It’s been a full year since I’ve finished my Smile Direct Club journey for good. I originally started in late 2016 with a 6 month treatment plan, then took a year off before doing another 2-month plan last year for some fine tuning (which we’ll get into later in this post). Since I basically did the program twice, I consider myself a pro at clear aligners now and discovered so many tips and tricks to make the process go smoothly.
Keep reading for my clear aligner tips for Smile Direct Club beginners, whether you’ve already started your treatment plan or you’re still thinking of pulling the trigger.
If you want to know more about how Smile Direct Club works, my overall review and my before & after photos, check out this post here!
Tip #1: Don’t Pay Full Price!
Smile Direct Club is already a heck of a lot more affordable than traditional aligner companies that you might be offered through your orthodontist, but let’s get real. It’s still a good chunk of change! Luckily, with the code SlashedBeauty you can get 50% off your impression kit and $100 off your aligners. Be sure to use it at checkout on the website, or mention it over the phone if you’re signing up that way.
Tip #2: Have A Scan Done at the Smile Direct Club SmileShop
Smile Direct Club has expanded dramatically over the last couple years, and they have SmileShops all across the country. Having done both the at-home impression kit and a SmileShop scan, I would actually recommend going in person for the most accurate results. I know this defeats the purpose of a completely at-home process, but you’ll only have to go in once and it reduces the risk of ill-fitting aligners. If you mess up on your at-home impression kit, you may be asked to do it again, or you might end up with aligners that don’t fit you comfortably. I found the aligners that I received after my SmileShop scan to fit better near my gums. Plus, a SmileShop scan is free vs. paying an impression kit cost ($25 with my code).
Tip #3: Complete the At-Home Aligner Kit Quickly
If you do choose to go the 100% at-home route and opt for doing the impression kit, try your best to complete it as soon as you get it in the mail. It can take up to six weeks to actually get your aligners once you’re approved for a plan, so the quicker you get your impressions to them, the quicker you can start improving your smile! Same goes for when you’re doing an impression kit for retainers (if you’re asked for them). I let my kit sit on my desk for weeks before finally getting around to it, and I was kicking myself since it delayed me starting my program for so long.
Tip #4: Clean Your Aligners Often
Your aligners can start to look a little dingy after a while; they may begin to look cloudy or might even start yellowing. Aligners can also cause bad breath as they collect saliva all day. It can be tricky to figure out how to clean them, but I found the best product during my second SDC treatment. The EverSmile WhiteFoam is the easiest way to keep aligners clean, killing 99.999% of bacteria. You just pump the foam solution into your aligners, and then literally pop them back into your mouth! Spit out any extra foam and you’re good to go— no need for soaking or rinsing. The formula not only freshens your breath but actually helps to whiten your teeth on top of keeping your aligners clear and clean.
Tip #5: Keep an Extra Aligner Case in Your Car
If this is your first go around with any type of braces or aligners, then you’re probably not used to being tethered to an aligner case. I found myself constantly forgetting my case, leaving myself stuck in a situation where I had to discreetly wrap my aligners in a napkin at restaurants, also making sure a waiter didn’t come and throw them out by accident! It’s stressful. Just buy an extra aligner case, which are really cheap on Amazon, and keep it in your car or purse for these situations.
Tip #6: If You’re Not Happy, Ask for Refinements!
For whatever reason you’re not happy with your smile at the end of your treatment plan, let SDC know. They’re happy to have an orthodontist review your case and, if appropriate, extend your plan for free. As long as you stick strictly to your plan, however, they aren’t commonly needed. I ended up doing refinements almost 8 months after the finish of my first treatment plan. I had one tooth that was still sort of out-of-line, and was constantly trying to move back to its old spot (I could feel the pressure of it trying to move). I sent in photos to SDC, and an orthodontist approved my second, shorter treatment. You can learn more about my refinement process in this video.