At-home teeth straightening is changing the way people transform their smiles. Historically, the only way to adjust your teeth was to see a dentist or orthodontist for braces or Invisalign®. At-home clear aligner products like Smilelove make getting the smile you want affordable and convenient.
Smilelove is one of the newest clear aligner companies we reviewed. They are focused on becoming the lowest cost clear aligner company in the business. Read on to find out if Smilelove is the right option for you based on your smile goals.
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What is Smilelove?
Smilelove is an online company that offers a convenient and affordable teeth aligner product that helps improve the appearance of your smile. Smilelove’s clear aligners look and feel similar to Invisalign — they fit right over your teeth and are much less visible than traditional braces. However, unlike Invisalign, treatment doesn’t require a single trip to the dentist. Instead, your treatment plan is prepared and overseen remotely by one of Smilelove’s professionally licensed dental providers.
Based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Smilelove hit the market in 2017. It’s just one of several new companies to offer home-based clear aligner treatment. Competitors offering a very similar service include SmileDirectClub, Candid, Byte and Snapcorrect. Smilelove is still a pretty small company, with a much smaller customer base than some of the alternatives.
Smilelove aims to stand out by offering the “most affordable” home-based clear aligner option. Indeed, Smilelove is often priced 5% to 10% below other providers.
Like other home-based clear aligner products, Smilelove is primarily a cosmetic treatment. Their aligners are only designed to treat mild to moderate cases of spacing and crowding, and minor bite issues. If your case is severe, you will see better results from a treatment plan that is managed in-person by a dental professional, such as braces or Invisalign.
How Does Smilelove Work?
Before getting started, you’ll take a 3D impression of your teeth using a special kit that you order online from Smilelove. Smilelove uses this impression to prepare your custom treatment plan. Once you confirm your treatment plan, Smilelove produces your clear aligners and ships them to you by mail. By wearing your aligners for at least 22 hours each day, the aligners will gradually shift your teeth over the course of 4-6 months.
Is Smilelove a Good Option? Our Perspective.
For patients with minor teeth misalignments, Smilelove can deliver satisfying results at a comfortable price point. Based on our research, patients who have used Smilelove have generally reported positive results and been pleased with the overall experience.
Out of the top five home-based clear aligner products we reviewed, we rank Smilelove #4 overall. This is based on our 5 point comparison of each company in terms of effectiveness, affordability, convenience, aesthetics and customer support. We’ve provided a lot more detail on how Smilelove stacks up category by category, but here’s a quick summary of the biggest pros and cons:
- Lowest prices in the industry. Plans usually start at $1699. They also often offer meaningful discounts.
- The only at-home clear aligner company to offer a prorated refund if you aren’t happy with the progress of your treatment plan.
- Smilelove markets that their aligners are less visible than competitors, though we think the difference is marginal.
- Smilelove is still quite small (less than 50 employees) and doesn’t have a well-established track record yet. At this stage, their reviews are limited, and it’s difficult to verify the authenticity of online reviews we did find.
- Other companies such as Candid and SmileDirectClub, work with large, well established dental technology providers to ensure they can deliver high-quality aligners. We couldn’t figure out which company Smilelove partners with, so the quality of their product is harder to verify.
Who is Smilelove Right For?
If you’re looking for a straighter smile at the lowest price possible, and are willing to take a risk on a less well-established service provider, Smilelove may be a great option for you.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment, so you want to make sure the treatment option you choose gives you the results you’re looking for. In this section, we’ll go over what type of results you can expect from treatment with Smilelove.
Smilelove, just like other home-based clear aligner treatment products, is intended to address simple misalignment issues. It is limited in its ability to correct more advanced dental misalignments, such as bite disorders or severe cases of spacing or crowding. To make sure Smilelove is a good treatment option for you, the company provides you with a 3D preview of how your teeth will look after treatment. You can then determine whether you would like to continue.
For patients with mild teeth misalignment, Smilelove does appear to achieve satisfying smile transformations. A number of positive online video reviews attest to that fact. Nevertheless, we do have a couple of concerns about Smilelove’s quality and therefore its effectiveness.
