Wish For A Smile Trust

Amber ShawMeet Amber Shaw, one of the very first New Zealanders to receive specialist orthodontic treatment through the Wish For A Smile Trust.

The Wish For A Smile Trust is a public health initiative of the New Zealand Association of Orthodontists (NZAO). The Trust aims to make specialist orthodontic treatment available to young New Zealanders who would otherwise be unable to access orthodontic care. 

Wish For A Smile orthodontists are full NZAO members and registered orthodontic specialists. Participating orthodontists have undertaken to treat selected children within their community who are unable to access orthodontic care because of financial hardship.

The Wish For A Smile programme is only available in those areas serviced by participating members of the NZAO.

Orthodontic treatment can make a huge difference to a child through increased self esteem and an optimistic future outlook.  Unlike standard dental care, orthodontics is not free for young people in New Zealand.

Applications to the Wish For A Smile Trust are based on: 

  • Dental need based on the severity of the orthodontic problem (Clinical Assessment Form to be completed by a dental professional)
  • Demonstration of family financial hardship (as per the Patient Application Form)
  • Age of the patient (must be aged between 11 and 16 years, effective 1st September 2015, at the time of application)
  • Applicants must reside in a community serviced by a participating Wish for a Smile Orthodontist
  • Willingness on the part of the child to have, and care for, orthodontic appliances
  • Commitment from extended family/Whanau to contribute towards the cost of treatment
  • A willingness and commitment from the applicant to perform 20 hours of community work during the course of the orthodontic treatment

The Wish For A Smile Trust board meets immediately post February and August to consider applications assessed at the the end of those months.

If you have any questions, please check our Frequently Asked Questions page, or contact us directly:

Wish For A Smile Trust Administrator 
3 Clyde Road
Christchurch 8041

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Fax: 03 962 0283

The Wish For A Smile Trust is a non-profit charitable trust that is dependent on donations.  


Do you live in the Manawatu? The Smiling Straight Trust also covers that area and welcomes your application. http://www.smilingstraight.org.nz/