Changing Lives, One Smile at a Time: Richmond Area Orthodontic Practices Join National Charity to Create Healthy Smiles for Underserved Kids

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Smiles Change Lives is seeking applicants, ages 10-18, for its affordable orthodontic care program. Several Richmond area orthodontists are eager to help children in their community. For more information visit

SCL gives us the opportunity to improve the patient’s quality of life, and in the long run, to improve their relationships with everyone they come in contact with.

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 Richmond area thanks to the dedication of several local orthodontists.

Richmond-area orthodontists have joined SCL to provide care to local youth who cannot afford treatment and don’t qualify for other assistance. The 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.

“It is a small world and when we are able to make a difference in this world, even in a small way, we should be willing to help others have a better life. Smiles Change Lives has helped us determine who truly deserves to receive our services,” says Dr. C. William Dabney, Richmond Area Program Champion.

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

“SCL gives us the opportunity to improve the patient’s quality of life, and in the long run, to improve their relationships with everyone they come in contact with. As we get to know each patient and build on our relationship, I always request that at some point in their life, they pay it forward in the same philanthropic spirit of giving,” adds Dr. Dabney.

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.

Richmond area doctors participating in Smiles Change Lives include:

Dr. Jeffrey Beyer

Dr. April Bridges-Poquis

Dr. Dwight Buelow

Dr. William Dabney

Dr. William Gardner

Dr. Michael Holbert

Dr. Gustav Horsey

Dr. John King

Dr. Allison Purcell

Dr. Charles Thomas, Jr.

Dr. Paul White

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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