Hello, I'm Agent G, Chief Editor of Beauty Undercover.
Teeth has always been an area of insecurity for me; I remember people calling me rabbit teeth in primary school as my teeth protruded quite a bit. I was fortunate enough to get braces in Secondary School but lack of discipline in using aligners meant that shifted out quite a bit in the last 10+ years.
This made me feel rather self conscious, especially when taking photos of my side profile.
Even from the front, the rabbit teeth can be obvious at times!
In fact, I feel it shifting outwards more and more over the years, so much so that it's almost impossible to take a photo without opening my mouth.
Was it time to go for another orthodontic procedure?
With most people WFH, I finally decided to do something about this early 2021: go for clear aligners.
Other than the fact that they had lots of testimonials and looked legit, I was glad to find out that the process with SmileDirectClub was much more hassle-free. Unlike my previous braces or other aligner alternatives, SmileDirectClub didn't require me to physically go to the dentist multiple times ; it is sufficient for me to head there once for the 3D scan and that's it. Prices at SmileDirectClub were also competitive and much lower than Invisalign, so that's where I went.
My first visit to SmileDirectClub confirmed the fact that I had a bit of an overbite issue.
My upper set of teeth couldn't comfortably overlap with the lower set of teeth, causing it to protrude quite a bit. As my Smile Consultant explained, fixing my teeth alignment with Aligners can help with minor cases of overbite.
With the help of a professional dentist, my Smile Consultant performed a 3D scan. After the 3D scan, the professional dentist then reviewed and approved the following plan to move my teeth inwards.
All that was left was wearing the clear aligners for the next 4 months. NGL, that part was not so fun. As you may have read here, I can't drink or eat anything other than water with the aligners on so I have to bring the aligner case whereever I go.
That helped me slim down for sure but I was really glad when the end of the four months came.
Want to see how much my smile has changed?
#nofilter #nomakeup photo of my side profile
My teeth used to be protruding and pointing downwards at a 15 degree angle. What the aligners did was to shift my bottom set of teeth inwards and make my upper teeth straight so that they can now rest comfortably on my bottom teeth.
No matter which angle I turn, my teeth looks normal now... bunny teeth no longer!
Ah simple pleasures like closing my mouth without showing my teeth and having people look at my side profile without feeling bad... Those who have buck teeth like me will understand how miraculous this moment is!
I'm just glad the aligners took the insecurity away.
While money can't buy happiness, it's amazing how much confidence $2,500 can give with the aligners!
As a side benefit, I felt that the teeth alignment changed my face shape. After correcting for the overbite, my jawline was more noticeable and my face actually became slighly slimmer thanks to that!
For someone like me who doesn't dare to go under the knife, this is a great way to improve facial aesthetics and dental health at the same time!
The only bummer? This is not the end.
These 4 months of aligner-wearing is not sufficient to keep my teeth straight for the rest of my life. What do I have to do AFTER the aligner treatment? Read on to find out.
My teeth has reached its desired position but this doesn't guarantee that it will stay there forever. According to SmileDirectClub, what I need is to do next is to wear retainers to make sure that my teeth do not drift out of position.
You can choose to get a retainer anywhere but logic dictates that I get it from the same people who provided me with the aligner treatment: SmileDirectClub.
The retainer itself cost an additional S$120 and is expected to last 6 months. The best part is that I don't even have to head down to their clinic to order the retainer; everything is done online! This is possible as they will emulate the last aligner in creating your retainers.
As some customers need to go for refinement, it is advisable to purchase the retainer only after your treatment is complete.
Don't throw away your last aligner in happiness even if the treatment is over though. The new retainer arrives only after 6-7 weeks; in my case I ordered it on 17 May and got it on 28 June. This means that I've got to wear my last aligner for 7-8 weeks before the retainer arrives.
While it may sound like a genius plan to use the last aligner as a retainer, that's not exactly the best idea in the world. That's because the aligners are too soft and do not apply enough pressure to keep the teeth in the right position over a long period of time.
How do I know that? Despite wearing my old aligner for 7-8 weeks, I felt the familiar pains of adjustment when I popped in my new retainers. What this tells me is that my teeth has already started to shift out despite wearing the old aligner - not surprising since the aligner has also become looser over the weeks.
While retainers resemble the aligners, they are actually made from thicker .76mm thermoplastic polyurethane that I could feel hold my teeth firmer in place.
According to instructions from SmileDirectClub, I have to wear the retainers 22 hours a day for a period of 2 weeks.
Subsequently, I could simply wear the retainers to sleep every night.
Every day for 6 months and subsequently after 12 months of continuous retainer wear, 3-5 times a week for LIFE. Why though? Why do we have to wear the retainers for so long?
Apparently, the science behind this works this way: our teeth are firmly held in place by our jawbones.
In order for teeth to move into a new position, the bone on one side will disappear or soften. Once the teeth are where we want it to be, new bone will be deposited around the teeth to stabilize in its new position and this process of depositing take 9 to 12 months. Wearing the aligners daily will stabilize this new position while the new bone is being deposited.
After 12 months, it is still advisable for us to wear retainers as our teeth tends to shift forward and inward as we get older. Retainers will keep our teeth in place and prevent that from happening!
The retainers do not last forever and can get dirty.
You can buy cleaning tablets to clean your retainer but eventually they will loosen over time. Hence, SmileDirectClub recommends that we replace the retainers every 6 months to keep the plastic strong and our smile in place.
The alignment plan worked amazingly well for me but there is always the possibility that the end result is not to your satisfaction.
If for whatever reason you're unsatisfied with your teeth's final position, you can contact SmileDirectClub's representatives. What they will do is to arrange for a re-evaluation with a dentist in person, who will then suggest a refinement plan for you - at no additional cost!
That's what made me so impressed with SmileDirectClub. They have this Lifetime Smile Guarantee that allows for 100% refund within 30 days and as mentioned earlier, allow for refinements if you are not satisfied with the treatment plan.
In fact, they've also recently introduced a new Lifetime Guarantee for their retainers! As long as I replace your SmileDirectClub retainers every 6 months and wear them as prescribed, I can qualify for a free aligner touch-up each year. What this means is that I can head to the Smile Shop, get a complimentary 3D scan and have them make a new aligner if I feel that my teeth is once again shifting out. If the aligner works well, they will then proceed to make the retainer according to the new aligner. Straight teeth for life... here I come!
Thank you for reading about my journey towards straighter teeth with SmileDirectClub . Compared to my first time getting braces, the teeth alignment was much quicker and hassle-free since I didn't have to go to the dentist so often. Yet the results was equally life-changing.
If you're looking for a way to align your teeth, hopefully my sharing helps you better understand about the entire process of getting aligners.