Recipe for a confident smile...
It wasn't until my early 20's that my bright and happy smile started to dim. It was pointed out by someone close that my teeth were "kinda jacked up and I'd be so much prettier if my teeth weren't so messed up". You can imagine how much that hurt to hear from someone I cared about. Funny thing is, I knew my teeth were crooked, but it didn't really bother me before they said that. From that moment on, that was all I noticed when I looked in the mirror or saw a picture of myself. t wasn't until my early 20's that my bright and happy smile started to dim. It was pointed out by someone close that my teeth were "kinda jacked up and I'd be so much prettier if my teeth weren't so messed up". You can imagine how much that hurt to hear from someone I cared about. Funny thing is, I knew my teeth were crooked, but it didn't really bother me before they said that. From that moment on, that was all I noticed when I looked in the mirror or saw a picture of myself.
Fortunately the top wasn't as bad as the bottom teeth. It got pretty easy for me to smile and talk and NOT let the bottom teeth show. Most other people didn't even notice, and if they did, they didn't feel the need to point it out.
Now as most of you know, I am all about self acceptance and loving yourself where you're at. Sometimes I feel like such a fraud when I say that because in my own life it's a daily struggle. There are so many flaws I see that are terribly hard to accept. My teeth are one of them.
Being a military spouse, braces would most likely be an out of pocket expense, that includes Invisalign. When we were in Japan, I thought it might be the perfect time to get them. Then I saw the cost..... It would be at least double the cost as a dentist in the US and they might not even do it because it might take longer than the 2 years we would be there. Now we are in Italy and it's pretty much the same thing. I would have to go out in town and if I'm paying that much money, I'd rather have something like Invisalign. Unfortunately, that's not really a thing here among the Italian dentists.
Just when I had about given up and thought I was going to have to wait another 2 years until we got back to California, I stumbled on a company called Smile Direct Club. They offer a service similar to Invisalign at around 60% lower cost AND I wouldn't have to keep going back to pay for a dentist appointment each time they needed to check on the progress of my teeth. Could this really be as good as it sounds??
I knew we were headed back to New Jersey and New York in November, so I thought I'd just check to see if they had an office in either of the areas we would be in. Sure enough, there was an office ten minutes away from Rob's parent's house! I immediately booked an appointment!!
When we got to the office, we were greeted by the dental hygienist who would be doing my 3D scan. She took me through the process and explained how everything would work. As she did the 3D scan, she was very gentle and constantly checking in and asking how I was doing. It helped to ease any anxiety I had, my mouth is pretty tiny and I always have trouble when they do x-rays at the dentist.
The 3D scan has to be the coolest thing on the planet! I was blown away by this technology and how detailed it was! A state-licensed dentist or orthodontist then reviews my 3D scan, will determine my treatment plan and be assigned to my case.
The aligners come in one box, which is delivered to you within 3 to 4 weeks. The box contains all of the aligners you need for the next 6 months. You wear a new aligner every week (except for week 3 and 4, that is the same aligner worn for 2 weeks). They come labeled in a nice neat roll dispenser.
Every 90 days, I put on my smile stretcher and take progress photos to send to the dentist/orthodontist assigned to me. They will closely monitor my progress and make sure my teeth are moving as planned. The entire process takes about 6 months on average.
There are two different options for the aligners they have. Since they are so thin, flexible and basically invisible, most people opt for the 22 hour a day aligner. You only take it out to eat, drink and brush your teeth. The second option is for people who aren't able to wear it for 22 hours, it is a 10 hour a day aligner and you basically just sleep in it. This optíon can also take a few more months to correct the teeth. I will be doing the 22 hour a day aligners. I figure I don't talk much during the day, so maybe for the 2 hours I am teaching class if it bothers me to wear them while I talk and drink water that will be my 2 hour free time.
The Smile Store I went to gave me a free whitening pen with an LED mouthpiece to super enhance the whitening process. I think this might be an on going promotion. I believe when you get the box of aligners, you also get 4 whitening pens.
If you want to see if there is a Smile Store near you, check out their locations here No worries if you don't have one near you. You can order an impression kit they will mail you to make your own impression mold of your top and bottom teeth to send back to them.
If you have ever considered braces or Invisalign, but thought those options were to expensive like I did, I'd highly recommend you check out Smile Direct Club. For the next two weeks, you can even get $150 off by clicking here After the two week period, I think it goes to $100 off. As far as payments go, you either pay in full or there is a second option to pay in a payment plan.