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Does SmileDirectClub work? (My 90-Day Update)

Does SmileDirectClub really work? In this post, I share my honest thoughts on my first 90 days of wearing my aligners and how it has worked for me.

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

Does SmileDirectClub really work?

I’ve gotten this question again and again in the last few months. And I wanted to give you an update on my honest thoughts and experiences with SmileDirectClub after 90 days of wearing my aligners.

Back in December, I posted an in-depth post about my honest experience with SmileDirectClub. In that post, I shared about how it works to get your teeth scanned, what the process is like, and what you can expect if you sign up with SmileDirectClub.

In May, I started wearing the aligners and I shared an honest review of SmileDirectClub with my initial thoughts on my treatment plan and what it was like to start wearing the aligners.

Smile Direct Club box

How to Get Started With SmileDirectClub

If you missed my earlier posts, here’s a basic recap of how SmileDirectClub 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.
  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.

What the First 90 Days Have Been Like

Honestly, wearing the aligners has been a lot less of a hassle and a lot less pain than I expected. Yes, I still feel them in my mouth. It isn’t as comfortable to talk.

My smile with them in looks a little weird to me (other people say it looks amazing; I think it looks like my lips are puffed out!). And yes, I don’t love having to take them out every time I eat or drink anything besides water.

But I have been so pleased with the results (more on that below!)

Do the Aligners Hurt?

I’ve gotten some questions as to whether the aligners hurt or not. I think it’s probably a little different for each person.

For me, I follow the suggestion to always switch to a new pair at night instead of in the morning. This gives you all night in your sleep to adjust to the new aligners. Usually within 24 hours of switching to a new pair, there is almost zero pain and only a little discomfort.

Does SmileDirectClub Really Work?

This is the most important question, right? I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you that I am seeing a noticeable difference in how my teeth look since wearing the aligners!

Also, it’s not just me who is noticing. I keep having people tell me how much of a difference they can see. In fact, just the other day someone who follows on Instagram wrote in and ask what kind of dental work I had had done because she works at a dentist’s office and could tell a marked difference in how my teeth looked!

I truly do feel more confident when smiling and speaking and recording live videos. I was never embarrassed of my crooked teeth; but I was conscious of them. It’s so nice to see them look so much straighter — and I’m not done with my treatment plan yet!

Smile Direct Club box

What I Love About SmileDirectClub

  • I love that the price is less expensive than getting braces. While it depends upon your doctor and insurance, you’re typically going to pay at least $3500 for traditional braces. The SmileDirectClub treatment plan only costs $1895 to $2290 for the entire process! And they do work with some insurance companies, too.
  • I love that I don’t have to go to appointments. Seriously, I know it’s silly, but it’s true. This was one big factor holding me back from moving forward with getting braces was the time involved going to so many orthodontist appointments.
  • I love that they are so thorough in explaining the process and setting you up for success. They send you emails with lots of details, they provide links to in-depth articles, and there is a booklet in your kit that answers all the questions you could have.
  • I love that you can take them out. Okay, call me weird, but the thought of having something semi-permanently stuck in my mouth that only an orthodontist can take out just makes me feel uncomfortable. I love that I can take these out a few times per day to eat and drink.

What I Don’t Like About SmileDirectClub

  • I don’t like that you have to take them out to eat or drink. You can only drink clear cool water with the aligners in. It can be a bit of a hassle to have to take them out every time to you eat or drink.
  • I don’t like that they seem to attract lipstick. I haven’t changed anything with my lipstick routine, but ever since I got the aligners, I have to be so careful about what lipstick I wear and how I put it on. Multiple times, I’ve discovered that
  • I don’t like that they feel unsanitary sometimes. It feels kind of gross to be taking things in and out of your mouth multiple times per day — especially when I’m out and about or am eating with friends. I’ve gotten better at being able to quickly take them out and stick them in the case, but it feels a little gross to do it in front of people. (Hey, I’m just being honest!)
  • I don’t like that my speech sounds and feels a little garbled. While it doesn’t sound too bad, I can’t talk as clearly as usual with the aligners in. Because of this, I’ve taken them out when I’ve recorded podcasts or spoken at a conference.

(Please note: The aligners are only going on your teeth. They aren’t doing anything with your jaw so they will not 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. This way you can get a scan and make sure you feel comfortable with going through this process.)

Smile Direct Club box

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. 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. Has SmileDirectClub worked for you?

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44 Comments

  • Mackenzie Foust says:

    As parents we often put stuff like this on the back burner for ourselves. I’m so happy that you decided to do this for yourself!

  • Holly Moran says:

    I can’t wait to see a side by side comparison of the before and after. Your smile has always been so pretty, but your teeth really do look great now!

  • Kenya says:

    Years ago I went the traditional route by visiting the orthodontist and paying FULL price for my aligners. I would go every few weeks for new aligners but in the end I was satisfied with the results. Now my son needs braces and I took him to the ortho and it was pretty much the same price that I paid years ago. I decided to take the plunge after flowing you. The visit at the Smile Direct office was pleasant and they answered our questions. The best part of all was the price was almost 1/2 of what I paid years ago for my aligners!

  • Wendy Waller says:

    I loved my aligners from smile direct club and I loved working with them until the very end. It’s not just suggested that you wear retainers. You really must wear the retainers or your teeth will not stay in place. Which I was aware of going in but no one contacted you to order them. I called when I got to month four and they said that was a good time to order then and they take a couple of weeks. Of course when I got the confirmation email it said 3-4 weeks. Then they decided 6 weeks. I’m over 7 weeks now and still nothing.

    My retainers have been delayed. My last set of aligners wore out quite some time ago. So my teeth are moving all over the place back to where they shouldn’t be and there is no amount of arguing, begging pleading, crying to these people that will get them to move any faster.
    A very simple fix for this would be putting in another set of the last of aligners you wear in your kit to hold you over in case they have production issues like they’re having right now.

    Even scarier to shut me up they sent me the whole month 5 which was my final months in the mail. I thought well that’s kind of wasteful but I can just put the last ones in my mouth and wait for these retainers to come. I opened up the package and it was definitely not my month 5 aligners. they were visibly crooked if I had put them in my mouth they would have moved my teeth completely out of whack. I don’t even understand how that happened. They labeled them exactly like my last month but they were definitely not my last month.

    I’m still waiting for my retainers and at this point I am probably going to have to go and get my teeth scanned again because by the time they come I will most likely not be able to put them in my mouth without damaging or breaking them.
    When you have problems you don’t get to speak to the doctor or your dental team. They just keep sending you cheery little email saying that they’re redoing things with the dental team and I’ll get back to you in 3 to 5 days. I’m not really going to go on any further.
    Up until the very end I was absolutely their biggest cheerleader now I have no respect for them after the way this whole situation has been handled.
    You’re supposed to be under the care of a dentist and you would think that he would be actually get on the phone and speak to you when things go this wrong but no. You get very nice polite people but people who can’t do anything to fix the situation.
    They really just completely dropped the ball after such a great start.

    • I am SO sorry you had that experience! I’m going to pass this onto Smile Direct Club to see if they can help you and refund some money or make this right for you. Thank you for sharing so honestly!

      By the way, they have been very clear with me that I’m supposed to order the retainers and get that set up and also that you shouldn’t throw out your last few sets of aligners in case something happens.

      • Afi Sanaa says:

        I am experiencing the same thing. I called the end of May for my retainers that I was suppose to start wearing June 28. Well it us July 11, 2019 and I STILL in my last week of aligners of the last month of treatment so that my teeth do not shift back. I asked for monetary compensation and all they offered was another free set of aligners that I would have to call in when I receive the ones I am STILL waiting on since June.
        I will go to a dentist and get wire retainers that last 5 years than keep ordering plastic retainers every 6 months at $99 a set
        I also have a slight lisp when pronouncing S words that I did not have when I started this process.
        It started out at a 10 but went to a 2. I was suppose to get retainers months ago and that set was made wrong. I was rescanned and given 3 months of treatment and now waiting on retainers again.
        I started this process September 2018. Was suppose to be done March 2019. Three more month of refinement and playing the waiting game again

        • I’m so sorry you’ve had such a headache! Ugh! But this is so good to know so people can be aware. Also, thank you for the tip on getting wire retainers from your dentist. I hadn’t thought of that!

