Am I eligible to apply?

To apply for specialist orthodontic treatment provided by the Wish for a Smile Trust you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You  must be aged between 11 and 16 years (effective 1st September 2015)
  • You must be able to demonstrate family financial need (details on the application form)
  • You must live in a community serviced by a participating Wish For A Smile Trust orthodontist
  • You must have a severe orthodontic problem. Your dentist or dental therapist will need to complete the Clinical Assessment Form and confirm you have a severe orthodontic issue that is eligible for treatment by the Trust
  • You must be willing to have and care for orthodontic appliances – you will need to write a letter committing to caring for your appliance
  • You must be willing to commit to a limited family contribution towards the cost of treatment
  • You will need to commit to completing 20 hours of community work  during the course of orthodontic treatment. The community activity must be approved by the Trust

What do I need to include with my application?

  • Completed Clinical Assessment Form from your dentist or dental therapist
  • Completed Patient Application Form
  • A letter of good character from your school Principal or Dean
  • A letter outlining why you think you need orthodontic treatment and the difference treatment will make. You should also indicate that you are willing and prepared to look after your teeth and any orthodontic appliance you will need as part of your treatment
  • A letter from your parent, guardian or caregiver supporting your application
  • A smiling photo of you showing your teeth. Click here for examples of photos and how to take them.
  • Where applicable an income summary from WINZ
  • A self addressed postage paid C5 (for A4) envelope

Can I send additional material with my application?

You may wish to include recent photographs and any testimonies that you feel will give the Trust assessors a more complete picture of you and your orthodontic needs and desire for treatment.

What happens once I send the application?

The application will initially be assessed to check you meet all the necessary selection criteria. Once this is completed you will receive notification from the Wish For A Smile Trust advising you if your application has been accepted.

Acceptance at this point does not guarantee treatment. It means your application fulfills all the criteria and your application will be moved forward for further consideration.

Accepted applications will be prioritised according to need and severity of orthodontic issue.

If your application is accepted for consideration by the Trust we will arrange for you to visit your local Wish For A Smile Trust specialist orthodontist for full orthodontic planning records which will be provided by the Trust at no charge.

The orthodontic planning records are forwarded to the Wish For A Smile Trust selection panel which meets two times per year – immediately post February 28 and August 31st.

The selection panel decides on the successful applicants who will receive treatment from Wish for a Smile Trust.

What are the selection criteria for successful applicants?

Each year the Wish For A Smile Trust receives many more applications than is possible to fund treatment for. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate: 

  • significant family financial hardship
  • a severe orthodontic problem 
  • a genuine commitment to do all that is required to complete successful orthodontic treatment

When can I expect to hear whether the application is successful?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email at the completion of each stage of the selection.

How many times can I apply?

If your application is unsuccessful you are welcome to reapply in the next calendar year as long as you are still under 16 years.

Will my child receive orthodontic treatment for free?

Successful applications will be required to complete 20 hours of approved community service while they are receiving orthodontic treatment. In addition, family and/or whanau will be expected to provide a weekly contribution of up to $10 per week for 80 weeks.

*Please note, in the event that additional treatment is required outside of that provided by your orthodontist (dental extractions for example), this cannot be covered by the Trust.  

Do I get to choose who will provide the orthodontic treatment for my child?

If your child is successful they will receive treatment from a specialist orthodontist in your area who is a member of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists and who has applied to participate in the Wish For A Smile Trust programme. The Trust will decide which participating specialist orthodontist will treat your child.

Who can I contact for further information?

For more information please contact the 

Wish For A Smile Trust Administrator 
3 Clyde Road
Christchurch 8041

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Fax: 03 962 0283

Do you live in the Manawatu? The Smiling Straight Trust also covers that area and welcomes your application.