Your treatment plan will be developed by a licensed dental professional, but not necessarily an orthodontist.
First, Smilelove does not require your treatment plan to be crafted by an orthodontist. By comparison, other companies like Candid work only with licensed orthodontists to create your treatment plan from start to finish. Orthodontists receive 6 years of post-graduate training to master the art of adjusting teeth. The skill and experience of the person in charge of your care can have a significant impact on the outcome of your treatment. In a worst-case scenario, treatment at the hands of an inexperienced professional could even leave you with an annoying bite issue that you’ll need to have fixed down the road.
We couldn’t verify who supplies Smilelove’s clear aligners.
In addition, it’s not clear to us whether Smilelove partners with a reputable clear aligner supplier. Other home aligner services are partnered with large, well respected clear aligner manufacturers. For instance, SmileDirectClub works directly with Align Tech, the makers of Invisalign. Similarly, Candid purchases aligners from ClearCorrect, the second-largest manufacturer of invisible aligners in the US.
These potential differences in professional experience and aligner build quality may affect the final result of your smile transformation. For this reason, we gave Smilelove a lower rating than several of its competitors on effectiveness – 3/5.
Historically, the high price tag for braces and Invisalign has made getting straighter teeth a substantial financial burden. Making matters worse, health insurers seldom cover this type of treatment, and dental insurance will typically reimburse just a small fraction of the cost.
A major benefit of home teeth straightening like Smilelove is the price point compared to alternative treatment options. With the innovation of at-home teeth straightening, orthodontic treatment is now much more accessible. Home aligner products typically cost around $2,000, which is significantly more affordable than Invisalign, which usually costs more than $4,500.
Smilelove’s price tag is the lowest in the industry.
The total cost to purchase an aligner kit from Smilelove is $1,699. This makes Smilelove affordable, even for a home aligner product. In fact, at the moment, Smilelove is 10% cheaper than the next lowest cost clear aligner product that we reviewed. Historically, Smilelove has periodically offered promotional discounts, which can bring down the price even further.
Smilelove also includes your first set of retainers with the purchase price, which will save you some money at the end of your treatment. Other services like SmileDirectClub do not include retainers in the price of treatment, and instead upsell the retainer at the end of treatment for around $100.
Smilelove offers a payment plan option, but it requires a credit check and some may not qualify.
While Smilelove is much cheaper than Braces or Invisalign, not everyone has $1700 lying around. Smilelove refers customers hoping to use a payment plan to a 3rd party financing company called Affirm. Through financing with Affirm, you can pay down your treatment through monthly payments over up to two years. To avoid accruing interest, we recommend choosing the fastest payment plan they offer if you can make the finances work.
While it’s nice that Smilelove provides this financing option, it’s worth noting that Affirm will run a credit check on customers who choose this option, and may not approve individuals with weaker credit. While this is pretty standard, it’s worth noting that SmileDirectClub and Byte both offer payment plans for which all customers are eligible – no credit check required
Overall, Smilelove is about as affordable you can get for a clear aligner product. A flexible, third party financing option makes purchasing Smilelove even more accessible. We rate Smilelove 5/5 on affordability.
Aside from the cost, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing a more comfortable smile is the time commitment of traditional orthodontics. We all have busy lives and repeated visits to the dentist office don’t exactly count as leisure. Nevermind taking time off work every month to make a trip to the dentist. Not only that, but perhaps you have a big event coming up this year (not two or three years down the road) and you want to finish treatment ASAP.
Home aligner companies like Smilelove make this kind of treatment much more convenient by shipping the aligners to your home so you’re not spending time in the patient chair. Additionally, with most home aligners (Smilelove included) you can usually complete treatment in less under half a year, compared to the typical 18 months for braces and 12 months for Invisalign.
With all that said, Smilelove is unquestionably more convenient than Invisalign or Braces. On the other hand, when comparing to other top-rated home aligner products, Smilelove is just average.
When getting started with Smilelove, you’ll have fewer options than with other leading brands.
