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Of all the things that a person can get complimented on in a day, my smile is my main one. I constantly hear, “Your teeth are so straight,” “You have such a nice smile,” or “Your teeth are so white.” I attribute this compliment to my decision to use a teeth straightening company. Some common examples of these type of companies are Invisalign & Smile Direct Club.
Throughout this post you’ll see some journal entries and close-up and personal pictures of my mouth (sorry in advance for the jump scares). I know, for me personally, these are the type of stories, pictures, & processes I would have loved to see while figuring out my best option.
I had the idea to to straighten my teeth for about a year before actually moving forward with it. The best advice I can give to someone before looking into teeth straightening options would be to:
Table of Contents
Fix Any Teeth Issues Before Straightening
July 10, 2017 (Monday)
After taking care of Bailey and watering the plants I went to my dentist appointment. Before my dentist numbed me to do my 2 crowns he said “you know what you are paying today” and I said “Yeah, I got something in the mail and it’s like $60” and he said “No, it’s way more” and I said “how much is way more?” and he said “Each crown is going to cost between $400 and $500” and I said “Out of pocket?” and he said yes. I asked if I could have a minute to decide. I went outside and I know I can pay it in cash from dog sitting so far but I was saving that money to do a variation of Invisalign but I couldn’t do Smile Direct club if anything like that if these needed to get fixed anyways so I went through with both and then went home to pay the $872 in cash before going to work.
13 Months Later, I Was Ready to Commit to Smile Direct Club
August 31, 2018 (Friday) –
I have been thinking about doing Smile Direct Club for a little over a year now because I have 2 teeth at the front of my mouth that are crowding and therefore being pulled forward. They are super minor, and oftentimes, people ask me if I had braces because my teeth are pretty straight for someone who never had them. Despite this I noticed those minor things so I made an appointment at 12 today for a scan at the King of Prussia SmileShop. I did my scan, put my debit card through, and in the next 48 hours I will have my scans and my personalized program of how my teeth will shift and how long it should take. 3 to 4 weeks after that I will get all of my invisible aligners in the mail.
[As you can see in the picture to the left, I had found a way to smile for pictures that had made my “Imperfections” hard to see when photographed]
Smile Direct Club: My Original Timeline
September 21, 2018 (Friday)
When I went to go in the house I saw a box with Smile Direct Club tape on it. It came just about 2 weeks earlier than expected so I was pretty excited.
I brought the box inside and went to put my first aligner in; it was a little snug so I had to use the chewies to bite it into place.
Each month for the next 5 months I will wear:
- New aligner for the first week of the month
- New aligner for the 2nd week
- Then a new aligner for week 3 and 4 so there will be three aligners a month for the next 5 months.
Black Triangles Forming with Smile Direct Club
October 2, 2018 (Tuesday)
I clocked out from work at my usual Tuesday time which is 2:45 but then stayed at work to use the laptop.
I got in contact with Smile Direct Club because I was starting to notice some very small black triangles on my lower set of teeth and when I looked at my projected outcome after my 5 month plan I saw that I may have a rather large black triangle between my 2 front teeth and in the middle of my bottom teeth.
Because of this, I called and made a consultation for Invisalign (because that is the same process as Smile Direct Club) but orthodontists are able to intervene to make changes and help aid in minor issues like black triangles where Smile Direct Club does not.
I will make my decision on whether or not I am going to cancel SDC and return my unused trays by the end of tomorrow when I finish my free Invisalign consultation.
Finding Out I Have an Overbite
October 3, 2018 (Wednesday)
After work, I went to my Invisalign consultation and when the doctor asked me to point out what I see wrong with my teeth, I pointed at 1 tooth on the top that juts out and a crooked tooth on the bottom. He said I do see those 2 teeth but you also have an overbite so he said that would be another thing he would want to add to the treatment.
Invisalign Treatment Timeline
He told me the treatment plan would be 12-18 months and that I may need some “attachments” or rubber bands (both of which I never heard of in the same sentence as Invisalign).
They told me the price would be $3, 960 but if I paid with cash or check there would be a 5% discount of $198, making the new total $3,762.
Smile Direct Club or Invisalign?
