Smile for a Lifetime

Smile for a Lifetime Foundation (a.k.a. S4L) is a charitable non-profit organization that provides free orthodontic (free braces) care to children and teens in Tucson AZ who otherwise may not have the opportunity to acquire assistance. 

Launched in 2008, Smile for a Lifetime Foundation aims to reach individuals with financial challenges, special situations, and special orthodontic needs. The Foundation sponsors the orthodontic care of hundreds of patients each year.

Smile for a Lifetime Foundation has participating orthodontists throughout the United States. Each chapter has its own local Board of Directors who chooses patients to be treated by the Foundation.

Dr. Leo Toureno is the founder and the Executive Director of our local Greater Tucson Chapter. However, only members of the Board of Directors have a vote for the S4L Scholar selection. Dr. Leo Toureno and the Board of Directors do not receive monetary compensation for their services. 

Our Mission

It is our mission to create self-confidence, inspire hope, and change the lives of children in our Southern Arizona communities in a dramatic way. The gift of a smile can do all this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn, can use this gift to better themselves and our local community.

Meet Dr. Leo Toureno

Hello, most people call me Dr. Leo, and as someone who grew up in a third world country, I had an opportunity to see first hand the poverty many children are faced with everyday. Today, I am blessed with a wonderful family and a great place to live in -- Tucson, Arizona, United States of America! However, there are still many children and Teens that need help here. I keep thinking: "if only these deserving individuals can increase their confidence and outlook in life, they could make not only their world better but also our community even brighter!" Please join me to make Tucson and Southern Arizona more beautiful with more Smiling faces.

Board of Directors

Our Local Board Members are as diverse as the communities we serve; however, leadership and passion for community improvements are characteristics they all share. Please click on their names on the left column to learn more about them. Only members of the Board of Directors each have a vote for S4L Scholarship selection.


Application Guidelines

Important Guidelines in applying for braces through Smile for a Lifetime Foundation:

  • Applicant questionnaire must be handwritten and answered by the applicant.
  • Applicant must be a resident of Tucson AZ, including Vail, Marana, Oro Valley, Sahuarita and Green Valley.
  • Applicant must have a significant aesthetic need for braces.
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need.* 
  • Applicant must be between 11 and 18 years of age (In general, please don't apply yet if you have more than 4 baby teeth). 
  • Applicant must currently be an enrolled student. 
  • Applicant should demonstrate a positive attitude
  • Have good dental hygiene practices. 
  • Applicant must agree to follow the treatment plan and demonstrate the ability and commitment to make all appointments on time.  Appointments for our S4L Scholars will be weekdays approximately 10AM-12:30PM. 
  • Applicant is encouraged to display involvement and leadership in extracurricular activities. 
  • Must be willing during treatment period to "Pay it Forward" by completing a minimum of 40 hours of community service.  
  • Family income of no more than (185%) of the federal poverty level.* 
  • Currently not be in orthodontic braces. We do not accept transfer cases unless it is from another S4L Chapter.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation are mandatory.  Please do not submit more than two letters, and limit each reference letter to one page each.  Please type or print clearly with black ink (no pencil).  They must be signed and dated. These 2 letters should be from community leaders and/or teachers.
  • 2 Photos required: Close up photo of applicant's teeth while smiling: (1) photo with teeth showing from front and (1) photo of teeth from the side.
  • The application, letters of reference and pictures will not be returned and will become property of Smile for a Lifetime Foundation.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a bi-annual basis (every 6 months). Please submit your application no later than March 30th or September 30th for each respective selection cycle. Applications are received on an ongoing basis. Each applicant will be notified of approval or denial after the end of each selection process.

*If Scholarship is awarded, a copy of one pay stub for each job held for each income earner will be requested .

Applications that do not meet these criteria will be considered incomplete and will not be voted on by our Board of Directors.   

How to Apply?

(1) Please Apply Online (Best Way): Click the S4L Application icon on the left column to start the process.

(2) Download a copy here (We discourage paper application as missing documents occur frequently and may decrease your chance of a successful outcome):

S4L Paper Application

If you don't have access to a computer, you may pick up a copy of the application at our office.

Mail or drop off your completed application to: 

Attn: S4L Greater Tucson

5121 S. Calle Santa Cruz #105, Tucson AZ 85706

Please do not call us regarding the status of your application as we may not have that information at hand. 


For questions e-mail works best: