Looking for an honest review of SmileDirectClub? In this post, I share my first month of wearing my aligners and my honest thoughts on the experience.
Note: This post is sponsored by SmileDirectClub and contains affiliate links. All opinions are 100% my own. Read our disclosure policy here.
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.
Psst! Missed my Completely Honest Review post? Read it here.
Why I Signed Up for SmileDirectClub
Many of you asked whether I had decided to go through with the SmileDirectClub treatment plan. I’m happy to report that I worked up the courage to move forward with getting the aligners. 🙂
As I mentioned in my first post, I didn’t have braces as a child. I often wish that I had when I am doing live videos and I notice my crooked teeth. So I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with SmileDirectClub and do an honest review of my experience.
My hope is that this honest review will help those of you who have considered trying SmileDirectClub make a very informed decision. In addition, I hope to help some of you who are considering getting braces be inspired to look into a less expensive alternatives.
By the way, my treatment plan is only supposed to be 5 months total, if all goes well. I should have a great new smile by my 38th birthday in October. I’m excited!
How SmileDirectClub Works
If you missed that post, you can read it here. Here’s a basic recap of how SmileDirectClub works:
- 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 SMILE2022 to get it for just $15) 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.)
- Your 3D smile is reviewed by a duly licensed dentist or orthodontist, who will guide your new smile from beginning to end.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 Month Has Been Like
I had prepared myself that the first month was going to be rough. Kathrynne currently has braces and I watched her suffer through a lot of mouth pain for the first few weeks after she got them.
To my great surprise, I’ve only experienced mild discomfort with the aligners. I’ve follow their instructions to put the new set on before I go to bed. My teeth have been somewhat sore, but nothing like what I expected.
When you first get your SmileDirectClub kit in the mail with all of your aligners, you go in to their website and set up your plan. You put in the day you started wearing them and then they send you email and text reminders when it’s time to change out aligners. This is perfect for someone like me who gets busy and might not always remember.
By the way, you are supposed to wear the first two sets for one week each and then the third set for two weeks. You repeat this every month.
I’m already about 12% done with my treatment plan — and I can already tell that my teeth have shifted and gotten straighter! YAY!
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.)
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 SMILE2022 to get it for just $15 out of pocket — and then FREE after $15 rebate!
Have you used SmileDirectClub before? If so, I’d love to hear your honest opinions and experience with it. If you have any questions about the process, leave them in the comments. I’ll do my best to answer them for you or find out an answer for you!
Thank you so much for taking your time to give such a detailed review! We really appreciate getting our readers feedback and experience with these products and services! -Jordan, MSM Team
I’m in my last (20th) week of the SmileDirectClub program, and I’m thrilled with the results. I really didn’t think I’d be a good candidate due to how much my teeth had crowded over the years, but they told me that I’d have a straight teeth smile in 5 months. And the price was right, as well. Some of the aligners along the way were more painful than others (although the pain always went away after a day or two), but you could definitely notice the progress with every switchover to a new set of aligners. I’ll be done with the program in a week, and have already ordered my retainers .
I would be careful before you order. We’ve had a lot of trouble getting the aligners, and haven’t been able to use the product yet. It’s now been 5 months that we’ve been charged, and we still have not received aligners.
They seem to be having logistical issues.
That’s so strange! I wonder if it has to do with everything going on in the world right now? Have you tried contacting customer service? -Meg, MSM Team
Karen D. says
My experience did not go as well as others. I went in for my initial consultation and did sign up for the program. Eagerly awaited my aligners and then got started. About 3/4 of the way through the aligners stopped fitting all the way on my teeth but I didn’t question it because they ‘know’ what they are talking about. At the end of it was I was not happy with the results and neither was my dentist so I called to complain. They were very helpful and asked me to come back in so they could check the aligners and my teeth. I went in and she looked at the aligners and said that the aligners not fitting was not uncommon and that they could fix that. I also pointed out on my pictures that my back teeth did not meet and that was a problem, and she proceeds to ask me why I didn’t catch that on the 3D rendering before. My response was that I’m not a board certified dentist or orthodontist and why didn’t their so called dentists catch it? She retook pictures of my teeth and got another set of aligners ordered and I went from there. The real problem comes in now when I’m trying to get my retainers. I ordered them on 11/21 and they gladly took my money but the retainers didn’t show up for 7 plus weeks and they were wrong. They are too short on all sides and if I wear them as is my back teeth will start to move. I called and finally got through to someone on the 16th, Jessica. She had me send in pictures of the retainers which I did along pictures of my last aligner so they could see how short the retainers are. She promised that she would see it through and get them taken care of. I’m now back on the phone with them and getting the run around because I still don’t have the corrected retainers and no indication that they’ll be sent any time soon. I’ve asked to talk to a manager but can’t because they are all busy. Joe took my information and put in a request to have one of them call me which I’m sure will not happen. I wish that I had never gone with this company because they are unprofessional and unreliable. If you do go with them good luck and be prepared to spend a lot of time on the phone trying to get your problems and issues resolved.
We are so very sorry that you had that experience. Thank you for sharing your honest feedback and review! -Jordan, MSM Team
Hi! I’m looking into this option since all my kids are paying the high fees to go to an orthodontist. I’ve put myself on the back burner but would like to solve my spacing issues. The only thing I’m not understanding is if you have to replace your retainers every six months for $100 a set how does that save money in the long run? My daughter is wearing the same retainer she got from her orthodontist three years later? I anticipate her retainer lasting a lot longer too. If I’m replacing retainers every 6 months at $100/set, I would’ve already invested $600 for 3 yrs of retainers-What’s the difference?
