Well, this smile journey story has a strange start, but stick with me for a minute!

In 2009, I interning in France, and during this time, my friend, Andrew and I, went on a little vacation to Nice. We bought some snacks for the beach, and the vegetarian that I am, I grabbed some carrots. As I’m sitting on the pebbled beach, I bite into a carrot and ‘pop’! I managed to unglue one of the sides of my permanent bottom retainers. The bar was still attached to the other side, but it now protruded slightly into my mouth, under my tongue. It wasn’t painful, but it was very bothersome. I thought many times about going to an orthodontist in Paris to have it fixed, but my French was very conversational and I couldn’t wrap my head around calling and booking an appointment, so alas, I never did. When I returned at the end of August, the day I got home, I went in to get it fixed. At my orthodontist’s office, he told me that my smile looked great, and since I had been out of braces for over ten years, he would just take off the permanent retainer. Worst. Idea. Ever! 

Fast forward to 2011, my wisdom teeth all start coming in, and since I am a huge chicken when it comes to needles, I endure the pain of them all breaking through my gums and crowding my mouth. Cue teeth moving. 

So now, in 2017, I have buckled bottom teeth that drive me absolutely crazy! I cannot stand seeing how crooked they have become, but Sasha thinks it isn’t a big deal, and the $5,000 we would pay for Invisalign has always seemed too much to fix this problem. Enter Smile Direct Club. Smile Direct Club offers affordable teeth straightening aligners at a price that is 60% less than competitors. 

The first step in the process is to get your teeth scanned at a Smile Shop or create a mold with their easy at-home evaluation kit. Both are efficient ways to inexpensively assess your smile. Since Houston has a Smile Shop, I went in for a scan in person. It was so quick (I even brought both the girls with me!). I watched as they took the scanner along the upper and bottom teeth, which created a 3D impression of my smile right before my eyes. You could toggle the touch screen to see all angles (see a photo of Isla doing this below). Afterwards, that scan is sent off for an orthodontist to review and come up with a plan for my new smile. Then aligners are created and sent to you with instructions on how long to wear each one. After your treatment is complete, you receive a retainer – one that I will forever wear!

I loved my Smile tech – she answered all of my questions and made everything move so smoothly. She even gave Isla some paper and colored pencils to draw with, which I thought was so sweet! 

Below are some photos of the cool Smile Shop. My sweet friend, Paige of Awake Photography, met me to help document the visit! I have also included the 3D rendering of my current smile and my future smile. The changes may not be huge to someone else, but I’ve been staring at my new smile for days now and could not be more excited. I’ll point out some of the biggest changes below!

Now, if you’re interested in getting a better smile, I’m excited to offer you a discount to do it through Smile Direct Club. Using AILEESMILES as a discount code, you can get 50% off an at-home impression kit or a free scan at a Smile Shop. 

The things that bother me most about my smile are that my two lateral incisors (your second top teeth) are different heights and one is slightly turned outwards. The main issues I have are with my bottom teeth, which you can see most drastically in the bottom two images. The front teeth are buckled and a few further back have turned inwards. I love the 4 month view of my smile so much and cannot wait to get started with my aligners. 


  1. Looking good! My favorite is Dr. Isla doing her evaluation on the big screen!

  2. Jessica Bina Reply

    The exact same thing happened to me! They took my retainer out and here I am with a snaggle tooth years later – I will be looking into this. Thank you!

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