Changing Lives, One Smile at a Time - Austin Area Orthodontic Practices Join National Charity to Provide Healthy Smiles for Underserved Kids

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Smiles Change Lives is seeking applicants, ages 10-18, for its affordable orthodontic program. Four Austin area orthodontists are eager to help children in need. Immediate openings are available in Austin and nationwide.

Having the confidence to smile is priceless.

A child’s joyful smile is contagious. However, some children are afraid to smile because they are embarrassed by their teeth. In today’s economy, this situation can be heartbreaking for families who do not have the resources to pay the full cost of orthodontic treatment.

Thanks to hundreds of caring orthodontists and one national charity, families have an opportunity to help their children obtain affordable orthodontic treatment. Smiles Change Lives (SCL) is now serving low-income kids in the Austin area thanks to the dedication of four local orthodontists.

Drs. Farrah Agahi, Blair Barnett, Jeff Dykes and Yashu Singh have joined SCL to help provide better care to youth in the Austin area who cannot afford treatment and don’t qualify for other assistance. These doctors will donate their time and talents to treat SCL-approved patients. SCL requires that each patient’s family pay a $500 program fee in return for full orthodontic treatment.

“I believe that having the confidence to smile is priceless. There are many children that could greatly benefit from orthodontic care, however, due to financial circumstances they cannot afford it. My team and I would cherish the opportunity to give these children a "smile to sing about" as we help promote philanthropy in a small yet significant way,” says Dr. Singh.

SCL is actively seeking program applicants who meet these criteria:

  •     10-18 years old
  •     Household taxable income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level
  •     Crooked teeth and/or misaligned jaws
  •     Good oral hygiene

“Helping kids who otherwise would not be able to enjoy the benefits of orthodontic treatment has always been an important career goal of mine. I will be proud to know that there will be a few well-deserving and appreciative patients who may gain the confidence they need in the future because of what we were able to do for them,” says Dr. Barnett.

Interested families are encouraged to review the program’s financial guidelines at Educators, nurses, counselors and oral health professionals are encouraged to nominate or refer candidates to this program. Visit to download an application in English or Spanish or call (888) 900-3554 to request more information or an application by mail.

Smiles Change Lives (SCL) promotes and provides access to life-changing, essential orthodontic treatment to children from low-income families. With a growing demand nationwide, our vision is to provide access to braces for all youth suffering from crooked teeth and misaligned jaws. Since 1997, SCL has created more than 1,500 healthy smiles. With the support of 3M, our official orthodontic industry sponsor, SCL will be able to reach out to even more communities nationwide.


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Andrea Umbreit

LeAnn Smith
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