L.A. Orthodontist to donate $300K in braces to low-income children

Photo: SmilesChangeLives.com

Photo: SmilesChangeLives.com

Open House on October 27

Bergh Orthodontics is preparing to change the lives of local children in need, and they are asking the community to help spread the word. On Saturday, October 27, 2018, Dr. Brian Bergh and his team will be donating orthodontic care to local children through the nationally renowned nonprofit Smiles Change Lives. Registration for the Smiles Change Lives Open House Event is currently open to children whose families are struggling to afford necessary orthodontic treatment.  

On average, braces cost $6,000 per child, making them out of reach for many hard working families. Further, orthodontic treatment has long been considered cosmetic by insurance companies, providing little assistance, even for those that are insured. As a result, many children and teens suffer unnecessary discomfort and embarrassment from their misaligned teeth.

“We are thrilled to be working with Bergh Orthodontics, which has committed to donate $300,000 in orthodontic care,” says Alexis Barclay, Director of Provider Services, Smiles Change Lives. “To make a difference in a child’s health and self-confidence feels great and is the reason we are so excited about this event.”

Smiles Change Lives is a national nonprofit formed in 1997 under its original name, the Virginia Brown Community Orthodontic Partnership. Virginia Brown grew up during the Great Depression, and her parents could only afford to pay for orthodontic treatment for one of their children. Virginia’s sister was able to get braces, while Virginia endured years of teasing and self-consciousness until she finally received treatment during high school. Virginia and her son, Tom Brown, established Smiles Change Lives to help children today avoid the physical and emotional difficulties that Virginia herself suffered as a child.

 

To qualify for the program, a child must:

  • Be between the ages of 7-21

  • Have good oral hygiene

  • Not be wearing braces currently

  • Have a moderate to severe need for braces

  • Meet certain financial guidelines (e.g., for a family of 4 in Los Angeles, their household income must be below $73,800).

  • Foster parents or case workers applying for a child in foster care do not need to meet any financial guidelines, but instead must provide court documentation showing the child is in state custody.  

The Open House will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 9:30am-1:30pm at 1111 N Brand Blvd #201, Glendale, CA 91202. 

Families who meet the program qualifications for Smiles Change Lives are encouraged to attend and bring their child, a copy of their 2017 tax return (listing their child as a dependent) and a $30 application fee to the screening, or they can submit an application in advance, which can be found at www.smileschangelives.org/apply.  Families can also preregister for the event at https://www.smileschangelives.org/bergh-orthodontics-screening-event/

If a family can’t attend the event but is interested in the program, they are encouraged to contact Smiles Change Lives at info@smileschangelives.org, or to apply directly online at www.smileschangelives.org.

To date, Smiles Change Lives and its network of orthodontists have helped more than 12,000 kids receive braces in the United States and Canada.

Watch this short video to learn more: http://www.smileschangelives.org/scl-overview-video.

Anabel Marquez