Give Back with Gifted Smiles

Give Back with Gifted Smiles

This past spring, I had the privilege of taking a seat as a Resident Director for the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation (AAOF). This non-profit, philanthropic arm of the AAO has been, for decades, a staunch advocate to advance our specialty through supporting orthodontic education and research as well as promoting charitable giving.

Two years ago, AAOF took administration for the program to connect orthodontists with families and children who lack access to care. Formerly known as Donated Orthodontic Services, the program was rebranded as Gifted Smiles this year. Since its inception more than a decade ago, Gifted Smiles has provided orthodontic treatment for over 1,000 children from families with a financial need. My Co-Resident Director, Dr. Jenna Schneider, and I are beyond excited to expand this program throughout the country to create opportunities for children to have access to orthodontic treatment through a network of AAO members and resident programs.

Currently, among the 12 residency programs that participate in Gifted Smiles, two programs are from NESO (Harvard and Montefiore). My residency program, NYU, is also in the works of becoming a Gifted Smiles provider. I will be working hard to increase the number of residency programs and private practitioners in NESO participating in Gifted Smiles within my term. If you are interested in bringing Gifted Smiles into your residency program or private practice- or simply learning more about it – please feel free to reach out. I would be more than happy to connect you with Ms. Tabitha Smith, the Gifted Smiles Program Administrator.

Our specialty is about the profound difference we make in the life of our patients. Gifted Smiles Program expands our impact as practitioners, as well as our impact to our community.


Dr. Yuna Park
Resident Director, AAOF Board