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Smile Splint

Community volunteers can help create comfortable splints to prevent children from bending their arms and touching their face. These simple arm bands help keep the surgical incision clean and promote healing of a child’s new smile. Smile Splint use tongue depressors to create the splint. Donations of boxes of tongue depressors are needed and can be sent along with the arm bands. 


Instructions and Pattern for Sewing Smile Splint


  • ½ yard of light weight fabric
  • 66" of hem tape or grosgrain ribbon
  • Shears or scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Sewing pins
  • Tongue depressors (to insert as splint)

Note: Please use cotton, cotton/blend materials in fun bright colors and prints. Do not use religious, war or gun themed prints. Ship donations of tongue depressors separate from the arm band.

View the Smile Splint pattern and print for guidelines.


Step by Step Instructions:

1. Print pattern (on 11x17” paper).
2. Cut a 10" x 15" fabric rectangle according to the pattern.
3. Hem or serge to create a ½ ” finished edge on all sides of the arm band.
4. Fold up 5" and pin in place.
5. Across the fold, mark 9, 1” deep pockets to hold tongue depressors.
6. Stitch the length of each pocket.
7. Cut 3, 22” lengths of ribbon or hemming tape.
8. Fold tie in half, and pin to one side of the arm band, equal distance apart.
9. At the center point where pinned to the arm band, stitch ribbon in place.