Smiles Change Lives (SCL), Kansas City, Mo, a program that provides access to orthodontic treatment to children from low-income families, has expanded its program service areas into 10 new states and regions.

SCL is currently seeking low-income children, ages 11 to 18, with severely crooked teeth and misaligned jaws who need assistance in getting orthodontic treatment in the following states or regions: Missouri; Minnesota; Kentucky; Long Island, NY; Virginia; Florida; San Diego; Colorado; North Carolina; Massachusetts; Wisconsin; New Jersey; Illinois; Philadelphia; Kansas (in 2010); and Texas.

“I’ve been so pleased with this program. Every SCL patient assigned to my practice has been a pleasure. I’ve had moms in my office in tears when I put their child’s braces on,” said Randall Markarian, DDS, a St. Louis-area SCL program leader. “With SCL, I know that I’m helping the kids who need me the most.”

Families that turn to SCL for assistance cannot afford the average cost of braces for their children. More families now qualify for SCL assistance due to a change in the program’s financial guidelines, which include a broader spectrum of low-income families.

Families interested in applying can review program guidelines and download an application on the SCL Web site. SCL plans to continue expanding into more states and regions in 2010.