        • We’re saddened to see this, Afi. We’d love to assist directly and we’re here to keep our Club members in the know about their shipments. We are shipping loads of orders and to check on the status of a particular one, give us a call at 1-800-848-7566. We are more than happy to help and appreciate that we’ve been given the chance to do so. Have a great day, Afi.

    • Lise says:

      That is terrible!

    • Ronda Roberts says:

      I used Smile Direct Club a year ago and have been very pleased. I wore braces when I was in middle school, but retainers were not offered. I had many problems with my bite and alignment that were fixed back then. My teeth stayed aligned until about 2 years ago I really started noticing it. I didn’t want to pay for a traditional orthodontist and all the office visits required and investigated SDC. It was a great fit for me and I have been in my retainers since this January. I am very pleased. I’m glad you decided to do it too. By the way I’m 60 years old and I deserve to keep my smile and oral health so it was an easy decision.

    • We are concerned to see this. As we learn and grow, our Club members continued patience is more important than ever. We are dedicated to assisting everyone in the best way possible and this feedback is important to us. We are working hard to ensure that orders are being shipped and delivered as promised and deeply appreciate the patience and understanding. Our dental team is available by phone or by online chat Monday through Friday from 9 AM – 6 PM CST. To speak with the dental team directly please call 1-800-848-7566 and ask the representative to speak with them. If chatting online is more convienient, this option can be found on our website. Thank you for allowing us to assist.

  • Tosha says:

    We are using SDC for my 13 year old. His aligners are on the way! Your in depth review was such a help in narrowing the process down! Thank you so much!

  • Christen Sparks says:

    I ordered aligners from Smile Direct Club when you first mentioned them at the end of last year. I was so happy with the results! I loved the whole process up to ordering the retainers. They were so helpful with everything until it got to the retainer part. I never got any kind of notice about when to order them, so I called to order them when I had 10 days left with my last set of aligners. They said it would take 2 weeks to get my retainers. After 3 1/2 weeks, I had not received any communication from them, so I called back. They then said that retainers take 3 weeks, but they would escalate my order. After 5 weeks (which was this past Monday) I called back and they said my retainers are set to be mailed on Friday, but it would take at least a week to ship to me. If I get them then, that would be 6+ weeks from when I ordered them. My aligners didn’t even take near that long to come in. I’ve been wearing my last set of aligners for over 6 weeks! Just like the commenter above said-I was their biggest cheerleader until now. I would order your retainer 2 plus months before you need them, and make sure your readers know to do the same!

    • Yikes! Thank you so much for sharing your honest experience. I’m so sorry that happened to you!

      • Jennifer says:

        I’m finishing up a treatment plan with Invisalign through a local orthodontist and I love the results. Did Smile Direct mention that you’d need to wear a retainer at night for the rest of your life after your treatment plan ends?

    • Hey there Christen,

      We would love the opportunity to continue assisting with this issue. We appreciate the continued patience and understanding that our Club members have shown us. To ensure that the order is shipped as quickly as possible please reach out to us directly. We can be reached 24/7 by phone at 1-800-848-7566. We can also be reached by chat on our website or on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Thank you.

  • Barb says:

    I wanted to give you a tip regarding them being “unsanitary”. I wear a mouth guard at night. Someone told me to soak in a 1/2 and 1/2 solution of water and hydrogen peroxide when I am not wearing it. It kills the germs, cleans it and removes all the odor. If you find that yours have an odor, even soaking them in this solution for a few minutes would help. I have my son do this with his retainer now.

    • Thank you so much for sharing that!

    • Shelly says:

      Sadly, my migraines got SO bad when I used these aligners. So, I had to return them for a partial refund.

      That is no fault of Smile Direct Club. I am sure it is the same with any braces or aligners. Just something to consider for those who get migraines.

