This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of SmileDirectClub. All opinions are 100% mine.
I am SO excited. So excited, you have NO idea. For many many many years, I have had one big regret in my life. And I am now in a position to make it right. When I was fourteen, I got braces. My teeth, up to that point, were like horrifically crooked fence posts that stuck out in all directions. I rarely smiled in photos because my teeth were something that made me really self conscious. So I have no pictures of what my teeth looked like as a kid. I was so grateful when my mother finally found a way to correct my smile. It would be very expensive and take several years, but she did what she had to to fix my teeth.
Fast forward a year. I was now fifteen, and most of my friends had already had their braces taken off, having started much earlier than I did. I felt like the only person in the world to have to suffer the indignity of a metal mouth. I was in high school and very self conscious, and my teeth (in my mind) had already been fixed. They were beautiful and poker-straight. My smile looked amazing, and I wanted the braces OFF. I wheedled my mom for ages, doing everything in my power to make her life miserable until she agreed to have them removed. We went to the orthodontist and said we wanted them taken out. They advised us against it, saying I needed at least another year, and another couple of years with a retainer. But I knew better, obviously. With great frustration they removed the braces, and I went away happy, with a perfect new smile that I loved.
Then my wisdom teeth came in. Suddenly, that perfect smile was gone. My front teeth were pushed together and became crooked again. One of my incisors suddenly stood out like a fang. I was so upset. While it wasn’t NEARLY as bad as when I was a kid, I was still really horrified that my beautiful smile was gone forever.
I thought vaguely about getting braces again as an adult. But the cost and the inconvenience were just not what I wanted to deal with. I resigned myself to a lifetime of a less than stellar smile. And then I heard about SmileDirectClub. This was a company that seemed to be EXACTLY meant for someone in my situation! They provide invisible aligners made for mild to moderate alignment situations for those aged 12+. It is a great solution for those who may have had braces but didn’t keep up with their retainer. Treatment can last between 3 and 10 months.
As you can imagine, I JUMPED on the chance to try it! The first stage of the process is you have to go on their site and take a free smile assessment. This takes less than two minutes – you simply answer a few questions about your teeth and your dental history. It is super easy.
Then, you complete an online photo-assessment, taking photos of your teeth (guidelines are provided) so that they can be viewed by a state-licensed dentist. Fair warning, this process can make you feel VERY silly (and make you look slightly insane)!
As you can see from my “before” photos, my teeth are not terrible. They are slightly crooked uptop, mostly due to crowding. I had my wisdom teeth removed last year, so hopefully once they are straightened, there will be no further issues with overcrowding.
Once your photos are assessed by the pros, they will send you a kit so you can take your own dental impressions. This is a simple process, though it can be slightly… shall we say… odd. You’ll be sent enough to do three impressions on each set of teeth, top and bottom. This will hopefully ensure that at least one set is done perfectly. There are very detailed instructions so that you can get as perfect an impression as possible. I’m pretty sure I messed up one set of my upper teeth, as I didn’t have have the tray placed properly. Even if you mess up, they will want you to send ALL impressions back to them.
I was a little grossed out by the drool factor of this. Having something that large in your mouth for so long (it takes 3 minutes to set) without being able to swallow means your excess saliva will come pouring out! So have a paper towel handy! But all in all, it’s a painless process that anyone can do. I sent my impressions back and within a week was told that I was approved for treatment! Hurrah!
SmileDirectClub uses proprietary, cutting-edge technology to help avoid office visits to your dentist/orthodontist, which can help cut costs up to 70%! I know one of the reasons my mom agreed to remove my braces early was due to the staggering cost of continued care. SmileDirectClub aligners cost a single payment of $1,500 (lab costs waived) or $250 down + $99/month for 15 months ($1,735 total). Other invisible aligner brands costs $5,000 on average! At the beginning, there is a $95 risk-free evaluation to see if you qualify. If you don’t, you get your money back. And with the aforementioned easy payment plan, it becomes completely affordable!
SmileDirectClub partners with licensed dentists and orthodontists who assess smiles remotely and prescribe treatment.
I was so excited as I waited for my aligners to arrive. It took a couple of weeks between when I was approved and when I received them in the mail. The great thing is that SmileDirectClub keeps you updated every step of the way. They send you emails every time they send you a package, receive your package, and when they need to let you know where you are in the process. Their correspondence is second to none!
When I finally received my first package, I opened it eagerly. Inside was a great guide alerting me to exactly what to expect. There were several small packages with everything I’d need for my first month of treatment.
There were three sets of aligners. Week one, week two and weeks three and four. Each set of aligners would gently but firmly place pressure on my teeth so that they were forced to move in the exact way that my dentist wanted them to move. Each successive tray is a tiny bit thicker than the next, and each will move the teeth slightly more. On the third week, the teeth will move, and the tray will be worn for two weeks to work as a sort of retainer, keeping the teeth in place until the next month’s aligners arrive. It’s all very exciting!
