Confidence comes from grins and from gains.
For 18-year-old Gabriel, starting SmileDirectClub was just one part of a much bigger transformation. In 8 months, he not only straightened his smile, but also completely changed his diet and lifestyle, resulting in a weight loss of more than 100 pound. He found a whole new confidence, too.
Gabriel grew up in the Caribbean before his family relocated to New York, and with a ton of traveling growing up, braces with monthly in-office visits weren’t an option. As soon as he was old enough, Gabriel looked into another solution, but he was quoted $5,000 for a two-and-a-half-year treatment plan with regular office visits, which didn’t exactly work with his schedule.
“I would smile with my mouth closed, because I was afraid to show my teeth,” he says. “I didn’t want to showcase what I had, because when I looked at myself, I didn’t like what I saw.”
Gabriel was gearing up to leave for college and knew he wanted to do something about his smile. And then he saw a commercial for SmileDirectClub.
“After I started doing SmileDirectClub, everything changed.”
Gabriel went in for a 3D scan at the 5th Avenue SmileShop in New York City to get started with SmileDirectClub.
“It was one of the coolest offices I’ve ever seen,” he says. “It was not like a dental office; it was a more laid-back and relaxed environment. It was really, really great.”
Even better were the changes Gabriel noticed in his smile almost immediately after starting to wear his clear aligners.
“As soon as I started treatment, I started smiling. I saw results that very first week.”
To stay motivated and make the most of his experience, Gabriel took advantage of everything SmileDirectClub had to offer. He went to all the New York City SmileShop events, from in-store massages to self-portrait latte art, and he read up on blog posts to find inspiration from other Club members’ stories.
This was just the start of his own journey to confidence.
“My mind was set to transform myself, and I did it for me; to make myself happy,” he says. “I was hiding behind a shell for so many years, and now that I had the opportunity to do it, I was going to go for it.”
As soon as Gabriel started seeing his smile shift, he says he was encouraged to do more.
“I was getting healthier, I was working out, and the more change I saw in my smile, the more change I wanted to do to my body,” he says. “It was an entire 180-degree transformation. The aligners gave me that extra push.”
Gabriel started going to the gym and walking through Central Park, bumping hits from Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston or watching tech and travel videos to stay entertained.
“You don’t get tired, because you’re out there sightseeing and mingling with people,” he says. “It didn’t feel like I was working out – it just felt like I was hanging out in the streets, and that’s what made it a little bit easier for me.”
He started eating healthier, too – on schedule with his clear aligners, of course.
“When I was switching my aligners, it was hard to eat chewy foods,” he says. “Greens like spinach and rice cakes were easier to eat, because they’re crispy, but not too hard.”
He also made healthier versions of foods that he already liked to eat, swapping out rice and pasta for cauliflower rice and soy noodles.
“It feels great, because I like what I see now,” Gabriel says.
“I feel proud of my achievement and happy that I get to do things that normal people do without insecurity. It’s taught me that insecurities are things that you can get rid of. If you don’t like something about yourself, you absolutely can change it.”
In just 8 short months, Gabriel had fully transformed his smile, body, and lifestyle – and gained a newfound confidence along the way.
Now that he’s achieved his physical goals, Gabriel’s headed off to college in the fall to study international business, and he’s already looking ahead toward professional goals.
“I aspire to get my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the next 6 years, and I aspire to become a big entrepreneur in the future and maybe own my own company. Who knows?”
The possibilities are endless, and now Gabriel knows it.
“Now, I look in the mirror and smile, and I like what I see; I love what I see. I’m a happy person, so I always have an ear-to-ear smile. I can’t stop smiling.”
He’s able to do all the things he loves to do – travel, swim, build things, then take them apart and rebuild them – with strength and a smile.
“I can own the world and get done what I want to get done with confidence. I’m not going to back out because of my insecurities.”
Now nothing is stopping him from starting his new life as a college student.
“I’m more outgoing, and I actually introduce myself to people and talk to people now, which I didn’t do before,” he says. “I used to be really quiet and really shy because of my insecurity. I’m a different person than before.”
Gabriel’s advice to anyone considering SmileDirectClub: “Do it.”
“You have the power to do it, and when you do it, you’re going to be a totally different person,” he says. “Take the risk, because it’s going to be worth it in the end. Even if you don’t achieve what you wanted to achieve, you’re going to regret not trying.”
Are you ready to start your own transformation and find life-changing confidence like Gabriel? Take the free 30-second assessment today to get started.