Ironically, the step that many Smilelove customers find most difficult is getting started. Before getting your aligners, it’s necessary to take a mold of your teeth using a special putty that Smilelove sends in the mail. To help customers out, Smilelove offers practice putty and text-message support so that you can practice before taking your actual impressions. Still, some people find that getting this process right can be surprisingly tricky, and wind up needing to mail in multiple sets of impressions before getting approved for treatment.
SmileDirectClub and Candid have addressed this problem by opening retail locations throughout the US where you can schedule an appointment and get your teeth scanned. This works as an alternative to taking an impression of your teeth. While both companies still offer the option to mail in an impression that you take from home, many customers prefer to get a scan instead. Since Smilelove is a much smaller company, they are not able to offer this kind of service.
Wait time to get your treatment plan prepped and aligners shipped is about average. Expect to wait 6-8 weeks.
Smilelove’s turn-around time to prepare your treatment plan and ship your aligners is about industry standard – certainly not exceptional. Smilelove usually takes around 3 weeks to process your impressions and prepare your treatment plan. By contrast, SmileDirectClub guarantees to complete this step in just 72 hours. Once you have approved your plan, you’ll usually need to wait an additional three to five more weeks for Smilelove to produce and ship your aligners.
Teeth whitening is included, but only after completing treatment.
One final thing to consider is teeth whitening. All of the top home aligner systems including Smilelove offer a whitening product as a free add-on. With most other home aligner systems, you simply apply whitening gel inside your aligners so that your teeth get visibly brighter while they are realigned — convenient! Unfortunately, Smilelove’s whitening product can’t be used with their clear aligners due to type of plastic Smilelove uses to make their aligners. Instead, Smilelove sends you special whitening trays after you complete treatment, delaying the final step of your smile transformation.
At the end of the day, Smilelove is a pretty low-hassle way to get your teeth corrected from the comfort of your home – much easier than traditional clear aligner treatment. However, they haven’t created as streamlined a process as some of its competitors, and so we rate Smilelove 3/5 for convenience
When it comes to getting straighter teeth, most adults agree that the best looking option is the one that is least visible. A key selling point of all clear aligner products is that they are much less noticeable than braces. For this reason, all clear aligners products tend to score well in terms of Aesthetics, and Smilelove is no exception.
With that said, not all clear aligners are created equal in terms of appearance. While all clear aligners are made from transparent, BPA-free plastic, each brand looks a bit different due to variations in materials and manufacturing processes.
Smilelove Claims their aligners are less noticeable than competitors, but we’re not convinced.
Smilelove advertises their invisible aligners as less noticeable than competing brands. This claim is based on two unique product characteristics:
- Smilelove aligners made of a shiny, translucent plastic material. By comparison, SmileDirectClub and Candid aligners are more frosted in appearance.
- Smilelove aligners are trimmed to fit right along the curves of your gum line, while most other home alinger products are trimmed to fit a couple of millimeters over the gumline.
Marketing claims aside, is Smilelove actually less visible than competing brands? We’re pretty skeptical. For one thing, while Smilelove aligners are more transparent, they can reflect light and cause your teeth to take on a slightly unnatural appearance. Some people actually feel that Smilelove’s aligner material is *more* noticeable than more opaque aligners used by other brands like Candid and SmileDirectClub because the more opaque aligners don’t reflect light as much.
As with other clear aligners brands, take out your aligners before eating & drinking to avoid staining.
All clear aligners are susceptible to stains from food and beverages — that’s why it’s important to remove them before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. As clear aligners go, our current understanding is that Smilelove aligners are reasonably resistant to staining, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee or red wine with your aligners in.
Like most other clear aligner products, Smilelove’s aligners will have a minimal impact on the appearance of your teeth. With that said, we’re not convinced Smilelove is actually any better than its competitors in this regard. We rate Smilelove 4/5 for aesthetics.
Dental treatment is expensive, and you only have one set of teeth. It’s important that you feel completely confident that the company you decide to work will treat you right and have your back in the event that something goes wrong.
