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Free braces transform teens

By Ellen Bacca
Published On: Nov 06 2013 04:32:51 PM CST
MOREHEAD CITY, CARTERET COUNTY -

Three local teens were fitted with free braces today through the 'Smile for a Lifetime" program. The handfuls of students selected were picked because of their academic dedication, their upstanding character, and their financial needs.

Three local teens were fitted with free braces today through the 'Smile for a Lifetime" program. The handfuls of students selected were picked because of their academic dedication, their upstanding character, and their financial needs.

The program doesn't just stop at mouth full of metal. Dr. Robert Sanborn says everything their teeth might need is covered from the day the braces go on to the day they come off.

"Fillings, cleanings, we have some hygienists that can come on sight here and help with cleanings if they don't have a current dentist," says Dr. Sanborn.

Students picked for the scholarship do have to earn the braces in a sense. To keep the scholarship each has to keep up good grades in school, and perform 40 hours of community service each year they have the braces.

Each set of brackets usually costs about six thousand dollars, but Sanborn Staff member Paden Hines says each scholarship winner gets more than a mouth-full of metal, they get the gift of confidence. 

“They're nervous, they're anxious.... and then you see them in a couple of weeks and they're all confident and good just knowing, just knowing things are changing for them," says Hines.

Parents like Emiko Quichocho hope the girls will gain confidence from their new smiles.

"She'll be more confident I think. She'll smile more. She used to be afraid to smile and show her teeth so now i think she'll be more confident to smile," says Quichocho.

Sanborne Orthodontics accepts new applicants each year for the Smile for a Lifetime program from Carteret and Onslow Counties. For more information, click here.