Retired social worker Barbara Schaffner found that straightening her teeth could be done with all the freedom to suit her on-the-go lifestyle. And after putting so much into her family, it was the perfect time to do something just for herself.
Her smile had bothered her since childhood – and still, as a 59-year-old woman, “I was very self-conscious about my smile.”
One of her front teeth overlapped another one, and her bottom teeth were crooked. Also, food got caught in her misaligned teeth. “It was distracting. I was always running to the bathroom to clean my teeth.” When she was a child, her parents weren’t up for her getting braces. “I had my father’s front teeth, and he didn’t think there was anything wrong with me having them too,” she says.
But the desire for a better smile – one she could really enjoy – never went away.
“When you look back at old pictures, you think,
‘Why didn’t I do this sooner?’”
As she grew into adulthood and started a family, there was always something that took precedence over her teeth.
After she paid for all 3 of her children to wear braces, Barbara looked into getting braces or clear aligners for herself. “I remember getting my first estimate 8 or 9 years ago. It was like, $5000 after insurance,” she says. “I was like, ‘no way.’”
But she didn’t give up. She knew there had to be a less expensive way to straighten teeth. “You don’t need to go see an orthodontist every month,” she says.
And she felt the time was finally right. “I decided to do my teeth now, at an older age, because my life is much more free than it was.”
“The children are raised, we’re traveling around.
Why not feel the best about yourself that you can?”
Then in 2018 she saw an ad for SmileDirectClub, promising a straighter smile for less than $2000, with no monthly trips to an orthodontist’s office required.
Barbara had her initial 3D scan done at a SmileShop in Pittsburgh and then wore aligners for about 10 months.
The ease and convenience was a huge advantage. “We have 3 children, we have 6 grandchildren, and we’re on the road more than we’re home,” she says.
“Just to be able to take care of your own teeth, with a professional behind you, is much easier than making appointments and sitting in waiting rooms.”
She and her husband also like to travel – through Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Aruba, and the Cayman Islands. She took her SmileDirectClub aligners with her. “We did a 6-week trip, and I couldn’t have done that if I was tied down with dentist’s appointments.”
The only time Barbara had to go back to the SmileShop was when she decided to extend her treatment plan. She felt that one of her bottom teeth was still sticking out more than she liked, so she reached out to SmileDirectClub Customer Care.
“They made sure I got what I needed.”
They directed her to the SmileShop where she’d done her initial scan and made a few more weeks’ worth of aligners for her at no extra charge. She wore them till her tooth was aligned like she wanted.
When her aligners came off, Barbara’s smile was transformed – and so was her confidence. She doesn’t worry about how her teeth look anymore. She doesn’t duck and run from cameras. She doesn’t have to pick food out of her crowded teeth all the time. And after a SmileDirectClub whitening treatment, they’re brighter too.
“There’s a lot of freedom because I don’t think about my teeth so much,” Barbara says. “I focus on other things, like my grandkids and my travels.” She loves that she’s changed her appearance for the better.
“When you’re older, it’s nice looking in the mirror and seeing improvements.”