Smile Contest Stories

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Our semi-annual Smile Story contest proved to be a great success! Participants were asked to share their “Smile Story” about how their lives have changed since receiving braces. The grand prize was a Sonicare Diamond Clean Rechargeable Toothbrush, generously donated by Philips Sonicare.

Congratulations to the winners of the November 2014 contest: Odalis and William!


“I’ve always taken good care of my teeth, brushed and flossed, but most of my baby teeth didn’t fall out until I was in my teens. It wasn’t something I could control so my teeth became very crooked. Now that I have braces, I’ll be more confident to face the world! I want to thank Dr. Joe Hannah and his staff for being so welcoming and friendly, going above and beyond what is expected. There is no “one size fits all” at Hannah Orthodontics! The Mission of SCL speaks to me and my family on a personal level. This opportunity has encouraged me to reach my greatest potential. My smile is one of billions, and I intend to use it to show the world I am exceptional, special and hopeful of what is to come.”
-Odalis, November 2014 Smile Story winner


“It was important for me to get braces because I couldn’t live my entire life without ever smiling or laughing comfortably. I’m generally a very happy person. In everything I do, I try doing it with a positive attitude. I would never show my teeth though while smiling or even laughing. It was very sad for me. For as long as I can remember, I have never said ‘Cheese,’ when having my picture taken. But that’s all over now. Thanks to Smiles Change Lives and my orthodontist, Dr. Christopher Freeman, my life has significantly changed. No words can express my appreciation for Dr. Freeman and his staff at Freeman Orthodontics.”
-William, November 2014 Smile Story winner

We’d like to share other entries from the November 2014 contest with you too.


“My adult teeth grew in very close together and crooked. This caused me to grind my teeth, so I had to sleep propping my teeth apart. Braces have made it possible to not have to worry about that anymore. I would like to thank my orthodontist Dr. Terry Spence and his staff for their generosity and kindness to my family. They make me feel comfortable and welcome. I am graduating high school in a year early and hope to get a job and go to college. I know that I will have the confidence I need.”


“Before I got my braces, I didn’t like my teeth and never felt confident to smile. Thanks to SCL we were able to afford braces. I would like to thank my orthodontist, Dr. Fredric Kreul for all his hard work, my teeth are already straighter!”

“Thank you for everything you do. My daughter is even more beautiful today.”
-Tanya, Addy’s proud mom


“I had four wisdom teeth pulled that were crowding my teeth creating an over/under bite making it difficult to eat. It also gave me have an undesirable smile and were difficult to clean. I’m in the first phase of correcting the problem and want to thank Dr. Kimberly Gronberg for accepting my case. Dr. Gronberg and her team ROCK! I’m an Eagle Scout, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and have been asked to represent the scouts at many events. I’ll now have confidence when I lead at these events and at school with my peers. Because of SCL, my mom was able to afford braces and make sure that I have a great smile. Thank you!”


“I had such a bad overbite, my bottom teeth were hitting the roof of my mouth, so it made it hard to chew. My life is different now because I can chew better and I feel more confident about the way I look.I would like to say thank you to Dr. Steven Tottori and his office for spending their time and efforts so I can have a better smile. I live in a single parent home and my mother was not able to afford braces. Not a lot of kids get this opportunity and I’m very grateful for this program and the people that work hard to help me and many other kids have a better smile and a better life.”


“I was embarrassed to smile and felt very self conscience about myself. Every day I look in the mirror and see the difference in my smile. I’m much more confident, and I don’t worry as much. I’m also more conscience of what I’m eating and how it will affect my teeth. I would like to thank Dr. Roy Scott and each one of his staff for being so generous, taking their time and giving me a beautiful smile. SCL makes it possible for kids like me to afford braces and to share my smile with everyone. I’m going to me more confident and be able to help people in the way that SCL has helped me.”


“My life is better now with braces because I can’t be called any names. I had an overbite and I really wanted my teeth to look better. SCL made a big effort to fix my teeth and give me a better smile. I would say that Dr. Danielle Battisti-Katz and her staff do an outstanding job and are extremely polite. I’m a good student and plan to be a doctor. I also care of animals and the environment and now feel more confident to be able to accomplish anything with a beautiful smile.”


“I had a transplant and needed a breathing tube in my mouth. It was there for quite a while and made my teeth stick out. The hospital costs made getting braces unaffordable. I’m so thankful my mom found SCL, I have braces now and love them! I can’t wait to see how straight and together my teeth will be when I have them off! Thank you Dr. Greggory Gechoff for helping me get braces, I take very good care of them. Now I smile bigger! I also volunteer for Donate Life giving presentations at high schools with my mom.”


