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Despite having very crooked bottom teeth for as long as I can remember, I’ve always liked my smile. I never wore braces, and I liked the way I looked in pictures. Works for me, right? Well, it turns it out it does not work so well for my dentist.

While I thought getting braces at this point would be strictly cosmetic (and therefore not necessary in my mind), a recent visit to the dentist for a regular cleaning proved me wrong.

More than once, I have gotten floss stuck between my teeth and had to slide it out. Not a big deal, right? Surprise – wrong. My dentist informed me that, while the crowding I have is little more than inconvenient right now, it would likely continue to get worst, leading to scary things like gum disease. No thanks!

I knew I didn’t want to go the traditional braces route; I like my smile well enough and didn’t think the changes I needed were that extreme. Plus, it was the most expensive option. PLUS, I’m almost forty! Just no.

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Assuming the ads are nationwide, I’m sure you’ve been bombarded with Smile Direct Club ads as much as I have lately. I try to be very careful and do my homework when it comes to big purchases, but they definitely piqued my interest. Luckily, there is a brick-and-mortar SmileShop not too far from my office, so I decided to check it out.

I made an appointment online and headed over after work one day. My “SmileGuide” was very nice. An aspiring dentist herself, she completed my scan easily and explained the process clearly. Still hesitant to pull the trigger, I explained that I wanted to do a little more research and think about it. I didn’t feel any pressure at all and went on my way.

Sure, I started getting sales-y emails – one even included theoretical before and after scans of my teeth – but I also scoured the internet for reviews. There aren’t a ton of blog posts about it, which surprised me, and the reviews on sites like Yelp were decidedly split, the negative ones mainly focusing on poor customer service experiences.

In addition to looking for reviews, I also searched for discounts. I knew I didn’t want to do a payment plan, but the thought of charging close to $2,000 freaked me out, too. I found a code that brought it down to $1700, and after talking about the options with my husband, decided to pull the trigger.

A lot of the service complaints were about how long it takes to receive the retainers once the payment is taken, but (a) I wasn’t exactly in a hurry to get started and (b) that’s not the kind of thing you want them to rush. For me, it was about seven weeks between when I placed the order and when that big purple box arrived at my doorstep. They estimate 5-6 weeks, so it wasn’t too far off.

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My plan is meant to last about seven months, and I’m currently three weeks in. Every Friday night, I switch out one retainer for the next, slightly tighter one. They’re pretty uncomfortable, especially for the first couple of days of each new one, but I didn’t really expect anything else. They are literally moving my teeth, after all.

I will spare you pictures of my actual teeth for now, but in theory, my bottom teeth will go from this:

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To this:

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…by the fall. Not perfect by any means, but much, much better.

Did you have braces growing up? How about as a grown up? Any experience with SDC? Fingers crossed, and see you in the fall!

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