The Georgia School of Orthodontics in Sandy Springs earlier this month announced it will provide four metro Atlanta children with free orthodontic care this year through its Gift of a Smile program.

The school established the program in 2016 to celebrate the grand opening of its Atlanta clinic. Since its inception, the program has provided free orthodontic care to 13 children in the metro area, as part of its pledge to provide $100,000 in complimentary orthodontic care to children who need braces but cannot otherwise afford it.

The school is re-launching its Gift of a Smile program to alleviate the financial burden of orthodontic care on families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To nominate a child, visit bracestoday.com/gift. Nominations can be made through Aug. 31, and winners will be selected Sept. 16.

Past recipients are grateful for the impact the program has had on their children’s lives.

“It’s almost like night and day,” LaTresha McGowan, who raises Gift of a Smile recipient Solomon and his brother Philip with her sister, Rashuana McGowan, said in a news release. “Solomon used to mumble and hide his mouth behind his hand. He smiles all the time now, actively participates in family events and seeks out new friends and new experiences.”

Decatur resident Oli Soler, a dental receptionist and mother of Gift of a Smile recipient Damian Soler, 16, is equally thankful.

“Seeing his smile change day by day and seeing his confidence grow has been a blessing. The staff and doctors at GSO are amazing and we are so thankful for this incredible gift,” she said in the release.

Gift of a Smile is just one part of the school’s mission to provide increased access to the highest quality orthodontic care at a lower cost than private practice orthodontics. It also has the Purple Heart Smiles program, which provides free orthodontic care to the children of Purple Heart recipients. To date, the school has provided over 24 children of Purple Heart recipients with complimentary care.

Both programs combined have provided more than $125,000 in free orthodontic care to Atlanta’s deserving children.

“Increasing the access to orthodontic care is a core part of our mission here at the Georgia School of Orthodontics,” said Dr. Randy Kluender, the board’s president, said in the release. “We are honored to provide these deserving children with free orthodontic care. We hope that we can in some small way alleviate the financial burden and stress that COVID-19 has caused local families.”

For more information on the School’s Gift of a Smile program, and to determine your child’s eligibility, visit bracestoday.com/gift.

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