DETROIT - The expensive process of getting braces can feel just as painful for parents who have to foot the bill as it is for kids.
However, some dentists around the country have enrolled in a plan to make braces more affordable for low-income families.
Washington orthodontist Bob Haeger offered free braces to four teenagers from families who have hit hard times financially.
"We'll do the treatment ... everything free all complimentary all along," Haeger said.
This has been an unexpected blessing for one grateful family.
"We've taken some hits over the last few years so this is actually a good thing. A nice thing that sort of came down from somewhere," said Clay Paladin, a father whose child received braces from Dr. Haeger.
Haeger is a part of the Smiles for A Lifetime Foundation, which offers orthodontic procedures to children from underprivileged backgrounds across the country. In exchange for this two-year long treatment, the kids must perform 40 hours of community service.
Smiles for a Lifetime's goal is to "pay it forward." They give the gift of orthodontic work to teens, with the hope that they will in turn give to others throughout their lifetime.
"Our thought it that this will change lives in a big way. You know it opens up doors." says Dr. Haeger.
For the teens themselves, this gift means so much more than rearranging teeth, it's a huge confidence boost.
Ruth to the Rescue couldn't find dentist in Metro-Detroit who participates. The closest dentist seemed to be in Lansing. To learn more about the program, follow this link.
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