News 12 This Morning / Friday, Feb. 3, 2012
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Like any 9-year-old boy, Christopher Williams loves playing video games, but unlike most young boys, he's not very talkative -- especially in front of a camera.
"Christopher started out with a very beautiful smile," said his mother, Sharon Williams.
As his baby teeth came out and his adult teeth grew in, things started to change.
"If I'm eating candy, it hurts," Christopher said.
His teeth are overcrowded and without the picture-perfect smile, Christopher's self-esteem wasn't the same.
Some kids, even adults, started picking on him.
"Calling me Spongebob and Mickey Mouse, he said, 'Mommy, my name is Chris or Christopher,'" his mother shared.
With the high cost of dental treatments, braces weren't an option.
"Nationally, most orthodontic treatment runs anywhere from $4,500 to $6,000 or more," said Dr. David Carter, with Carter Orthodontics.
It would cost Christopher's mom nearly $3,500 to pay for the treatment.
"With my situation, being laid off, the funds weren't in the budget," Williams said.
Then they found out about Smile for a Lifetime at Carter Orthodontics.
It's a cause that's close to Dr. Carter's heart.
"Growing up I had buck teeth, crowding and jacked-up teeth. I know how it affected me. It's why I choose the profession," he said.
The foundation is finding more applicants that need help, but it doesn't just come down to their income level. It's about who they can help the most.
"We look at the difficulty of the case," he explained.
As Christopher's first day of treatment started, the process brought tears to his mom's eyes.
"I was very excited because of what Christopher had been going through," Williams said.
Now, the financial burden is lifted off of Williams, but more than that, she knows Christopher can smile proudly in his next school picture.
If you are interested in applying for the program, you can go to visit their website here. You can find out more about the foundation here. The application process requires letters of recommendations and photos of your child.
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