Dr. Rael Bernstein's office is not your typical orthodontia practice.
Pop music throbs from the speakers, portable video games line one wall, parents help themselves at a latte machine and the whole place is decked out with enough animal print for a zoo.
Beyond the flamboyant decor, something else was unique on a recent day as rows of children patiently let staff work on the braces pulling their teeth into order.
For one of them, the family won't have to pay a thing.
"With this economy, it's not braces or a car, it's braces or food on the table for many families," Bernstein said.
Braces are a rite of passage and a parent's dread. Those crooked smiles, as cute as they are, can cost thousands to fix. That's not possible for many parents.
But since 2010, Bernstein has donated $84,000 worth of orthodontic treatments to 14 children through Smiles for a Lifetime, a national nonprofit founded in 2008 that helps children whose families can't afford braces.
He's also begged, bartered and convinced other dentists and specialists to donate more than $20,000 worth of dentistry, oral surgery and other care.
Bernstein said he's motivated because braces changed his life. He said that as a teen growing up in Johannesburg, he hated to smile because it would expose his gap-filled set of crooked teeth.
Braces "changed my personality," he said.