Also included in the package were a case for my aligners when they are not in my mouth (especially important if you have kids or pets, as it’s VERY easy to lose them!), a set of whitening creams, which you can use to make your smile brighter, and some simple tools you may need for your aligner.
The emery board is just in case there are any rough edges on your aligner. With my first set, I was getting a little bit of friction on my bottom set, and it was causing some pain in my mouth. So I simply filed down the front edge, and I had no more issues. The “outie” tool helps you to remove your aligner trays. I had to use this the first time I took mine out, as believe me when I say, these are VERY tight! Thankfully I learned how to remove them with just my fingers, so I no longer need the outie to help me. Finally, there are two sort of foam cylinders, which you will need to keep with you in your case, as they are necessary every time you insert your aligners. You need to ensure the trays are 100% adhered to your teeth. To do this, just grab one of the foam rolls and bite down on it with all of your teeth. I tend to chew mine like bubble gum for a few minutes. This is especially important before bed, as you want them to be perfect when you are asleep for eight hours!
The whitening products are great. I have extremely sensitive teeth and gums, so I can’t use them five days in a row as suggested. But after only one day, I noticed a great improvement in the color of my teeth! These are very simple to use. You simply brush them on your teeth three times a day. The product will sort of foam up and then disappear into your teeth. Easy peasy! And they really work!
The aligners themselves are seriously form fitting. When you touch them, you wouldn’t think they would be powerful enough to do anything. They are made of plastic, about the thickness of a soda bottle. And they are light as a feather. But from the first second I put mine on, it was apparent that these were going to be doing what they were supposed to.
So here’s what you should know. I’m now on my second set of aligners, having been using them for 10 days. Here are a few questions that my friends and family have been asking.
Does it hurt?
Yep. The first few days were brutal. My mouth was in agony, and I had to remove the trays quite often. I started mine before bed on the first day. I figured it might help me get used to them quicker. Instead, I woke up at 5 am feeling like someone had broken all of my teeth. I had to get up and remove them, as I couldn’t bear it. When I awoke again at 7 am, the pain was totally gone. It definitely takes some time to get used to them. I’d say it took me about five days before I could wear them without any issues. When I started the second set, I was worried. When I put them in, I felt that super tight feeling again, but to my surprise and elation, I never had to remove them. There was a brief discomfort, but no real pain. And within a few hours I had no issues at all.
Do you talk funny?
For the first hour or so, I had a lisp and couldn’t speak properly. But it didn’t last. In fact, on the second day, we went to a friend’s party, and when it was time to eat, I got up and said I needed to take out my aligner. My friend was shocked, as she said she had no idea I was wearing it! She said she was expecting me to be speaking funny. Thankfully that wasn’t an issue. I will say, though, that I do feel a little like I have to move my mouth in a stranger way with them in. More deliberate mouth movements to get the words out. But this has actually helped my elocution, so who am I to complain?
Are they really invisible??
Yep. Not a single person has been able to tell I had them in until I told them. My husband even came up and inspected my mouth close up to see if he could tell. He says he couldn’t even see them. I think he either trying to be nice or he wasn’t wearing his glasses. Because I can see them when I’m up close. But I’ve had photos taken and even done videos close to my face, and they are not at all noticeable.
Can you eat/drink with them?
Yes and no. You must not eat with them in, ever. They are not meant for that. When you need to eat, you must remove them, rinse them under cold water (never hot!) and place them in your case until you’re ready to reinsert them. You also need to be brushing your teeth and flossing before you put them back in, otherwise food and bacteria will get trapped in there, and that’d be bad for your teeth AND the aligners. As for drinking, you can absolutely drink water with them in. But if you’re thinking of anything colorful or hot, think again. No coffee, no tea and nothing that isn’t clear. You can discolor or even shrink the aligners! Yuck!
Can you see a difference?
Hmm. It’s hard to tell. I can definitely see that they are whiter thanks to the whitening product they sent me. That’s always a surefire way to feel better about your smile, right? As far as the teeth themselves, I think I actually DO see a difference. It’s VERY minor, but I feel like the teeth have shifted ever so slightly. You know how when you bite down with your teeth together, they naturally fall into place? And if you ever so slightly move your jaw, your teeth feel really weird because they’re not in the same place as usual? That’s how mine feel. Like they are ever so slightly out of place. I guess we can take some photos to see if a difference is noticeable?
If you want to know more about how it works, you can see for yourself on their website. I am so stoked about this whole process. Getting my teeth fixed has been on my bucket list for more than a decade! I’ll be sure to share more of my journey as I go, so be sure to check back for an update. For now, I’m going to keep smiling as I get used to my awesome new teeth!
Use code AMOTHERTHING to get 50% off the cost of the SmileDirectClub evaluation so you can get started on the smile you’ll love!