Local Orthodontist to Donate $150,000 for Braces for Children

Four children outdoors with arms around each other.

Dr. Timothy Scanlan of TS Orthodontics & Dental Specialists, with offices in Asheville, Marion, and Rutherfordton, is stepping up in a major way to help kids in his community receive braces who may otherwise not be able to afford them.

On Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, Dr. Scanlan and his team will be screening kids to qualify for $650 braces through the nonprofit Smiles Change Lives.

Smiles Change Lives is a national nonprofit that helps kids get braces. 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. Smiles Change Lives’ mission is to provide these families with the opportunity to provide their children with braces through its network of over 800 volunteer orthodontists in the United States and Canada.

“We are thrilled to be working with Dr. Timothy Scanlan, who has committed to donate approximately $150,000 in orthodontic care to kids in his community,” says Alexis Barclay, Director of Provider Services, Smiles Change Lives. “Thanks to Dr. Scanlan, we hope to approve 24 kids for braces through our program from 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, and their family must meet certain financial guidelines (e.g., for a family of 4 in Asheville, their household income must be below $73,800, however household income limit varies based upon family size; the proof of income requirement is waived for children in foster care). The family must also be willing to submit an application fee of $30, and if accepted for treatment, a program fee of $650. The full program guidelines can be reviewed at www.smileschangelives.org.

The event will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 1:00 pm-4:00 pm, at TS Orthodontics & Dental Specialists located at 4 Vanderbilt Park Dr, Suite 110, Asheville, North Carolina, 28803. Families who meet the program qualifications for Smiles Change Lives can register their child for the event at smileschangelives.org/ts-orthodontics-screening-event/.

To date, Smiles Change Lives and its network of orthodontists have helped more than 13,000 kids receive braces in the United States and Canada. Please watch a short video to learn more at smileschangelives.org/scl-overview-video.