full copy of most recent tax return along with two recent pay stubs, SSI award letter, TANF grant letter etc. Please see the Income Eligibility Form for more information. 
  • Student Essay
  • Letters of Recommendation 
    • Must send in two letters of recommendation. The letters must be written by someone in the community, such as a guidance counselor or teacher who knows the child. Letters of Recommendation must not be completed by family members. The letter should explain why this child is deserving of a scholarship. 
  • Report Card
    • Must attach a recent report card showing recent grades proving enrollment in school.
Please return by email to or by fax to 719-312-6000.
The approval process can take 4 to 6 months from the time you have turned in all of your paperwork.

Applications must be completed online. 

English Application

Spanish Application (Parent Guardian Information, Student Essay and Dental Clearance)

Smiles for a Lifetime

  • Smiles for a Lifetime Foundation - 6547 North Academy Blvd. #304, Colorado Springs, CO 80918 Phone: (719) 535-2777

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