Please note: Smilelove reports that they are facing financial difficulties. They've had to lay off much of their staff and have been struggling to fulfill orders at their usual pace. They've also increased their price to $1,895 as a base, with sliding fees depending on individual case complexity. They have a new business plan going forward and are still accepting orders. They are optimistic that their new plan, which involves individual reps to be assigned to individual customers will help them out of this situation. The review that follows was accurate prior to this occurring. To find out about other clear aligner options that we recommend you can read our article here.
Are you looking for Smilelove reviews to help you decide if this is the right at-home clear aligner brand for you and your smile?
With so many teeth straightening options on the market, and each touted as being more convenient and more affordable than the last, it can be difficult to choose. That's why we've combed through the interwebs to bring you honest reviews as well as a bit of background information about this relatively new brand. In this article, we'll answer your Smilelove questions, including the following:
- Does Smilelove work?
- What makes it different?
- How much does it cost?
We hope this information will help you make an informed decision when it comes to making such an important choice for your esthetics and oral health.
Due to the financial blow from COVID-19, the directors of Smilelove are reassessing whether they can continue offering services to customers. At this time, they aren't accepting new orders. They do, however, have limited staff working to serve customers who already began treatment with Smilelove.
They haven't discounted the idea of accepting new customers again, so if you're keen on learning more about this brand, read on to find out all you need to know. Otherwise, further down, we also mention some alternative options that we think are even better, and you can read more about the different clear aligners on the market here.
Table of contents
- 1 What is Smilelove?
- 2 What makes Smilelove different from its competitors?
- 3 Customer reviews
- 4 Conclusion
- 5 FAQs
What is Smilelove?
Smilelove is a mail-order clear aligners company that began straightening teeth in 2017, making it one of the newest competitors to the game. At-home clear aligners are quickly gaining popularity because, in theory, they are fast, convenient and affordable, especially compared with traditional braces.
This online braces company offers a convenient and affordable way to straighten your teeth. The program costs 75% less than regular braces and in-office clear aligners like Invisalign, and they are one of the cheapest options for at-home clear aligners. Additionally, the entire process is completed from home, from taking molds with the impression kit, to removing your final aligner, so you don't have to take time off work to visit your dentist or orthodontist.
If you are already familiar with at-home braces then you pretty much know how the process goes but here's a quick recap:
- The first step is to take the Smilelove assessment to find out if you're eligible
- In the second step, you receive an impression kit in the mail and take your dental molds at home
- Then you receive aligners in the mail and wear each for two weeks until treatment time is complete
- After finishing your aligners, you wear retainers to keep your teeth from moving back
- Most aligners come with a complimentary whitening kit so you can whiten along the way!
Apart from being quite similar to other home braces brands, Smilelove does have some differences, including price, aligner material and customer service, which we will investigate more thoroughly below.
What makes Smilelove different from its competitors?
Good question! As mentioned above, there are both similarities and differences between Smilelove and other similar brands, and the differences can seem nuanced. Let's go over some of the details, like the impression kit, orthodontist participation and more.
The impression kit (with which you make the molds of your teeth at home) costs $79 when purchased alone, or you can get it free when bundled with the whitening kit. You also get one set of free retainers for followup care.
The actual Smilelove treatment costs $1895, the same as Smile Direct Club, although there seem to be frequent promotions. You can also do a payment plan with a monthly fee of $79/month with a $250 payment upfront.
The reason why Smilelove is sometimes considered more affordable than Smile Direct Club is due to its frequent discounts and the fact that your first set of retainers is free, whereas you have to pay $99 for your first set of Smile Direct Club retainers.
Smilelove invisible aligners are made from Essix plastic. Essix plastic is a trusted material, as it has been used to make Essix retainers for many years. It's known mostly for its durability, a plus if you're prone to misplacing things and then sitting on them-you know who you are. Smilelove also claims that their aligners are completely clear, unlike some other brands that use a more noticeable matte material. They are also trimmed to follow the gum line for a more comfortable fit, and BPA-free and FDA-approved (although so are most other aligners).
If you've read reviews of other brands you might see some concerns about the quality of customer service. Smilelove has noticed this trend and advertises that their program has “best-in-class” customer service, meaning that their customer service includes:
- Video call support if you need help while taking your impressions with the impression kit
- Text or chat available in real-time, with a quick reply time
- Helpful and friendly staff that is completely based in the US
Smilelove vs Smile Direct Club vs Candid
Smile Direct Club and Candid are the most popular brands of at-home clear aligners, and a company called Byte is storming the market as well. Have a look at the following table to see how Smilelove, Smile Direct Club, and Candid and Byte are all similar and different:
As you can see, Smilelove doesn't measure up in some areas; their lack of physical locations means there is no option to have 3D scans or face-to-face help with your impressions. Aside from Byte, AlignerCo and Candid, we also recommend a new brand called NewSmile which you can read more about in our review here.
Candid is a good choice because, although the price is slightly higher, it is still much more affordable than Invisalign and you still have the assurance of a specialist orthodontist monitoring your treatment.
You can get started with Candid by taking their free Smile Assessment, which will give you an instant answer about your eligibility for treatment. Then you can visit your local Candid Studio for scans or order a home impression kit.
Now that you know a little bit more about Smilelove invisible aligners and how the program works, let's have a look at some reviews of the company and the treatment plan, and what various customers have to share.