Crystal Paine says
Great question! I’d ask your ortho if they can create a retainer for you to wear longterm that doesn’t need to be replaced.
I went in for a consult when I saw an offer for a free $25 Amazon gift card just for attending the consultation, no need to buy. I went to the consult was impressed with the service, and seriously considered it, but didn’t buy them because they couldn’t fix the alignment of my back molars. Some time later I get an email with the amazon code. I input the code and amazon said it was invalid. I called smile direct’s number and the gal guaranteed I would get the code by midnight via email. No code was received. I replied to an email they sent offering me a discount on aligners to say that I feel that I can’t trust them with my money if they can’t even make good on a $25 promotion. I received an email saying they were looking into the gift card situation and I still haven’t heard from them. MoneySavingMom, if there is anything you can do to get me the $25 Amazon gift card code they promised I would appreciate it. Thank you.
Crystal Paine says
I’m so sorry you had that experience. I would recommend contacting the people where you got the consult from and seeing if they could help. Unfortunately, I don’t have a direct contact with SmileDirectClub… I only have the company that I work with that works with them and they said they couldn’t help me with customer service issues. 🙁 But definitely call the number again and talk to them and also contact the place where you got the consult from.
I have purchased multiple gift cards that were invalid, so I know it definitely happens. But it’s so frustrating when it does and SmileDirectClub should definitely make it right to you.
Thank you for your help Crystal. I appreciate the response. I will try again with Smile Direct one more time and see what happens. I can’t wait to see your new smile.:)
Ronda Roberts says
I used Smile Direct because I wore the actual metal and wire braces as a child, for 3 years! My teeth and jaw alignment were awful and also involved oral surgery. So the big stuff has been corrected. However my orthodontist didn’t push retainers for maintenance. For most of my adult life my smile was gorgeous and I just thought I’m one of the lucky ones that didn’t need a retainer. I was wrong. So about 2 years ago I noticed my teeth were shifting and wanted to stop the movement before it got too bad. I really didn’t want to pay $5,000+ to go to an orthodontist so I contacted Smile Direct. The plan was easy, my teeth and gums were tender for each new aligner I switched too, but nothing unbearable. Customer service was always responsive to my questions. It was a very good experience. I’m getting ready to purchase my second set of retainers and I still don’t have any complaints.
Emily C says
I just finished my 6 months with Smile Direct Club and couldn’t be happier with my experience. I had a 6 month plan, and did have some soreness, some gum tenderness and bleeding, but nothing dreadful.
Within the first 3 days of wearing my aligners, I could easily floss around every tooth – something that I had not experienced as an adult because of my crowding!
There is also a Facebook support group for clients and Perspective clients of Smile Direct, that anyone can join. It’s a great place to vent, commiserate and share photos.
Wow!! Thanks so much for sharing about your positive experience!! -Meg, MSM Team
For families with children needing orthodontic work, there are two organizations that offer a ‘scholarship’ of sorts for braces depending on family income and the needs of the child.
We were so thankful for our teenager to be able to have braces at a substantially reduced cost. The two organizations are:
Smiles 4 Life: http://www.s4l.org and Smiles Change Lives: http://www.smileschangelives.org.
The application process is involved, and you do have to submit proof of income, but our total cost was under $1,000 for the entire treatment. Local orthodontists donate their time. It’s really a neat program.
Crystal Paine says
Thank you so much for sharing those great tips!!
Kristin C says
I wanted to thank the poster for this! We applied after I read about it and my sister (12) just received braces through one of these programs before Christmas! She would NOT have had the opportunity to have them without this program!
Crystal Paine says
Oh! I am so grateful to hear this! YAY!
Yay! We’re so happy she has this opportunity! -Jordan, MSM Team
Melanie Johnston says
Thanks for the shout out; we love helping kids! Founded in 1997, we’ve been able to help over 12,500 kids get healthy smiles. It’s great hearing their stories about the things they try with their new confidence.
What is the total cost?
Crystal Paine says
Like I mentioned in the post, it’s $1850 to $2170 depending upon which plan you choose.
Do any of you that used SmileDirect think it’s a good system for a 12 yr old to do or would you go the conventional way?
I went for my initial exam, told them we would paying cash, but that we’d be saving for it (i.e. “I’m not buying today.”) They sent weekly emails afterwards for *several* weeks, each with a different discount. The first few weeks, it was $100 off. A month later, it was $150 off. Meanwhile, I just kept ignoring the emails because I was waiting til the cash was saved. About 2.5 months after my appointment, I received a coupon code for $300 off!! We had the cash by then, so I jumped on that discount. So, if you’re ok with waiting, you may end up getting a great coupon code. I’m curious to know how much more of a discount they would have offered if I’d waited even longer, lol.
Crystal Paine says
I had heard that they would do this so I waited and never got offered more than $300 off. I heard someone say they were offered $500 off, but I never was. So I think you got a great deal!
To Crystal—I’m looking into this for two of my boys with minor teeth issues. Are you still satisfied? Explain your retainer situation— as in, did you get a permanent retainer or are you replacing it every 6-12 months?
Crystal Paine says
I’ve been very satisfied. I didn’t get a permanent retainer… yet.
I received received $350 off and a free set of retainers.
How long did you wait for the $350 + retainers?
Cheryl Cameron says
About two months
mine were 1600, i procrastinated about it and they gave me a last chance 250 off…… i have 4 weeks to go and just called for my retainers, they are 98 each, buy two get a free one. They said wear them at night only and recommend a change each 6 months.