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My Completely Honest Experience with SmileDirectClub

{This post is sponsored by SmileDirectClub and contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own. Read our disclosure policy here.}

I didn’t have braces as a child or teen. My parents looked into it, but the orthodontist had wanted to do pretty invasive jaw surgery and we decided against it because my teeth just weren’t bad enough for me to want to go through all of that.

But, in recent years, as my teeth have gotten a little more crooked, I’ve wanted to look into possibly getting braces. Jesse and I had talked about it multiple times, but the costs involved plus the time required to go to all the appointments and experience all of the discomfort — especially since I usually am on live video every single day! — just didn’t feel worth it.

Then, a number of months ago, I saw an ad for a company called SmileDirectClub. They seemed like the perfect fit for me:

  • It is done almost entirely remotely (saving the time and hassle going in for appointments).
  • Most treatment plans take 6 months or less.
  • And it’s lot less of a financial investment (as low as $1800 for the total process! And you can use coupon code MSMDEAL to save an additional $100!)

I did a lot of research into it and was excited to find that there was actually a SmileShop right near where we live — which I felt better about since it scared me a little to do the entire process remotely.

Now here’s where I get completely honest: I had put it on my calendar to set up an appointment with the local SmileDirectClub shop… but then life happened and months went by and I didn’t do it.

But when SmileDirectClub contacted me about possibly advertising on my site, it was the kick in my pants I needed to actually go do the initial appointment.

I wanted to share my experiences and thoughts here with this initial appointment for those of you who might be considering SmileDirectClub (or for those who have never heard of it but are intrigued now that I’ve mentioned it!)

If you have a local SmileDirectClub shop in your area, I’d highly recommend going in to the shop. (They have locations all over the US — click here to see if there’s one in your area.)

It’s free to get your smile scan — and it only takes 30 minutes!

After I set up my appointment (which you can do online in just a minute!), I was super impressed with the followup that I received.

They sent me a few reminders of my appointment, a video to let me know what I could expect when I went in, and a text reminder the day of with detailed directions on where the shop was and a photo to the outside so I could see what to look for when I got there.

I was greeted at the door by two very friendly staff members who went out of their way to make me feel welcome and answer my questions. For a place that advertises helping you improve your smile, they certainly know how to hire fun and warmly-smiling staff!

They explained the process of how SmileDirectClub works and then answered a lot of questions I had (plus, graciously let me take a lot of photos — and even offered to take photos of me, which you’ll see a little later in the post!)

If you’re wondering, here’s how the process works:

  1. You go to a SmileShop to get a 3D scan of your smile (it’s FREE!) OR you use an at-home impression kit (use coupon code MSMDEAL to get 50% off the price) to make an impression so they can build a 3D impression of your smile. (You can see what the at-home impression kit is below.)
  2. Your 3D smile is reviewed by a duly licensed dentist or orthodontist, who will guide your new smile from beginning to end.
  3. They send you a preview of your new smile showing how your smile will transform and begin production of your invisible aligners, as unique to you as a fingerprint. (You can see mine below.)
  4. They send you aligners in the mail that you wear 24/7 (except for when you eat) during a 6-month process. You change these out every week or every other week during the process. (They send you texts to remind you when you need to change the aligners). (Be sure use coupon code MSMDEAL to save an additional $100 off the cost of your aligners!)
  5. You work with a licensed dentist or orthodontist the entire time and they ask you to send periodic photos to help them make sure you are on track.
  6. At the end of 6 months, you can purchase a set of retainers for $99 to help maintain your smile. You just wear them at night to keep your new smile in place.

After they explained how SmileDirectClub works, they then took photos of my smile and then did a 3D scan of the inside of my mouth.

They were super informative the entire time — explaining what they were doing, telling me what to expect next, and making sure nothing felt uncomfortable.

The whole scan only took maybe 8-10 minutes and was very painless and simple.

When they are finished, it’s pretty cool to see exactly what your mouth looks like in a 3D model on the computer screen!

They sent me home with a bag of free goodies — including a free whitening kit that you connect to your phone to whiten your teeth (I can’t wait to try it out!)

A few days later, I got an email with my new smile available to view. It was super cool because you could see the progression of what the aligners would do to my teeth over a 6-month period. It was exciting to see how much better they could look!

(Note: Because the aligners are only going on your teeth and they aren’t doing anything with your jaw, they cannot correct overbites or other really misaligned teeth issues. You can take a 30-second quiz on their site to see if you are a candidate for their services based upon how your teeth are. I’d recommend getting a second opinion from a local orthodontist if you aren’t sure. I also would highly, highly recommend going into a local shop — that way you can get a scan and make sure you feel comfortable with going through this process and that the end results will be worth the investment.)

