Orthodontic Care Program

About the Program

Our Orthodontic Care Program puts braces on the teeth of children suffering from severe orthodontic problems. Following our Family Guidelines and Policies, these children are growing up in a poor or working poor family situation, and have been turned down by Medicare or other state funded programs, qualifying them for care.

While crooked teeth are easy to see, often, children may quietly carry emotional baggage that can’t be seen. They can be socially stigmatized, bullied, and discriminated against, resulting in lack of confidence and low self-esteem. And equally important, teeth not well aligned can create abnormal amounts of stress on teeth and jaws causing premature wear, possible pain, speaking problems, and may even lead to health complications of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Donna Skoda, Health Commissioner Summit County Public Health states, “It’s clear that poor oral health, untreated oral diseases, and severe orthodontic problems have a considerable impact on quality of life, including loss of self-esteem, poor performance at school and decreased economic productivity. Yet access to dental services, including orthodontic care, remains the greatest unmet healthcare need. Maintaining the health of your teeth and mouth is not merely a cosmetic activity, but rather a critical part in a complete healthcare plan, and a smart investment in physical and emotional health… especially for children.”

Erich Merkle, Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP with the Akron Public Schools Pupil Adjustment Program, shares, “Bullying is an insidious national behavioral health crisis with 70% to 80% of school-aged students having been involved at some point during their school years as bully, as victim, or bystander” (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016; National Association of School Psychologists, 2016). The victims of bullies experience lowered academic achievement, poor peer relationships, loneliness, depression, and increased levels of school refusal.

We partner with a team of 25 area-wide, and state certified, orthodontists with offices in 4 counties. Our process of identifying and matching a child in need with one of our orthodontist’s has proven very successful. As an end result, children receiving orthodontic care are often relieved from physical pain and dental deformity. Overall, they may experience improved self-esteem and confidence, becoming more productive individuals, both in school and at home, and as they move into the working community.

Do you know someone who may need help?

To review the eligibility requirements and begin the application process, click here.