  • Terri says:

    I love Smile Direct Club so far. The Smile Direct Club mobile scan bus came to our town in May and I had the scan done. I am on month 2 of wearing the aligners and I can say for a fact they are working. When I ordered Smile Direct kit they said to order the retainers at least a month before you need them. But after reading the above comments I plan to order them at least two months in advance. Overall I think the process works and at a fraction of the cost and hassle of going to an Orthodontist’s office every month.

    I know all of my friends who have had traditional braces need to wear retainers at night for the rest of their life to keep their teeth from moving back crooked. That is just part of it. If I got in a situation where I couldn’t get retainers from Smile Direct Club I would be going to a dentist to get some created in order to save my teeth from moving. I would want to save the investment of getting straight teeth by making sure I had retainers to keep them straight.

  • Gail Cortese says:

    I always hated my one snaggle front tooth, actually it’s a lateral next to a front tooth. As I’ve aged both laterals began to stick out. Finally last summer I decided once and for all to do something just for me! I wanted to get a better smile and Smile Direct Club was my answer. I signed up in June, wore the aligners for six months, got a couple refinements and now a year later love my much improved smile! My upper front teeth are where they were when I was in my twenties. My lower front are 95% straighter, not 100% but very acceptable. The kicker is I’m 74 this next week! You are never too old to have the beautiful smile you had as a young person. I’m very happy! My hygienist was too because my gum tissue is fantastic. All that brushing, at least three times a day, keeps your mouth healthy.

    • Meg says:

      I’m SO happy to hear you’ve had such a great experience!! -Meg, MSM Team

      • Gail Cortese says:

        I wonder how many older people like me have done this program. So many of us had perfect teeth when we were younger but as we age our mouths change. This is an inexpensive way to get our smiles back. Like I said, you are never too old to have a great smile……and one that is yours, not implants nor dentures! 😊

    • YAY! I love hearing this! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Deb Derbin says:

    I tried the smile direct. Did not work as promised. I have called and emailed and they just tell me to start at a specific week. Do not recommend.

    • Did you try contacting them via phone and social media? I’ve found that sometime being vocal on social media and tagging a brand is an effective way to get their attention and get help.

    • Hello Deb,

      This comment is concerning to see and we’d love to assist. To ensure the case is handled, please reach out to us directly. We can be reached by phone at 1-800-848-7566. If chatting is a better option, we can be reached 24/7 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or by chat on our website. We look forward to assisting.

  • Cindy says:

    I have always wanted to do these but I’m a technical support engineer and I’m on the phone with customers all day long, so the part about not being able to speak clearly is a deal breaker for me! 🙁

    • Yes! The would be a deal breaker! I take mine out at least a few times per day when I’m recording a podcast or a video or to have a business phone call… because I feel like I just can’t enunciate as clearly with them in.

  • Jennifer says:

    We did Smile Direct for my son (15), in December, and when we got the reminder to order the retainer, we did so. We got his retainer right around the time he was supposed to be done with his last aligner. We were pleased with everything, and the cost was 1/3 of what we were quoted by the orthodontist and took 1/3 of the time as well.

  • Becky says:

    I did Smile Direct Club for myself a couple years ago and had an amazing experience. As someone who did not have braces as a child, it was a cost effective solution for me as an adult. The process went smoothly and I now wear retainer just at night. My teeth look much straighter than they used to, and I’m very pleased with the results. I plan to get them for my children when they are old enough.

  • Tina says:

    I am on month 5 of a 6 month treatment. I have always had crooked teeth in the very front and growing up my parents were raising 5 kids so braces were not in the budget. These are working great. It did take 4 months to receive my aligners initially but Smile Direct compensated me by giving me money off for the delay. My front teeth are almost straight and I’m so excited. I am glad by reading this post that it was mentioned that I needed to call to order my retainer ahead of time. I do not remember being told that so I did that first thing this morning. Also another benefit is that I’ve lost 17 pounds because as was mentioned you have to take the aligners out to eat, so I no longer snack at work and don’t want to have to constantly brush and floss my teeth all day so I eat less. Overall this has been a great experience and I can’t wait to see what my smile looks like at the end of this journey.

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