Want to try SmileDirectClub?

If you can’t go into a local SmileShop to get a 3D Scan done, you can order an at-home Impression Kit (shown above). Again, I would personally recommend going into a SmileShop as it’s completely FREE to do so and they do such a great job of giving you such a high-quality scan.

But you if you do end up ordering an at-home Impression Kit, use coupon code MSMDEAL to get 50% off the price.

And if you decide to sign up with SmileDirectClub, you can also use coupon code MSMDEAL at checkout to get $100 off the price of your Invisible Aligners.

Have you used SmileDirectClub before? If so, I’d love to hear your honest opinions and experience with it. And if you have any questions about the process, leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them for you or find out an answer for you!

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35 Comments

  • Sarah C says:

    all your smile club links seem to be broken…

  • Deidre Miles says:

    My husband and I both just signed up for this too! He’s already received his kit and has been wearing them for a week and is very happy with how tightly they fit and how undetectable they are. I haven’t gotten my kit yet, but I’m excited! We had the same good experience with the exam as well!

  • Stephanie says:

    Do they take insurance for orthodontics coverage? Our policy is $1500 lifetime to orthodontics.

  • Brianna Sprague says:

    Did you decide to go through with the process?

  • Lori Lance says:

    The hygienist at my dentist’s office actually talked me out of trying Smile Direct. She said they only straighten the front teeth and can cause more problems with the back teeth as far as bite is concerned. I don’t know if this is true or not. I would be interested in hearing what the company had to say about it.

  • margaret says:

    Did you decide to use them?

  • Lisa says:

    Is wearing the retainers to maintain your smile something that would be an on-going commitment? Maybe that is also true of traditional braces? I’ve not had any experience with braces and whether the end result of those also requires ongoing maintenance.

    • From what I understand, that is recommended for both braces and for SmileDirectClub.

      • Sarah says:

        Yes – I had braces from 2009-2011 (in my early 20s) and have worn my retainers ever since, and even had a new one made after breaking my jawbone and a tooth, having jaw surgery and having a bridge placed to fill the gap. Definitely wear your retainers! I have a permanent one on bottom and top front teeth and a removable top one for night.

    • Susan says:

      Yes, if you don’t wear a night retainer after orthodontic work, your teeth will move, thus negating the effect of the treatment. All three of my children have had braces. Two of the three have worn their retainer at night, since the day they got their braces off and have maintained their results from the braces. One child did not wear the retainer after a while and her teeth have started to shift, causing her to want to go back to wearing the retainer.

    • Michelle says:

      The aligners are actually made by the same manufacture as Invisalign and 19% owned by Invisalign. You can look up the press release. http://investor.aligntech.com/news-releases/news-release-details/align-technology-supply-non-invisalign-clear-aligners

      So if what they told you is true, then they should say the same about Invisalign which they are probably selling in their office.

      I do not work for either company nor am I in the industry. My husband started his a few weeks ago and I’m waiting for mine in the mail. We just did the research instead of paying the $5600 my dentist quoted me for Invisalign even though I had minor shifting after having braces 20 years ago. I highly recommend doing the scan if you live near an office. Invisalign is actually now trying to copy SDC and start pop up centers with scans.

  • Roxanne says:

    To me, the most important part of a review is how the product performed. Have you used these to correct your teeth? Did they work?

    • This was just the review of my initial thoughts and the initial exam. I think I am planning to go through with this and take you along the journey with me since it seems like there’s enough interest in that! Stay tuned!

  • I looked into Smile Direct Club myself. The problem for me is that there are no locations near me. Like you, I’m very uncomfortable doing it all on my own. I decided to go with Invisalign because after much research. it’s very important to have an orthodontist over seeing the process.

    The trays slip and don’t work properly if you don’t have what they call “buttons” placed on your teeth. Not to mention the other things the orthodontist may need to do. I needed my teeth filed in between a bit because my teeth were crowded. You can’t do that without an orthodontist. My friend did Smile Direct Club and her teeth are so tight, it’s uncomfortable.

    My teeth need very minimal work (I had braces as a child). I only have 6 months of trays. Now that I have Invisalign, I’m so happy I didn’t do Smile Direct Club. I have insurance with orthodontic benefits but the insurance company wouldn’t cover Smile Direct because it’s at home ortho.

    Anyway, It’s a cost saving option but not worth the savings. I got my full ortho benefits with Invisalign and ended up getting my tray aligners for less than Smile Direct Club.

    Just wanted to share because I too was tempted at the price. Those that don’t have insurance should proceed with caution. My niece also used Smile Direct and still couldn’t achieve the smile she wanted.

    Just trying to be truthful with this because your teeth are super important. It may work for some but it doesn’t work for everyone.