It took me about a half an hour to decide if I wanted to do it. The time frame was a little daunting (even though I know it is better for your teeth to shift slowly), and I was never really worried about my bite (just straightening), and I don’t really like the idea of having attachments and rubber bands for aesthetic reasons (even if it is necessary to get the ideal smile) but I know that if I spent this amount of money I would take care of the investment and wear my retainers every night and I know the earlier I start this process, the quicker I’ll be done.
I ended up saying I would do it but asked if we could please do the scans and pictures today to get the trays back to me as soon as possible. They were able to do so for me and we made an appointment 3 weeks from today as the initial insert appointment.
My Invisalign Projected Timeline
Returning Smile Direct Club Trays Within 30 Day Refund Timeframe
October 4, 2018 (Thursday)
After work I returned my Smile Direct Club blurple box via UPS and got a tracking number so I can see when they receive it to gauge if I will get my $1,700 returned to me before having to pay for my Invisalign.
3 Months Later – Finally on the Right Track
October 24, 2018 (Wednesday)
After work, I went to my Invisalign initial insert appointment where I paid for the treatment (in full so that I could receive the 5% discount), got my attachments put on my back teeth, and put in my first set of trays out of 14 (that will each need to be worn for 2 weeks). I was also given 2 Invisalign aligner cases (a red one and a blue one) and then was told I could pick one of the cases with my doctor’s information on it.
What’s the Matter? Dog Got Your Teeth?
November 23, 2018 (Friday)
I took out my Invisalign trays to eat some food this morning and when I went to go to the bathroom to brush my teeth before putting them back in and saw that Tuco had gotten a hold of my bottom tray.
It didn’t look like he had done that much damage so I washed them and tried to put them back in. They were not fitting correctly so I went home and put in my next tray (even though I had only been wearing the one Tuco got for 2 days) only on the bottom. Then I called my orthodontist and made an appointment for 1 PM so they can check the tracking of my teeth with my treatment.
They told me that my bottom teeth seem to be fitting really well into the bottom set of trays and advised me to just switch into tray 4 altogether. I was really excited to hear this because now I will be done with my original treatment plan 2 weeks earlier.
Thoughts 3 Months In…
January 20, 2019 (Sunday)
Around 7:45 I went to David’s house because he texted me asking if I wanted to do that podcast idea tonight. When I got there I talked to his parents for a little bit and then we went to his basement where he had 2 microphones, 2 headsets, his computer, and other techie things set up. We went almost immediately into recording and we conversed for 2 hours and 17 minutes about Invisalign, my dad’s and my smile, bridesmaid dress shopping, Brianna’s outlook on life, journaling, feelings the first time in a new location, the 10 year Instagram challenge, growing up on a farm, and how I am really good at making people feel comfortable (which is why David wanted me to be the first person he brought to talk and record it so that if he ever wants to bring someone else over I can make them feel comfortable). David also said that he wanted to do this recording with me because no one thinks in the way that I do. We wrapped it up around 11:30 and he sent me the audio clip before I left.
12+ Minute Conversation About Invisalign Topics:
- Reasons for getting Invisalign (originally, as opposed to now)
- Thoughts about perception of our looks at different ages
- “Do you think you’re changing as a person?”
- Social media’s effect on self-image
- Anxiety 1 month into Invisalign due to fear of losing my genuine-ness or my similar appearance to my dad
- Keeping all my trays (in case I wanted to wear them all backwards)
- The picture of me from Folk Fest that shows my teeth before starting (pictured below)
- People realizing maybe my teeth did need some straightening
Wearing Final Tray for 1 Month
March 27, 2019 (Wednesday)
I went to an Invisalign appointment at 1 today since I am done with my original 14 trays. I now have to wear my final tray for the next 4 weeks while waiting for the refinement trays to come in.
Taking Attachments Off
August 21, 2019 (Wednesday)
I had my Invisalign appointment today to determine if I would be needing more refinement trays or if I would be moving onto my retainer. He said he could give me more refinements but it would be for the smallest hairline change and decided he would just get me to the retainer stage of this journey. They were going to do the scan today but I said if my dentist said I may need to redo fillings on my back teeth I should do that first so I went and got them done as soon as they took the attachments and brackets off my teeth. I went to my dentist at 2:30 and it took them 2 hours to numb me up and get everything done.
Finished My Invisalign Treatment (Woohoo!)
October 2, 2019 (Wednesday)
After work I went to Orthodontics Limited just to make sure my teeth post Invisalign were still in the right place.