“For as long as I can remember, I've disliked my teeth”
This Smilelove review, by fourth-grade teacher Ashley begins with a sentiment to which many of us can relate. She has always had severely crowded and crooked top and bottom teeth and a slight overbite. Straightening her teeth was never an option, however, because of the exorbitant prices of most types of braces and aligners. So for the most part, she pushed her alignment problems to the back of her mind.
That is until she was checking out her Instagram feed one cold November evening and noticed a plethora of ads for at-home aligners, some of them for SmileLove. Since this was a company that seemed to have good reviews and was cheaper than some of the other companies, she decided to make contact.
Shortly after placing her order, she received her impression kit in the mail. She says she had no trouble figuring out how to take her impressions because they also came with instructions that were extremely thorough and clear and easy to follow.
Things she loves so far:
- Awesome customer service
- Updates of her treatment provided regularly
As of her post, she had just begun treatment, but a recent comment she added promises another post once her treatment is complete as well. You can click on the link above to read her full post.
“Oh my goodness guys-so straight!”
We join Christina for her Smilelove review as she transitions to the last tray in her Smilelove journey. Well, maybe not her very last, because she's not 100% satisfied with her smile results, so she's going to try to get refinements before she moves on to the next step and starts using her retainers.
She did contact them about refinements, and they said that before doing that, she'll have to wait until treatment with all of her trays is complete. But she says she figured that there might be some bumps along the road since they are a teledentistry company.
She says that the fact that her teeth aren't perfectly straight isn't her fault, because she's been following the instructions exactly, and the model that Smilelove showed her before beginning treatment depicted completely straight teeth.
Otherwise, she's pleased with how treatment has been going, and she says that the aligners are quite comfortable-she's only had to file one down to make it more comfortable.
So she's hoping that Smilelove customer service will pull through and help her get the refinements she needs. You can watch her video below, where she also talks about what to do if you have an upset stomach while wearing aligners.
“This right here-I'm definitely excited about!”
If you're looking for a more in-depth review, you might want to take a look at Davonne's video. At the time of this review, she is only three weeks into treatment and wants to share with her viewers those things she wishes that she would have known before beginning her journey with Smilelove clear aligners.
She says it was difficult taking the impressions of her teeth, but she figured it out in the end with the help of the instruction manual. Remember, if you choose Candid, you can visit a physical location for 3D scans of your mouth, so you don't need to worry about taking your own impressions.
After taking her impressions, she sent them into Smilelove and two weeks later she was given her treatment plan.
But not everything went so quickly, because it took a bit over a month for her to get her actual aligners in the mail, which is a bit longer than the promised 3-4 weeks.
The night that she got her aligners she decided to put them in right before bed, and upon putting them in, she found they didn't hurt at all. But that changed fast, because a few hours later, she was awoken by the worst pain she has ever felt in her life, including childbirth she claims (although that may be a bit of an exaggeration). In fact, the pain was so bad that she was crying and was very close to giving up and taking them out. But she ended up taking Tylenol and was able to fall back asleep.
Some things she's noticed during her first few weeks of treatment:
- She does have a lisp when she talks so she has to really overenunciate when she speaks.
- She finds that she has a lot more saliva now, something she doesn't enjoy, also causing her to swallow a lot more.
- Her lips are dryer than normal so she recommends keeping some chapstick nearby
Her treatment plan is set for 11.5 months, and she was assigned more trays on the bottom than on the top.
Other things she mentions are that she doesn't use the little stick/hook provided to help her take her aligners out, and she doesn't use the chewies either because they hurt too much. She likes that the Smilelove aligners match the gum line so that the aligners don't cut into her gums.
All in all, she is super happy with how her experience is going.
Watch her full video below.
If you are trying to figure out what type of at-home aligners you would like to try in order to straighten your smile, reviews are a great way to get started on your journey. As you can see, people have both positive and negative things to say about Smilelove. The important thing is that you know what to expect going in, and that you know whether or not your misalignment issues can be treated with this sort of dentistry.
Keep in mind that most at-home braces are meant mainly for mild to moderate cases of malocclusion, so if you have a severely misaligned bite, you may need to consider Invisalign or even traditional braces. Also remember, that having straight teeth isn't just for esthetics, it can also affect your overall oral health.
If you're interested in this type of treatment, but unsure whether it will work for your teeth, there's an easy way to find out. Take a quick Smile Assessment with Candid, and you'll have your answer within a minute. Then you can order your impression kit online or go to your local Candid Studio to find out more and have your scans.
Does Smilelove take insurance?
Smilelove does take insurance. If you have orthodontic insurance, then they may cover at least part of the cost. You'll want to ask your insurance provider if they cover code D8040 for teledentistry for adults or D8030 for teledentistry for kids.
You can also pay for these aligners with an HSA or FSA by using the debit card linked to your account.
How much does Smilelove cost?
There are two ways to pay for these aligners, a lump sum or monthly payments. If you make the one-time payment, they will cost $1,895. If you decide to pay monthly, you'll have to pay a $250 upfront and then $79/month. Their website also periodically offers discounts on both monthly and one-time fees. The impression kits cost $79 on their own but are free if you purchase them with a whitening kit. Additionally, you get one set of free retainers for use after your aligner treatment has finished. Also if you don't love the treatment map that you are sent, you will get a refund.
Dos Smilelove take care credit?
Smilelove does not accept CareCredit cards.
Is Smilelove legit?
Smilelove has its fair share of positive reviews and the basic function of the retainers is very similar to other clear braces brands. So, in our opinion, Smilelove can work for some people, but if you're looking for a little extra in care, efficiency and precision, we recommend working with Candid which works exclusively with orthodontists to plan and monitor your care.