  • Heather says:

    Just sharing my experience … I had braces as a teenager but my teeth had moved as an adult. I tried to use Smile Direct Club and do the impressions myself since we don’t have a store nearby. I attempted the impressions three separate times, and they rejected them every time. They never told me what I did wrong — just sent an email saying that the impressions weren’t accepted. I finally ended up going with Invisalign and was happy with the result. I lost all the money that I invested in impressions with Smile Direct Club.

  • Heather says:

    If you decide to do Smile Direct Club or another similar company, I highly recommend investing in the retainers following the treatment. My sister in law went with a “quick” treatment plan as an adult and her teeth have moved terribly afterwards because she didn’t maintain retainer use.

  • Kathy says:

    I mentioned this to my dentist when I had my teeth cleaned and he said the same this a previous commenter said. They straighten teeth but do nothing for a bite problem. The aligners could actually cause more harm than good by messing up your bite. That scared me away. I would love to know what they tell you about that part of the process. Keep us informed. Katht

  • MrsLisa says:

    I received an email from them earlier today. I made my appointment for Monday. The email contained a code to get the visit free, and I should receive a $25 digital Amazon card on top of the free whitening kit. 😊

  • Mary says:

    I’ve always been self conscious about my teeth! This option might be affordable for some with minor crookedness. Even a 10 tray of Invisalign can cost $4,000-$5,000! Invisalign also doesn’t correct bite. I have always liked your smile and teeth and thought your crooked teeth are cute. If your teeth have been an area that you’re self conscious of, it hasn’t shown. You shine and have a great smile!

  • Maria Vogel says:

    My daughter did spring aligners with our local orthodontist. They were only about $600. I would go with a local orthodontist. I can’t imagine the good orthodontists work for this company and have read bad reviews. Spend the money, get Invisalign and do it right!

  • Rebecca C. says:

    I had braces twice…long story…but wearing a retainer is extremely important no matter if the orthodontist tells you otherwise! I had the clear braces on top and they weren’t super noticeable. If you follow the orthodontist’s instructions well you can cut the time down that you wear braces a lot of times. I had full braces for a year and a half and they were fixing some major eye teeth issues and some bite issues. Don’t discount bite issues…getting your bite out of wack can cause a whole other set of issues later. Number one rule after braces is to always wear your retainer at night! In 14 years I can count on one hand the number of nights I’ve not worn my retainer.

  • Amy says:

    I just spent a lot of money on my kids braces. The time the orthodontist spend with my daughter was minimal but if I didn’t have his expertise, her smile would have only been superficial. He was able to decide what teeth to remove, how to line up the bite and what he did made a huge impact on how she looked afterwards. We tend to simplify Orthodontics. I paid for his knowledge on how to make all her teeth fit and how to have her bite line up, and most importantly the impact to her smile. Some people have straight teeth but their bite is messed up.

  • Heather says:

    I will be interested to see what you think after you have done it for a few months. My dentist wanted me to get braces, but I said no – my teeth are not that bad. I finally agreed to get retainers and I wear them every night. I call them my ‘teeth protectors’ since I know that I have always ground my teeth and clench at night and they appear to be protecting my teeth. Oh, and I was shocked that there was one available in northern Nevada.

  • Melody says:

    I waited until the age of 42 to do something about my teeth because similar to what you mentioned, my bite was off and back when I was a teen the treatment was to break my jaw, re-align and then wire my mouth shut for 2 months. I was terrified and never did it but have always wanted my teeth to be straight. I finally went with Invisalign. I was warned that it would only be a superficial fix and do nothing for my bite but I was okay with that. I just wanted the teeth to be straight! I was also told by my dentist that it could cause further bite problems. I was not overseen by an orthodontist for this treatment, only my dentist. A few month into treatment, one morning my jaw locked up. It was painful and scary! I immediately remembered the warning about messing up my bite. I did previously have TMJ problems anyway so this had happened occasionally before the Invisalign but this time was worse and did not correct itself quickly. The dentist told me that the shifting of my teeth was causing the muscles to tighten up and spasm. He prescribed me a muscle relaxer which did end up releasing the pressure but did not totally fix weird jaw alignment for quite some time. During this time, I continued treatment because I felt I should see it through but was worried that I had seriously messed up and would have problems with my jaw for the rest of my life. I tell you all that scary stuff just to say that my story has a happy ending. After I finished treatment, my jaw went back into place and I have had no further issues that were not typical to begin with. I love the way my teeth look and do not regret getting them done. No, my bite is not fixed but if my teeth are straight, I don’t care. I mainly tell you this to encourage you that if anyone reading this does experience problems with TMJ issues during treatment, it’s possibly only temporary. Also, yes, WEAR the retainers consistently no matter what type of straightening you go with!

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