Sanford Orthodontics

$500.00 College Scholarship Criteria

  1. Must be a graduating senior who is applying to college
  2. Must be a current or previous patient of Dr. Sanford’s
  3. Must write a paper 1 to 2 pages, any genre, on “The Power of a Smile”. CREATIVITY RULES!
  4. Entries must be original work, accompanied by a contest cover sheet which is completed and signed by both the applicant and parent.
  5. DO NOT PUT YOUR NAME ON YOUR ESSAY! You will be disqualified if you do so, your cover sheet will identify the essay as yours.
  6. Submit entries by mail to: Sanford Orthodontics/Barbara Cimino
                                            1353 Prince Rodgers Avenue
                                             Bridgewater, NJ 08807

Deadline for all submissions: Monday, May 1st, 2017

Additional information available at:

For anonymity each submission will be assigned a number and our selection committee will review each essay. The chosen winner will receive the Scholarship during the High School’s Award Night.

Click here to download the Scholarship Application

2016 $1000.00 Scholarship Winner
Pooja Patel

The Power of a Smile

Smiles are forever powerful, a way to interpret a person’s emotions and feelings. A window into someone’s soul. It is that very understanding of the impact a smile can have that has inspired me to become a dentist myself.

My passion for dentistry began when I was a young child. Because I sucked my thumb until I was nine. I had buck teeth. When I started school, I became self-conscious about my smile. In my elementary school years, Dr. Sanford was my hero. My phase 1 treatment transformed me from a bunny to a person with a real smile. You could now see my full smile, rather than the two protruding teeth. I hadn’t realized that a smile gives the first impression, and changes everything. I want to be the doctor that can help a child be confident with their smile—whether it be fixing their crooked teeth like Dr. Sanford did for me, or instilling great hygiene values for life as a pediatric dentist.

From all the times I have been to Dr. Sanford’s office, since elementary school for phase 1, then phase 2, and most of my twin sister’s appointments, and even having the amazing opportunity to shadow the doctor and spend time with him for a day, I saw the compassion and care with which he treated patients. Even while reprimanding them to wear their retainers or follow proper hygiene procedures, he was able to effectively get the message across without being aggressive or getting angry. As a dentist, I want to have such special kind of connection with my patients, and be able to make children feel comfortable in dental chairs at any early age – possibly reduce the dental fear stigma for my patients? The smiles of Dr. Sanford and all of the staff has made the office a happy, and inviting place, that I would even look forward to going to. The stash of cookies and cake on the table might have helped too…

I have been told various times that I have a great smile, it does wonders for me. It allows me to express the always-happy person I already am, and it has given me a “quality,” by which I will be remembered - my smile and my optimistic personality. My smile is my identity, and I hope to be able to do what Dr. Sanford did for me for other children as well. Being the shy person that I am, my smile allows me to express my happiness and invite people to talk to me, conveying emotions without even speaking. My smile means so much to me, and I am doing everything I can to preserve it in terms of retainer-wearing and teeth-brushing.

So, for me, smiles are extremely powerful, to the extent that I am basing my career on fixing them. I intend to pursue my dream and give other children the smile that changed my life, especially by attending UPENN’s 7-year bio-dental program in the fall! As corny as it sounds, a smile’s power has changed my life.

2015 $1000.00 Scholarship Winner
Lindsey Yarrington

The Power of a Smile

The mouth has been used to communicate for thousands of years. Creating and evolving language; building relationships and forming smiles. But what about those who are deaf? Unable to hear language formed from the mouth. Desperate to build relationships, but unable to form language from the mouth. Yet, there is power in the smallest of smiles.

Going on my first mission trip to the Dominican Republic three years ago was an incredible experience; not only because of the work we did, but because of the rare opportunity I was presented with, the strong friendship that developed as a result. I had been studying American Sign Language for a year and a half, and once we got to the village that we partner with, I discovered that I had a connection to someone that no one else on the trip had. The daughter of the pastor in the village, Keren, was deaf. She knew no English, and her Spanish was difficult for us Americans to comprehend, but she knew some sign language. I was unable to speak Spanish at the time, but I knew sign language like she did. Many of the Americans who knew Spanish felt uncomfortable talking with her because they did not know who to act around a deaf person, and it was hard to understand her Spanish because of her altered speech due to being born deaf. I began to notice that when the "Americans" were in the village, she was often off to the side, observing, and being stared at blankly by the American team who felt awkward trying to communicate with her.

We made eye contact through the crowd of people around us, and I smiled, knowing that it was pointless to speak Spanish to her because I didn't know how; I hoped in my mind that she would smile back and we could sign to each other. Her eyes lit up and she smiled back at me and waved. From across that room, through a sea of people using their mouths to talk and build relationships, we started our relationship from a little smile. A little smile between an English speaker and a Spanish speaker opened a door and created a friendship that I never could have imagined three years later looking back on that moment. After we shared a smile, I walked over to her, introduced myself, and told her what my name was in sign language, all while watching the smile on her face get bigger and bigger. The whole week spent with Karen was full of smiles, laughter, a lot of moving hands and silent mouths.

I underestimated the power that a smile can have on someone who feels like an outsider. Now three years later looking back, I have realized just how powerful that little smile was in making a lifelong bond and friendship between Keren and I. I had never imagined that we would be getting in trouble with her dad this past February for having full conversations together in ASL and giggling when we aren't supposed to.