Jan. 31, 2023
Lynne Gawley Hofstetter was never wild about her smile.
She felt that one of her front teeth stuck out too far, and her bottom teeth were crooked. She hid them by not smiling. “I never smiled a big, toothy grin,” she says. “I wasn’t showing my true personality. People thought I was unfriendly.”
She had wanted straight teeth ever since she was a kid, but her parents couldn’t afford braces.
When Lynne became a parent, she bought braces for her two children, and she mulled getting braces for herself. After all, she still dreamed of straight teeth.
She consulted with orthodontists—twice—but after they told her how long it would take to straighten her teeth and how much it would cost, she decided braces were not for her. “Orthodontists talked me out of getting them,” says Lynne, who lives in Ontario, Canada. “I just decided to live with my teeth as they were.”
Nine years ago, Lynne’s world was upended when her husband was killed in an on-the-job accident. She was left a widow at 49. The years that followed his death were difficult for Lynne. “I got into a bad relationship after my husband died,” Lynne says. By the time it ended, she was feeling terrible about herself.
She needed a pick-me-up—something to help move her life in a positive direction. That’s when she saw an ad for SmileDirectClub on Facebook. Lynne looked into the prices and couldn’t believe how affordable the aligners were. “SmileDirectClub is an amazing option for those without health or dental benefits,” she says.
Lynne realized she could afford the straight teeth she had always wanted, and that she could get a better smile faster than those orthodontists had told her was possible. It was time to act.
“I was feeling really down, so I just decided to turn it all around,” Lynne says. She ordered an impression kit and improved her smile without leaving home.
She went with the standard clear aligners, and she wore them faithfully. Lynne saw improvements in her smile within six weeks. Six months later, she had the perfect grin she had always wanted.
“I have a straighter smile now—and, well, I can’t stop smiling,” she says. “I feel so vibrant and so excited. People tell me I glow!”
Lynne couldn’t believe how easy it was to change her grin with SmileDirectClub.
Instead of going into a SmileShop for a 3D scan, she went with the impression kit she could do at home. She made and returned the smile impressions. A bit later, her 3D images arrived, along with a digital rendering of what her new smile would look like after treatment.
She ordered her aligners. They arrived in the mail a few weeks later.
“I was a bit skeptical in the beginning,” she says. “The aligners are so thin and almost flimsy feeling.” But she followed the instructions, and soon she realized those aligners were moving her teeth.
“There was some mild discomfort as my teeth began to shift,” she says. “But I expected it. The SmileDirectClub instructions prepared me for that.” Lynne says she had a bit of a lisp when she was wearing her aligners, but that it wasn’t very pronounced. No one noticed the aligners when she was wearing them, she says.
The at-home treatments fit her lifestyle. She loved not having to schlep to an orthodontist’s office every month for adjustments. She had taken both of the children to those monthly appointments for years, so she knew firsthand how inconvenient it was. With SmileDirectClub, she changed her aligners herself and could talk to a specialist via phone, email, chat, or social, whenever she had a question.
“I did not miss that part at all,” Lynne says of the in-person visits.”SmileDirectClub made this so easy.”
Changing her smile changed her whole life, Lynne explained. “It’s not just about the smile—it’s about taking care of yourself,” she says. A better smile made her get more serious about physical fitness, and she became a regular at a gym. Slimmer, stronger, and more confident, Lynne retired from her job as a chiropractor’s assistant.
She now works as a marketer for her gym, but just part-time, so she has more time to enjoy her life—especially spending time with her granddaughter.
But big life changes didn’t just happen around work. Lynne also found a new love. “I’m in a brand new relationship,” she says. “I’m giddy in love.”
At 58, she’s never been happier. Her positivity rubs off on those around her. Straightening her teeth was a key part of her turnaround, she says.
“I want people to know that you’re never too old to stop improving yourself,” she says. “By taking care of yourself, that has a domino effect on others. Happiness really is contagious.”