Start a Smile foundation

Start a Smile Foundation

According to a report by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, nearly 800,000 Missourians, including children, lack dental insurance coverage. As a result, many low-income families in St. Louis struggle to afford orthodontic care for their children. This can lead to serious oral health problems, including crooked teeth, bite issues, and difficulty speaking and eating. Access to affordable orthodontic care can greatly improve the quality of life for these children, allowing them to achieve healthy, confident smiles.

Introducing Cardinal Orthodontics, Free Braces Scholarship

At Cardinal Orthodontics, we believe your smile is just the start of many great things in life. A beautiful smile can provide someone the extra boost of confidence to accomplish all of their hopes and dreams. As a growing business, we find it our professional and social mission to better the lives of those around us through the gift of a smile. 

Great Orthodontic Care for FREE- Start a Smile Foundation

The Start a Smile Foundation is an organization that provides free braces to individuals who otherwise may not receive orthodontic treatment. Start a Smile foundation applicationStart a Smile was founded in Kansas City in 2009 and since then has donated over $2,000,000 worth of free orthodontics to deserving children throughout Kansas and Missouri.

We at Cardinal Orthodontics are excited to partner with this outstanding organization and provide 4 sets of free braces each calendar quarter to children in the St. Louis metro and surrounding cities.

At Cardinal Orthodontics, we believe: “Your Smile is Just the Start.”

This tag line represents the countless opportunities that a smile can provide someone, and we believe that finding ways to share the gift of a confident smile with someone who might not have the opportunity is our professional and social mission as we evolve and grow as a business.

The Gift of Free Orthodontic Treatment through Start a Smile Foundation

If you or someone you know, in the St. Louis area, could benefit from the gift of free braces, please fill out or encourage them to fill out the application. This is open to all surrounding St. Louis cities and towns. Scholarship winners are selected based on the information provided to us in the application, the applicant’s orthodontic need and financial ability in relation to the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

A few notes about the application process:
Free Retainers for Life

  1. Letters of recommendation are needed. Please submit no more than two letters, no more than one page in length. Be sure that the letters are either typed or neatly written in black ink. The letters of recommendation should be written by a non-family member such as a school counselor, pastor, or neighbor.
  2. Please submit clear, high-quality pictures of your teeth. As this is a need-based scholarship, we must be able to accurately assess your orthodontic need in order for consideration.
  3. Once submitted, the application, pictures, and letters of recommendation become the sole property of the Start a Smile Foundation and will not be returned. Please keep copies of all items submitted for your records.
  4. We ask that you be a resident of the St. Louis area.
Please return your completed application to:
Start a Smile Foundation
c/o Cardinal Orthodontics
Attention: Stacia Kelly
9628 Manchester Rd.
Rock Hill, MO 63119
Start a Smile application

Incomplete applications and applicants that do not meet the above requirements will not be voted upon by the Board of Directors. The Board shall meet quarterly to determine and distribute awards and award notifications.

Questions regarding the Start a Smile program can be emailed to or call 314-938-3701.