Where it comes to treating the customer right, here are the main things we noted about Smilelove:
Customer support appears to be somewhat less responsive than the alternatives.
Smilelove is a very small company with a shorter track record than other providers in this space. Perhaps because they are small, they also appear to have fewer customer support options and less support documentation than most of the alternatives. Although a phone number is posted, standard phone hours are not listed. Moreover, customers have noted that it’s common for there to be delays of a week or more in sorting out issues that arise. Delays aside, customers have noted that Smilelove’s support representatives have been quite friendly and treated them fairly.
Smilelove offers an unbeatable satisfaction guarantee.
Smilelove’s satisfaction guarantee is more generous than other at-home teeth straightening services. Other services only allow you to get a refund before you start treatment or within the first month of treatment. With Smilelove, you can get a prorated refund at any time during your treatment plan for the aligners you have not used yet.
We rate Smilelove 3.5/5 for Customer Support. We appreciate that they are available to help you understand if Smilelove is a good option for you before you pay them for an aligner kit and that they are committed to customer satisfaction.
What are Smilelove Customers Saying?
When we review a company like Smilelove, we start out by digging through customer reviews to understand the common issues customers face.
With Smilelove, there just aren’t that many legitimate customer reviews and testimonials, so it’s hard to get a good sense. With that said we’ve scoured the net to find reviews that feel very honest and straightforward and don’t appear to be sponsored by the company.
The overall sentiment we’ve seen with Smilelove is that people feel generally positive about their experience. In particular, people say that customer support has been very helpful, though not the fastest to respond. Smilelove customers also appear to be happy with how the company explains what will happen during treatment, such as which exact teeth will be moving with each aligner set.
Each set of aligners appears to be well-made (most people don’t need to file down any rough edges on their aligners), and the treatment process is reportedly only mildly painful. Most customers report increased pain for the first day or two of each set of aligners, especially when removing them after wearing them for a long period of time. This pain subsides quickly, and, for most customers, is not a major concern. Most customers continue on to complete their treatment and feel satisfied with the results.
Below are two of the most helpful user reviews we came across. We hope you find them helpful too!
Alternatives to Smilelove
While Smilelove is a reputable clear aligner company, there are other options to consider, both in-office and ones that you can do from home. Invisalign is the primary in-office option, and while it is more expensive than home aligners, dentists can achieve more advanced teeth movements with attachments they place on your teeth to work with the clear aligners. There are also several other home aligner options that are worth looking into.
Invisalign vs Smilelove
For more intensive cases of teeth misalignment, in-person care can’t be beat. If that sounds like you, Invisalign treatment may be the best option, as you may end up dissatisfied with Smilelove’s treatment outcome given the limited ability to move teeth without special attachments that are possible with in-office care like Invisalign. Learn more here.
SmileDirectClub vs Smilelove
SmileDirectClub stands out as the largest and most popular at-home clear aligner brand. They also offer retail locations, which makes getting started a bit easier depending on where you live. They’ve also treated over 500,000 patients, making them the most experienced home aligner company.
Byte vs Smilelove
Byte is much newer to the home aligner market than Smilelove. Byte stands out in their innovation — they offer a treatment plan that takes only three months, thanks to their Hyperbyte system, but costs slightly more than Smilelove. If treatment time is most important to you, Byte may be a good option.
Candid vs Smilelove
Candid is the only home aligner company to work exclusively with orthodontists to prepare their treatment plans. We think Candid offers a more customer-friendly service than Smilelove.
Smilelove offers unbeatable affordability, with a slightly lower price point than all other competitors. On the other hand, Smilelove lags behind some of of the more established home aligner brands on convenience and effectiveness. Smilove is a still a relatively new and small company – we’ll definitely be watching this one closely as they continue to develop their offering.
Out of the top five home-based clear aligner products we reviewed, we rank Smilelove #4 overall. If you’re looking for a straighter smile at the lowest price possible, and are willing to take a risk on a less well established service provider, Smilelove may be a great option for you. Otherwise, we invite you to check out our reviews for Candid, Byte, and SmileDirectClub, our top rated home aligner companies.