My Journey to Straight Teeth: Week 1 with SmileLove

All opinions in this blog are 100% truthful and my own.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve disliked my teeth.  My bottom teeth are severely crowded/crooked, and my top aren’t much better.  How they are arranged also leads to my slight overbite with an oddly shaped that appears between two teeth when I smile.

I come from a lower-middle class family and braces were never in the budget (and especially not insurance for orthodontics.)  And even as a child or teenager, I was too self-conscious to be fully wanting braces.  When I was a teenager, invisible aligners came to the surface, but Invisilign was the only known brand… and they cost as much as braces.  It just wasn’t in the cards for me.  College came and went, along with my massive student debt that followed my undergrad experience.  Straight teeth just didn’t seem to be in the cards for me.

Fast forward to a random night in November of this past year.  The thought of getting invisible aligners resurfaced when all of the ads were popping up on Instagram and I decided to do my own research.  A few brands kept popping up that seemed to have good reviews and were reasonably priced.  I decided to reach out to SmileLove.

So, why did I initially decide on SmileLove?

  • Price: loved that SmileLove had a bundle option.  I chose to go with the fast track option, which saved me $100.  This option allowed me to order the impression kit and aligners at once.  Not only this, but it comes with retainers and a whitening kit at the end.  A lot of the other brands I looked at did not include these and you had to pay for them separately.  The aligners right now are just $1,420, add on the coupon code I’m about to give you and it brings it down to $1,320–$500 cheaper than ANYWHERE else out there.  You can also buy the impression kit separately for $79 and split the payments up monthly.  If you want to save $100, you can also use this link or the code MSLAGROW at check-out.
  • Money-Back Guarantee: I was nervous that my teeth wouldn’t qualify.  These babies are crowded, y’all–like I have teeth in front of other ones.  I loved the fact that if I wasn’t happy with the preview they gave me, I could get a full refund, no matter what pricing plan I did.  I ended up being happy with my previews, and I’m on Day #2 with my aligners!
  • Customer Service: I also read rave reviews about their customer service and that you could text them anytime.  I hate talking on the phone, but I’m still a really impatient person when wanting to know something.  Naturally, I loved this.
  • No Appointments: Some “cheaper” aligner companies still want you to go to your dentist or come to their offices.  As a teacher, my sick days are my babies.  I also have a mountain of other health issues, and I really didn’t want to take more time out of my day to write lesson plans and have someone look at my teeth for a few minutes.  Everything I do with SmileLove is completely virtual and through the mail.

The Impression Kit

img_0991Not long after placing my order, this slim box showed up at my door.  The booklet that came with it was detailed.  I had zero questions about what to do because it was so thorough.

The impression process basically comes down to this: You use the practice putty (orangeish color) to take impressions before you mix the blue/purple and white putties and make a permanent impression.  They also encourage you to text your practice impressions to them before you try final ones so you don’t waste putty.  You also take several photos using one of those smile spreaders (think the hilarious “Speak Out” board game) and upload them online.

I thought the practice putty was a silly concept, but I was very wrong.  It took many tries to get it aligned perfectly with the right amount of pressure.  Better yet, I had a bit of a freak out during mine–the trays hurt to put in my mouth.  I texted the number that came with the kit, on a Saturday evening, and received an answer within an hour.  Turns out, my mouth is just tiny and they sent me smaller trays for free.  Talk about customer service.  I received the new trays quickly and no pain at all during the impression process.

Oh, and here’s one of the embarrassing photos of my teeth.  A true before photo.

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The Preview

One of the things I love most about SmileLove is how many updates they give.  They updated me the minute they received my impression kit, told me when to expect my preview, and I received it in that time frame.  The preview was interactive and I could toggle between before/after images from all different angles.  And just look at the picture of my teeth, compare it to the “after” image below, and know they figured out a plan to be done in ten months.  I.  Am.  Pumped.

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The Aligners

I received my aligners yesterday.  Each set was clearly labeled for when to use them.  There were also little tools included to file down any edges that may irritate gums, help remove tough aligners, a case to put them when you’re eating, and “chewies” to bite down on to tighten them after you put them on if needed.  I also love that they included a detailed break down of what teeth it’s straightening each set.

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Like I said, it’s Day 2 for me wearing aligners, so I’m no expert, but I wanted to be a resource for those who want a reliable person going through something that they may want to.  The aligners truly are invisible (I put a picture below for proof) unless you’re looking up close in a mirror.  It is a very weird feeling for about a day, but I’m already used to them being on.  I did wake up with a bit of pain, but it was bearable.  I ended up taking some Ibuprofen and felt nothing, so keep some pain relievers on hand.  I’ve heard it can get worse when they really start to shift.

The oddest thing to get used to is eating habits.  You have to take these out any time you eat and brush afterwards.  You also cannot drink coffee, tea, red wine, or pop (soda for any southerner reading this.)  I also did a lot of reading on the internet and you really shouldn’t drink anything but water in your aligners due to bacteria/plaque build-up underneath them.  If you need to, a straw and swishing with water between drinks should be fine.  But let me tell you, I’ve done a lot less snacking since I’ve had them in!

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I also did a lot of Googling to figure out “must haves” and put them all in a handy little “kit” persay to keep in my purse.  So I’ll show you what I made and why I’m going to be carrying this around on a daily basis.

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  • The case, chewies (inside case,) file, and removal tool came with the aligners.
    • I did just use the file for the first time.  There is a little part that is annoying me on the back of one of my aligners as it pokes my gums a little.  I just filed it slightly and it feels better!
  • I got the little make-up bag in the Target Dollar Spot (my fave) for $3 to hold it all.
  • Travel toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouthwash: You will have to brush after every time you eat.
  • Dental Flossers: Once again, you will need to brush after every time you eat, so flossing is important.
  • Colgate Wisps: I feel like there will be times where I physically can’t or really don’t want to brush my teeth in a public bathroom or I’m on the road.  These are a quick way to brush your teeth without water.
  • Chapstick (or, my favorite, Burts Bees): I’ve heard your lips can dry out easily, maybe if you’re just not used to having a little more in your mouth.  Plus, my lips are just chapped in general right now.
  • (not pictured) Pain Reliever: Your teeth are literally shifting.  You may feel pain.  I have only had a little and it was overnight so far.  A pro tip I’ve heard is to put in your new set of aligners before bed so all of the awkwardness gets out of the way overnight.

 

TL; DR: I love SmileLove so far.  It’s cheap, convenient, and the customer service is out of this world.  You can also save $100 on yours by using the code MSLAGROW at check-out or ordering through this link.

4 thoughts on “My Journey to Straight Teeth: Week 1 with SmileLove

  1. Hi Ashley, how long after viewing your treatment previews did you receive your aligners? I am also curious to see your progress since you started 2 months ago.

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    1. It took about two weeks I’d say! It’s pretty quick! I also am posting an update in about a month but WOW. I had a big gap before when I smiled (more of a “hole”) and it’s already gone! Not straight quite yet, but no gaps. 🙂 VERY impressed! I am on Week 10.

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  2. Hello! I enjoyed reading this. I’ve already been turned down for Byte and I do have crowding on the top and bottom so I’m not sure whether I’ll be a candidate or not. I would certainly love to go this route other than Invisalign or traditional braces. How long did it take you after you mailed off the impression kit from the time whether you knew you had been accepted and saw the 3-D model?

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    1. Hi Heather! It was very quick. From sending the kit in to a 3D model I believe it was within two weeks. Their customer service has been phenomenal. I also only have two more weeks in my treatment and am VERY happy with the results. Both my top and bottom were crowded. I will be doing a blog at the end as well!

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