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Top Best Home Teeth Aligners (Byte vs Candid vs Smile Direct vs Smilelove)Everyone deserves to feel happy with their smile.

But if a cosmetic concern is keeping you from loving yours, you’re in good company. And if you haven’t gotten dental work done because it’s too expensive or time-consuming, you’re in good company there too.

Thankfully, there’s a new solution: at-home teeth alignment. These self-administered clear aligner systems are the new alternative to braces. They’re faster, more convenient, and most importantly, more affordable than traditional orthodontic treatment. And although the industry is relatively new, there are already several established brands to choose from.

Still, not all home teeth aligners are created equal. In this review, we’ll compare the four best home teeth straightening companies (byte vs Candid vs SmileDirectClub) to help you decide which provider is the right fit for you.

Quick Note: We have removed Smilelove from our list of the best home aligners. Due to the effects of COVID-19, they’re not accepting new clients.

Best Overall Value

#1 byte: Fastest Treatment & Best Overall Value

overall rating
4.9
Byte Reviews - Best Home Teeth Aligners
byte is our #1 choice for home teeth straightening. They have the best customer support, fastest treatment timeline, and more.
TREATMENT QUALITY Orthodontist-overseen treatment plans
TREATMENT SPEED 3-month average treatment time
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK $1,895 includes Aligners + HyperByte
CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer support exceeds expectations
NOTICEABILITY Most users prefer Byte's aligner appearance
Ratings Breakdown
Quality
4.9
Speed
5.0
Value
4.7
Customer Service
4.8
Noticeability
4.7

byte, founded in 2018, is one of the newer home aligner companies on the market. Even though they’re new, they’ve got a lot going for them: byte’s treatment is almost twice as fast as their competitors.

On average, byte users can achieve the smile of their dreams after three months (other aligners usually take 6 months or more). This groundbreaking speed is all thanks to byte’s HyperByte system. Essentially, you put on your aligners and bite down on the HyperByte device for three minutes. HyperByte gently vibrates your teeth to facilitate faster shifts.

byte maintains a high standard of care, too: their dental network consists exclusively of orthodontists. An orthodontist will oversee your treatment rather than a general dentist. What’s the difference? Orthodontists spend six postgraduate years mastering the art of shifting teeth. General dentists, while licensed and qualified, don’t have the same level of specialization.

As an added bonus, byte also offers nighttime-only treatment. If you snack frequently (which would require you to remove and clean your aligners with each snack), then you may prefer nighttime aligners. That way, you could straighten your teeth while you sleep.

byte stacks up well against its competitors. Here’s how they compare:

  • byte vs. Candid: Candid has retail locations where you can have a smile professional take images of your teeth instead of impressions. Like byte, they also have an orthodontist-only dental network, but they have an added plus: their Remote Monitoring program. With this, your orthodontist will not only design your treatment but he or she will also have regular check-ups with you—remotely, of course, thanks to your smartphone. byte, however, has a cheaper price point and a faster treatment time.
  • byte vs. SmileDirectClub: SmileDirectClub has a lot more brand power and experience than byte thanks to its history of serving more than 750,000 customers. byte stands out on treatment speed and overall value, though. Both companies offer nighttime-only treatments.

byte’s Pricing

The sticker price for byte’s aligner system is $1,895. However, there are a couple other costs that go into your full treatment. For one, you’ll need to buy an impression kit for $95. That will kick off your treatment. Then, if you opt to use bytepay, a credit-free financing plan, you’ll actually end up paying $2,324.

But it’s what that dollar amount includes that really matters. With byte, you’ll get every aligner in your treatment plan, the HyperByte system (costs $699 when purchased separately!), and free whitening treatment. In short, byte gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

byte’s Customer Support

If you ever need help with your aligners or payments, byte makes it easy. Their customer support is excellent, and you have plenty of options to reach out: social media, phone, and email. Phone is easiest, with hours ranging from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PST). If you email them, you can expect a response within 24 hours.

Who Should Use byte?