“When I smiled people would ask when I was going to get braces, and many said I had a snaggletooth! Braces would basically cost my family a car payment each month, and that is something we could not afford. My life is different now. My orthodontist, Dr. Joseph Basile and his staff are awesome! I look forward to my visit every five weeks. I get treated professionally just like all Dr. Basile’s other patients, and enjoy the warm greeting each time I have an appointment. SCL allows me to have the same chance for success as my friends. First impressions make a difference and after having braces, the sky will be the limit for me! I will have the confidence to smile and to strive for my goals. SCL makes dreams come true!”


“I appreciate Smiles Change Lives because they were able to do something for me my family was unable to do alone. My teeth had horrible, big gaps between them due to two missing teeth. Now that I have braces, the negative comments from kids at school have stopped, and I’m not afraid to smile anymore! I want Dr. John Aamodt and everyone at Erickson-Aamodt orthodontics to know how thankful I am. They are welcoming and treat me with respect. I couldn’t have been assigned to a better office! Sports are what I love to do, hockey, soccer and softball. Hopefully in the near future, I’ll be at the top of my game and have a beautiful smile! Thanks for changing my life!”


“It was embarrassing for me to smile, I felt like people were judging me. I’ve only had braces for few months and I can already see a difference! My mom asks me every day, “Let me see you smile.” I love the feeling of having straight teeth. I won’t be shy to make new friends. I thank Dr. Bloyce Britton and his staff for making me feel so comfortable when I go in to his office. They’re so nice, and it is very clean there. All of this would not be possible without SCL.”


“I wanted braces because people made fun of my teeth. But thanks to SCL, I smile more often! SCL helps people be proud of themselves. I would like to say thank to you Dr. Stephen Haught for helping me get rid of my fear of smiling. With my new found confidence, I look forward to getting a job someday.”


“I am part of a leadership program at my apartment complex, I help serve food at events. Now, I feel confident about smiling while I serve. I’m so thankful to Dr. Bret Christensen and his staff for helping me, I really like them. SCL gave me a chance that I wouldn’t have had, they rock! I will be the cheerleader with the biggest smile!”


“My teeth were messed up, and I didn’t feel good about my smile. Kids at school would say things about my teeth. I can already see a difference, they’re getting better! Thanks SOOOOO much to Dr. Carlos Nurko for participating in a program that gives me and kids like me the chance to get braces when they can’t afford them. I like choir and orchestra. Now I’m not afraid to smile at performances.”


“I really needed braces because my teeth leaned in to each other and overlap. I always had food in between the creases that were hard to reach when brushing and flossing. I just got my braces, and I think that I can accomplish cleaner and whiter teeth and a greater amount of confidence. We appreciate SCL because through the whole process of applying, they were super nice and didn’t mind us asking questions. I would like to say thank you to Dr. Brett Garrett and his staff members. They are all very nice and happy and make me feel great by making sure I know what they are doing. They make the appointment so positive that I’m not nervous at all. I can’t wait to see my new straight teeth!”


“I come from a big family, and my teeth were really messed up. Thanks to SCL we were able to afford braces. They have already made me feel more confident. I am very grateful for my orthodontist, Dr. Stephen Haught. He and his staff are Awesome!”


“I started the SCL program in middle school. I would never smile, it lowered my self esteem. I always covered my mouth. I am now in high school, and I smile at all activities! Words cannot express how thankful I am to my orthodontist, Dr. Steven Hechler, and his staff. They are the nicest and care so much about their patients. SCL made it possible for my family to afford braces. I would like to tell others that with SCL you can smile like me too!”


I’m involved with my church, home school and 4-H activities, so I talk to others a lot. Before braces, I would feel embarrassed with my crooked teeth so I hardly ever showed them when I smiled. SCL has given young people like me a chance at a better future, especially those who cannot afford the price of braces. I am very grateful to Dr. Thomas Burns and his staff for everything they’ve done for me. Because of their efforts, I have more confidence. Since a smile is the first thing people notice about you, having a straight one is very beneficial. Now I smile all the time and my friends and family keep saying; “Wow! Your teeth look great!”


“I didn’t want to smile, my teeth were crooked and stuck out. Thanks to SCL and my orthodontist, Dr. Jason Huse, my teeth are getting straighter! I will have more confidence and on my next school picture, I can actually smile.”


