Give a Smile™ Foundation: A Brief History
Give a Smile is an initiative of the Australian Society of Orthodontists (ASO) and it was founded in 2005 by Dr Ted Crawford during his time as President of the ASO.
Give a Smile was established to give orthodontists an opportunity to give back to local communities by providing lower-income families with access to orthodontic treatment that would normally be out of reach. The program garnered widespread support from specialist orthodontists across the country and it quickly grew into a national charity.
Today, 15 years on, Give a Smile orthodontists operate in every state and territory. In fact, approximately 70 percent of eligible orthodontists donate their time, expertise, and resources to provide treatment to one Give a Smile patient each year.
Through the Give a Smile program, close to 2000 children and young people from lower-income families and in genuine need of orthodontic care has received treatment from a specialist orthodontist. The work of Give a Smile orthodontists has changed the lives of these young patients by giving them a confident and healthy smile for life.
While improved dental health is a key benefit for Give a Smile patients, it is the improved self-esteem and other long-term emotional benefits that these children experience following treatment which is immeasurable.
Orthodontists across Australia are committed to the program and many have been recognised for their generosity in the Give a Smile Service Awards. There are currently close to 70 orthodontists named in the Silver Awards category for completing 10 Give a Smile cases. In addition, 80 orthodontists have been named in the Bronze Awards category for completing five Give a Smile cases.
The program is made possible thanks to the ongoing support of Give a Smile orthodontists who offer their unique skills to children in need, and the Give a Smile committee who volunteer their time to ensure the successful running of the program.
To be eligible to receive orthodontic treatment under the Give a Smile program, you or your child must already be on the waiting list in the public dental service of your relevant state or territory. To find out more about patient eligibility, please click here.