Learn the lingo you’ll hear during your treatment

When you sign up for SmileDirectClub, you’ll be on your way to the smile of your dreams.

SmileDirectClub makes getting straighter teeth simpler, faster, and more affordable, with 24/7 support throughout your journey. At the outset, you may encounter some new words you may not yet be familiar with. Here’s a quick guide to the terms you’ll encounter on the way to your dream smile.


Clear teeth aligners are clear, plastic trays molded to fit snugly on your teeth. They look like simple pieces of plastic, but they’re tooth-moving machines just for your mouth. They’ll do the work of gently pushing your teeth into proper alignment. You will usually have 12 to 18 aligners in a SmileDirectClub treatment. You’ll change them every week or two, depending on your treatment plan.


SmileDirectClub retainers keep your teeth from moving, maintaining your newly straightened smile. There are several different types you can choose from. SmileDirectClub offers clear retainers to use after your aligner treatment. One great benefit to using SmileDirectClub is the Lifetime Smile GuaranteeTM and in order to be eligible for it, you’ll need to purchase your retainers through SmileDirectClub directly. Like your aligners, these retainers are clear trays designed to fit your teeth. Retainers should be worn according to your SmileDirectClub doctor’s direction, and replaced every six months.

Smile Journey™

Your teeth-straightening experience from start to finish is called a Smile Journey™. You don’t go anywhere, thanks to our remote treatment that comes to you. The Smile Journey™ is a metaphorical trip that you’ll take from where you are before treatment to having a new-found confidence in your smile.

Aligner Touch-Ups

Your treating doctor is with you every step of the way and may make adjustments to your treatment plan, either midway through or at the end. Aligner Touch-Ups are additional aligners that are added to your schedule to move your teeth. There is no extra charge for Aligner Touch-Ups, as they are a completely normal part of treatment. We want you to get the smile you want, so we adjust the treatment as needed to get you there. Members should contact us before or after treatment if you’re not getting the treatment you expect as you may be eligible for a Touch-Up.

SmileShop™ SmileShop

SmileDirectClub has hundreds of locations around the world where you can kick off your Smile Journey™ by getting a 3D image of your teeth. The 3D image takes just 30 minutes and will be sent to a state-licensed dental professional who will prescribe and approve your custom treatment plan. Don’t live near a SmileShop™? Or prefer to get started on your Smile Journey™ from the privacy of home? We’ll mail you a remote impression kit that you can send back to us.

3D Image

This is a three-dimensional, digital representation of your current smile. We make the image at SmileShop™ with a handheld camera that takes 6,000 photos per second to create a map of your smile. It can also be created with the molds from an impression kit. Our dental professionals use this high-tech image to create a custom treatment plan for straightening your teeth.


The SmileDirectClub team member who guides your though your appointment at a SmileShop™ and operates the 3D camera is called a SmileGuide. All SmileGuides are either registered dental assistants or dental hygienists and can answer any questions you have about the process or the technology we use to straighten teeth.

Smile Check-Ins™

Throughout your treatment plan, you’ll check in with your doctor and the SmileDirectClub dental team who will monitor your progress. Smile Check-Ins™ happen virtually, via email, the SmileDirectClub app, or phone, so you can meet with a pro from the comfort of your own home. No monthly commutes to an orthodontist office.

Smart Sculpt™

We use patented technology to precisely sculpt, plan and model treatment plans. Smart Sculpt technology can forecast exactly how we will move your teeth and how long it will take.

SmileDirectClub aligner production

Comfort Sense™

SmileDirectClub aligners are easy to wear thanks to Comfort Sense™, which includes innovations like a crystal clear, matte finish that keeps aligners from being visible, and a proprietary aligner progression plan that takes you from soft to medium to firm plastic. This means less discomfort, a better appearance, and faster results.

Now you speak the language! Ready to head to a SmileShop to meet with a Smile Guide? Book now or order an impression kit to start your journey toward getting a smile you love.

Join the Club

Get started now with our free and easy Smile Assessment.