Minnesota’s Heroes Orthodontic Program
Minnesota’s Heroes is a pilot program by the Minnesota Association of Orthodontists with help from Smiles Change Lives, and the Minnesota Dental Foundation to honor our Fallen Minnesota Heroes. It provides free orthodontic treatment to the surviving children or spouses of Gold Star Families who had a family member that was killed in the long wars in Iraq / Afghanistan, post 9/11. “Minnesota’s Heroes” orthodontic program was enacted by the Minnesota Association of Orthodontists to honor and take care of the immediate family of those Minnesota service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation.
Smiles Change Lives (SCL) promotes increased self-esteem and improved oral health for children from low-income families in need of orthodontic treatment. Their goal is to help families, who cannot afford the full cost of braces, secure treatment for their children by connecting them with orthodontic providers willing to donate their services to deserving patients. If you know a child who could benefit from this opportunity, please encourage them to Apply for Braces. If you are an orthodontist who would like to help SCL kids in your community, please Become a Provider.
The very first Mission of Mercy (MOM) was launched in Virginia in 2000, and today MOM events can be found nationwide. The events are focused on helping underserved populations of children and adults receive dental treatment that they, for whatever reason, cannot obtain. A MOM event is successful with the help of hundreds of volunteers – dental and non-dental – coming together with a common vision in mind. Since their inception, MOM events have helped over 150,000 patients and provided over $88 million in free dental services. The MDA and Minnesota Dental Foundation Mission of Mercy dental program has provided 24,684 dental procedures worth $3,137,603 in donated services and treatment through more than 5,204 patient visits since 2012.
Each year, dental professionals from across the state participate in Give Kids a Smile, providing free dental care to children in need. The event takes place on the first Friday and Saturday of February and is made possible by the collaborative effort of the Minnesota Dental Foundation, volunteer dentists, and generous sponsors.