Rainer Dawn did not have time for braces.
Sure, his teeth were crooked. “My canines stuck out,” he says. “People called me ‘Sharkboy.’ It was not ideal.”
But Rainer, now 18, had braces for a few months during his freshman year of high school. His orthodontist was 45 minutes away, and he wasn’t always able to make the 90-minute round trip every month for adjustments. He’d also recently gotten his scuba diving license, was gifted some gear, and had the opportunity to visit family in Indonesia for a long scuba diving trip. Metal braces didn’t jibe with extended international travel, so he had to choose. He chose the once in a lifetime experience and had the braces taken off.
By the time Rainer reached his senior year of high school, he hated his teeth. But he still didn’t want to wear braces. Braces made him look younger, he says, and he wasn’t having it.
Then Rainer saw a SmileDirectClub ad on Instagram. He clicked through for more information and liked what he saw: straight teeth in months instead of years, with no monthly orthodontist visits, and no metal mouth. And all at less than half the average cost of braces.
Never one to hesitate, Rainer made an appointment for that day for an initial consultation at a SmileDirectClub office that was 20 minutes away from his home in Santa Cruz, California.
“An hour and a half later, I was walking into the office in San Jose,” he says. “I was just super impressed by the whole experience. I sat down in a fancy waiting room—there was kombucha on tap.”
He was sold. He did his 3D scan and made a down payment that day. His purple box of standard clear aligners arrived at his door soon afterward. He wore his aligners as directed, at least 22 hours a day. His teeth got straighter after just three weeks of wearing his aligners. “It was a great feeling to see progress and know that you’re getting your money’s worth,” he says.
Four months later, Rainer had the straight, white teeth he had always wanted.
“I’ve gone from never smiling in photos to having a nice, big, wide smile in all my photos,” he says. “It’s changed the way I interact with people.”
Rainer couldn’t believe how easy it was to get straight teeth.
His friends never noticed he was wearing aligners, and the discomfort was manageable. “It was just an amazing experience from start to finish,” Rainer says. “It was really simple to follow the instructions and stick with it.”
He really loved not having to go to the orthodontist every month, like he had done when he had braces.
Rainer’s mother, Erin, loved that he stuck with the plan this time. She had been hesitant to pay for SmileDirectClub aligners, even though they were affordable, because she had already paid for braces for Rainier—$5,000 worth. She had not been thrilled when he insisted on taking them off so he could travel, but she had supported his decision.
But she was impressed with Rainer’s initiative in researching SmileDirectClub and then making the initial appointment himself. Even more impressive, Rainer had been working and saving up for a few years, so he was able to pay for the aligners upfront himself. Erin couldn’t be more proud of Rainer.
“He stuck to the SmileDirectClub plan and was right on schedule changing out his aligners,” she says. “It was gratifying to me to see how disciplined he was.” She credits SmileDirectClub’s treatment program with helping Rainer stay on track without her supervision. “I was impressed with how user-friendly it was,” she says.
She sees a change in her son now that his teeth are straight. “He smiles more. He has more confidence in public,” she says. “His dating life has improved, too.”
Rainer finished his SmileDirectClub treatment plan the day he graduated high school. “I had worked so hard to get there, and to finish high school with straight teeth was an amazing, magical moment.”
He plans to move to Los Angeles, where he wants to be an actor. “I really want to give it a shot and try to get into commercial work,” he says. “My new smile has made a massive difference in my life. I no longer have to worry about how I look when I smile because I have great teeth, which is just essential for that industry.”