Smiles For A Lifetime

Smiles For A Lifetime   Press Release   s4l Newsletter   Smile for Life Scholarship Recipients  


Contest for S4L Scholars! The National S4L Foundation will be giving away a $50 giftcard to their winner each quarter. Participants must post a photo and share their story at the following link by going to


Smile for a Lifetime is an orthodontic foundation established by Dr. Benjamin G. Burris of Jonesboro, AR in 2008. Through this non-profit foundation, we aim to reach individuals who have not had the opportunity to acquire assistance due to financial reasons and/or other special needs. The local board of directors select the local applicants who are treated.

Our Mission

At Smile for a Lifetime Foundation it is our mission to create self confidence, inspire hope, and change the lives of children in our community in a dramatic way. The gift of a smile can do all this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn, can use this gift to better themselves and our community.

Who Qualifies

To become a candidate, interested patients must complete or have completed for them, a Smile for a Lifetime Foundation application that is available on this page or can be picked up at our office. Click here to see our newest recipients.

Application Assistance

  • Letters of Recommendation are mandatory. Please do not submit more than two letters, and limit each reference letter to one page each. Please type or print clearly with black pen.
  • Attach a clear 5×7 head shot photo of the applicant with full smile and teeth showing
  • Provide verification of family income which can be last year’s tax return(the board will use the current US poverty guidelines as a reference)
  • W-2 or a copy of the most recent pay stubs
  • Applicant must be a resident of the area that this foundation serves
  • Applicant must be under 18 years old or a deserving student
  • Applicant must not qualify for alternate means of orthodontic coverage(cannot qualify for NC Medicaid Orthodontic Coverage) 
  • Your application, letters of reference and pictures will not be returned to you and will become property of Smile for a Lifetime foundation.
  • Return your completed application to:
    Smile for a Lifetime Foundation
    Attn: Sunni Dearmin
  • 373 Boone Heights Drive
    Boone, NC 28607

For Questions call: 828-264-0110 ext 806 or

Applications that do not meet these criteria will not be voted on by our Board of Directors. Our Board of Directors will meet semi annually to make their selections.

Board of Directors

A special thanks to our community members that serve as our Smile for a Lifetime Foundation Board of Directors.

Chad Slage, Supervisor, Department of Social services – Child Protective services

Angela McMann, Western Watauga Youth Network – WMN Mentoring Program Director

Amy Michael, Watauga County Schools

Lee Warren, DDS

A special thanks to the American Association of Orthodontists, Schulman Study Group, Ormco and TeleVox who are committed to provide assistance in this gift of smiles for our foundation.

I can tell you that these guys are excited,” said Dr. Mayhew in announcing the new Smile Scholarship recipients. “And our entire office is excited to be a part of this program. In 30 years of serving Boone and surrounding High Country counties, we have had an opportunity to see first hand the dramatic increase in self-esteem and even school performance among students for no other reason than they got their teeth straightened. By joining the Smile for a Lifetime Foundation in this program, it is a way for us to give back, by offering the unique gift of a smile to students whose families might otherwise not be able to afford orthodontic care. These patients really touch our hearts because they are always so appreciative.

Testimonials from Smile for a Lifetime Patients across the country

“Parents never want anything to hold back their child. Kathleen has always felt self-conscious about her smile. Because of this gift, she will enter adulthood with a new level of self-confidence.”
– Dana Otterpohl. School teacher and mother of Kathleen Otterpohl, Cherry Valley, AR

“It was the happiest day of my life to see Sammy receive free braces. Your foundation is God sent and we are so fortunate to have this happen. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and my God bless each and every one of you.”
– Suzanne Cowgill, mother of Sammy Cowgill, Pocahontas, AR

“… when my teacher told me I had been selected I almost cried. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
– Lee Lamberson, age 18, Joesboro, AR

“Thanks to everyone working with Smile for a Lifetime. The heartfelt appreciation sill bubbling from our student, Skylar Olney, was obvious the Monday following her Friday appointment with you! The $6,000 worth of work that you are doing for Skylar will translate into a million dollar smile for a student with a heart of gold. Thank you more than you can know!”
– School Counselor, Alicia Donner, Jonesboro, AR

“My Dad came to my art room when I was at school and told me that I was chosen. I was so chocked. I couldn’t believe it. Free braces are like a miracle to me.”
– Tracon Borwn, age 11, Paragould, AR