“Before I got braces, two of my top teeth were growing above my other top teeth. My teeth weren’t lined up, not spaced correctly and they overlapped one another. I would like to thank Dr. Teijy Thomas for all he’s done and been through to become one of the most superior Orthodontist out there. I am always excited to see him and his staff and can’t wait to see what changes have occurred since my last appointment. Once I get my braces off, and have a splendid smile, I will finally not be scared to have pictures taken. I’ll have a better, happier lifestyle and be able to share my story with others.”


“Thanks to SCL my family could afford the braces I needed so I could have a healthy, beautiful smile. I am so grateful to my orthodontist, Dr. James Indiveri for all his hard work. He has really impacted my life. I love my new teeth and I can smile without being made fun of. A smile can make a difference in a person’s life, it can mean the world to them. SCL really cares about people and I love them so very much!”


“Braces allowed me to speak clearly. I am comfortable talking to more people now, and I enjoying smiling. I’d like to thank my orthodontist, Dr. Craig Williams (Yo Dr. Craig!), he and his staff are the best. I appreciate SCL because they change your life, teeth and confidence.”


“I needed braces, but the cost was too much for my family. We looked for organizations that gave out better smiles for cheaper, and we found you. Now, I enjoy smiling and will be able to speak more clearly and won’t have to hide my teeth. My smile is big and as bright as your hearts are for accepting me into this amazing program. A big thank you to Dr. Claire Stroede and her staff at Burleson Orthodontics. They are the nicest and coolest people on the planet, and are the reason behind our happiness. I speak for everyone who uses their amazing services. They treat me with so much respect and welcomed my mom and I like they’ve known us for decades.”


“Thanks to SCL and Dr. David Mershon, I had the opportunity to get braces! I needed braces, but the cost was too high. But SCL provides people in bad situations the chance for healthy teeth. I like to play soccer, and I play the violin in orchestra. I will be smiling a lot more!”


“I applied for SCL because I really needed braces, I did not feel confident about smiling. Thank you to Dr. Joe Wommack and his staff for being so nice and for helping me gain confidence in smiling. I don’t get bullied about my teeth anymore at school. I recently started playing basketball and I like to sing. Thanks to my orthodontist and SCL I will accomplish more and not worry what my teeth will look like.”


“It was important for me to get braces because my teeth were getting worse and people reminded me of it daily. SCL made it possible for me to get braces that my mom was unable to afford. My life is so much better because my teeth are not the main focus people see in me. Friends are nicer, and now I’m told I have a pretty smile. I was never told that before. I am so grateful to my orthodontist, Dr. Mark Lahaye and his staff. They are the best! Braces have truly changed my life. They have given me a chance in life that I wouldn’t have had without them. I can focus on my academics and sports and won’t have to worry about being made fun of. I have confidence now. Thank you for this program!”
-Brennan (seen here with his proud mom)


“Thanks to SCL my family was able to afford braces. I also want to thank Dr. Scott Prose and his staff SO MUCH! You guys are GREAT at your job and and SO friendly! SCL helps people who are in need of braces. I am definitely more confident and ready to have pictures taken! It’s just a really great program!”


“I’m a nice kid who always wanted a better smile. I just received my braces, thank you Smiles Change Lives! I look forward to having orderly, in-line teeth, a better smile and to be able to chew food better. A big thanks goes to my orthodontist Dr. Steven Hechler, and his office staff. They are kind people.”


“I had crowding which pushed out my canines so it looked like I had fangs. I was made fun of because of this, but SCL will help change my life. I haven’t got my braces on yet, I have a spacer, but already my teeth are beginning to move. I want to thank my orthodontist, Dr. Charles Caldwell and everyone at Christopherson and Caldwell Orthodontics. They make me feel comfortable at my appointments and about getting braces. Driving the long distance is definitely worth it. I’m so grateful that I was assigned to their office. Thanks to SCL I will be successful and confident. I truly believe that if we take pride and confidence in ourselves, we can all be amazing!”


“My teeth were really messed up, and I got picked on for it. I applied for SCL because they made braces affordable for my family. With braces, I can’t eat certain foods, and I make sure to brush my teeth after lunch. Dr. Darren Forcier and his staff are very respectful towards me and just very nice in general! I know that my new smile will help my speech and give me the ability to accomplish everything I want to do in my life.”


“I am so thankful for this program. It has given me the opportunity to have healthy, beautiful, straight teeth. I smile a lot more and I have so much more confidence because now I’m not afraid to smile. I would like to say thank you to my orthodontist, Dr. Jeffrey Cavanaugh and his staff for making all this possible. I appreciate all they’ve done for me. SCL has really changed my life. With my new smile I will go for my dreams and do things I want to accomplish in my life!”

Read Additional Smile Contest Stories

Smile Stories Archive – May 2014


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