Does Smile Direct Work?

img_4661I have always been self conscious of my teeth.  I have spent a lot of money over the years keeping them healthy, but always wanted them straightened.  One of my friends was wearing braces at 30+ years old and I really wanted to do my teeth too!

She told me about the orthodontist that she was seeing, and I made an appointment.  It would require monthly trips to Houston, which is about an two hour drive for me.  I live in a small town, so anything worth visiting is a good 45 minute to hour drive anyway.  However, I really couldn’t justify to myself the huge upfront cost of orthodontics when I have 4 kids.  This office accepts monthly payments, which made me feel better about the expense of braces.  However, I never made it to the appointment date. 

(Before Smile Direct Club)

I found Smile Direct Club on Instagram, and decided to check it out. After reading lots of comments and reviews, it seemed like a lot of mixed information.  So I searched online and found a few blog posts.  I really felt like it was a good option, and scheduled an appointment for a free 3D scan at the Smile Shop.  It was so quick and easy.  I learned that the young woman performing my scan had gone to dental school and had experience in a dentist office before working for Smile Direct.  That made me feel more comfortable.  We discussed why I had chose Smile Direct.

Here are a few reasons:

  • I liked that it was an invisible alternative to traditional braces.  Since I worked as a peace officer,  I didn’t want something that was going to damage my mouth more if an arrestee decided to fight.
  • The total price was less than half the cost of traditional braces, which is great since I have two boys that will be needing orthodontics soon.  I didn’t want to be paying for 3 sets of braces at once.
  • Their option to make monthly payments for about $80/ month was perfect.
  • No monthly appointments, which meant I didn’t have to miss any work or make long drives.

I believed that I was going into this process with reasonable expectations.  I know that even people with traditional braces often find they have to wear them longer than initially expected, so I wasn’t worried about coming to the end of my treatment and needing extra aligners.

(Wearing my aligners)

I chose my payment option and ordered my aligners, pending approval of my treatment plan, and left with a free teeth whitening kit.  Within about 72 hours, I was able to view my 3D treatment plan online.  I was pleased to see that my plan was only 5 months.  In about 4 weeks I had my aligners.  I was so excited!

How my treatment went:

  • My first week was the most painful. I found that It was best to start a new set before bedtime.  They can be very tight at first and loosen as your teeth adjust.
  • My second week aligners cracked.  I was able to wear them, but had to be very careful.  I contacted them and they sent me a new set of aligners free, but I finished the week before they arrived.  I kept them just in case I needed them.
  • I had a couple sets of aligners that were sharp and cut into my gums.  I used scissors and cut the edge back.  I was able to wear them with no further problem.

So I completed my 5 month treatment plan.  Here are a few things I learned.  Always put your aligners in their case, or you may lose them.  Use the Chewies!  They help get the aligners into place when they are really tight.  You will have the worst dog breath ever in the morning.  Drinking anything but water with them on will really stain them, but I did it anyway because I wanted to keep them on as much as possible.  (That’s probably not a good thing, because it keeps sugars on your teeth.)  You will need to brush the aligners a lot.  You don’t realize how much food sticks to your teeth until you see your aligners.  Lipstick seems to find a way to stick to them too.  Don’t skip days because your teeth will lose progress quickly.

(Not Perfect Yet)

Were my teeth the perfection I envisioned?  Not yet.  They had moved a lot, but needed a little more work.  My front teeth are straight, but my teeth on either side of the front two still need to be turned more.  My bottom two are also still slightly crooked.  I immediately contacted customer service the day after my treatment was completed.  They scheduled me for a re-evaluation and I emailed pictures of my teeth.  Then I went in for another free 3D scan and waited for approval.  I received an email that I was approved for additional treatment at no additional cost.  I continued to wear my last set of aligners until my new tray came in.  My recent treatment plan is 2 months.  It took 4 weeks for my aligners came in, and I was pleased that the first set of the treatment fit wonderfully.  I didn’t want to lose any progress while I waited.

(Wearing my new aligners)

Overall, I have been very happy with the customer service I have received from Smile Direct Club.  My experiences at the Smile Shop, and through email and via phone have all been helpful and friendly.  I feel that I am receiving a good treatment plan, and can see the difference in my teeth.  They are very close to being perfect, and I can actually floss between all my teeth without difficulty.  Something that I couldn’t do before.  I can’t wait to have my treatment completed! I think Smile Direct Club is a great alternative to traditional orthodontics! If you think Smile Direct Club is for you, use my referral link and get your impression kit for half the price!

P.S. I will have to update you when I have finished these two additional months!