Lach Orthodontic Specialists is giving needy children in the East Orlando Community an entirely new reason to smile, thanks to the office’s recently launched Smiles for Hope Foundation.
Created by Dr. David Lach, owner of Lach Orthodontic Specialists, to reach out to underprivileged families in need of orthodontic care, the program awards quarterly scholarships to a family who would otherwise not be able to afford the corrective measures, effectively paying for treatment in full.
“Our mission in creating Smiles for Hope was to create self-confidence, inspire hope and change the lives of children in a dramatic way,” says Lach. “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 community.”
A top graduate of the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry, Lach went on to receive his orthodontic specialty training and a Master of Science degree from the University of Louisville. Here, he helped pioneer the study of using computers to predict some of the changes commonly seen as a result of wearing braces.
Since moving to Central Florida and starting his own practice, he has helped to create almost 20,000 smiles in and around the community. The Smiles for Hope Foundation now allows the team to reach out to those that need a helping hand, and give them a gift that can change their lives within just a few months. To apply for the program, applicants need to simply fill out a registration form available through the office.
The program is a result of Lach’s desire to make the lives of area children better using the tools and talents he has mastered over decades of experience. “This program makes an immediate and direct impact in our very own neighborhood where we practice and live without having to go through any of the larger organizations where sometimes the benefits get filtered down and diluted along the way,” he says.
Upon reviewing several other non-profits and organizations offering similar services, Lach was at a loss because he didn’t find a program that lived up to his strict standards. So, he decided to start his own program – one that he could control, one that would allow him to offer the most to the community he is raising his family in. “After looking into various programs and considering being a part of those that were already in place, we decided that it would instead be best to put together and create our own program in order to make sure that the benefits would be maximized for the underprivileged families and individuals that we are reaching out to,” he says.
Moving forward with the program, Lach hopes to reach as many families as possible through their individual, concerted efforts as an office. Eventually, he sees the program – or a similar one – being implemented at other local orthodontic offices, ultimately creating a region-wide impact.
“I feel as though it is our obligation now as a practice to give back to the East Orlando community that has been so good to us in a very special way,” says Lach. “It is already such a joy to provide smiles on a daily basis in our practice; and being able to now provide smiles for the neediest of the needy in our area make it an especially rewarding experience.”
For now, Lach is looking forward to growing the program within his own office and giving even more children a reason to have a confident, positive outlook on life. “I love doing what I do in creating beautiful smiles for our patients, and there is nothing better than being able to give a beautiful smile to someone who otherwise would not be able to have one,” he says. “Knowing that you have made a positive impact and difference in a very critical time in a child’s life is, in my opinion, one of the most rewarding experiences that anyone can have.”
Parents and families interested in applying for “Smiles for Hope” should contact Lach Orthodontic Specialists at 407-359-1960 or e-mail Info@Lach-Ortho.com for more information and applications. Candidates are reviewed on a quarterly basis and can reapply as often as they would like.
Article by Corey Gehrold