If you want an excellent mix of speed and value, then byte is a great option. byte’s the best choice if you’re in a rush to perfect your smile before a wedding, graduation, or photoshoot.

#2: Candid

overall rating
4.2
Candid Reviews - Best Home Teeth Aligners
Candid is our #2 choice for home teeth straightening. They offer high-quality aligners at a reasonable price.
TREATMENT QUALITY Orthodontist-overseen treatment plans
TREATMENT SPEED 6-month average treatment time
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK $1,900 price-point is in line with industry average
CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer support meets expectations
NOTICEABILITY Most users are satisfied with aligners' appearance
Ratings Breakdown
Quality
4.9
Speed
4.6
Value
4.4
Customer Service
4.3
Noticeability
4.7

Candid strives to be the best at-home alternative to Invisalign by making your remote treatment as much like an in-office visit as possible. That’s thanks to their Remote Monitoring program. Essentially, you’ll use your smartphone to take pictures of your teeth and send them to your orthodontist. He or she reviews your pictures to check your treatment progress. If your treatment needs any changes, you’ll get them.

As an added plus, your orthodontist may tell you that you can move on to your next aligner sooner than expected. Who doesn’t love faster treatment speeds?

Beyond their treatment quality, Candid makes it more convenient to kick off your home aligner treatment with their retail locations. Rather than taking impressions yourself, you can visit a Candid studio to have digital scans taken.

Like its competitors, Candid also works exclusively with orthodontists. The added plus is that your orthodontist not only designs but also oversees your treatment. But aside from their orthodontic team, here’s how Candid compares to other aligner systems:

  • Candid vs. byte: byte is both cheaper and faster than Candid. Candid one-ups them on convenience and treatment oversight, though.
  • Candid vs. SmileDirectClub: SmileDirectClub boasts the biggest brand power and a versatile array of daytime and nighttime treatment options. Both Candid and SmileDirectClub have retail locations, but SmileDirectClub has more.

Candid’s Pricing

Candid’s sticker price is $2,400. They don’t offer tons of discounts but you can occasionally score a deal.

For that price, you’ll get all your treatment aligners, Remote Monitoring, and whitening treatment. Your last set of aligners can also act as your post-treatment retainer. If the $2,400 sounds too daunting, you can apply for Candid’s financing. Provided you pay the $399 down payment, you can get a monthly payment as low as $99 per month for 24 months.

Candid’s pricing is pretty fair. It may be higher than some competitors, but it covers their Remote Monitoring program, and none of Candid’s competitors have that feature.

Candid’s Customer Support

Candid offers better customer support than the competition. In fact, it’s probably easier to get in contact with Candid’s support than any other home teeth aligner company. (Note: when we say “customer support,” we’re talking about the general support line that you should contact for questions about payment, order status, etc. You’ll contact your orthodontist for questions about your treatment process, but we’re not addressing that contact process here).

You can reach out via phone, email, web chat, and even social media. Their posted hours range from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. Traditional methods like phone and email are the fastest, but even their slowest method, social media, gets a response within 24 hours.

Their hours are wide open, and their support is even better. Candid’s representatives are prompt, courteous, and helpful.

Who Should Use Candid?

Candid’s biggest advantage is their Remote Monitoring program. It makes their treatment process a lot like visiting a real orthodontist’s office. For someone who needs a lot of regular oversight during their treatment, Candid makes a great option. You’ll get regular oversight without the hassle of going to the office.

Another big plus is Candid’s Studios; visiting a retail location makes it much more convenient to get your treatment started. The best part: there are no strings attached. After you get a scan, there’s no obligation to move forward with treatment.

That said, Candid’s locations are limited to major cities. If you live in or near a city like Atlanta, Chicago, or Boston, then Candid may be the most convenient for you.

#3: SmileDirectClub

overall rating
4.1
Smile Direct Club Reviews - Best Home Teeth Aligners
Smile Direct Club is our #3 choice for home teeth straightening. Their hundreds of retail locations make them worth considering.
TREATMENT QUALITY Does not guarantee orthodontist-designed treatment
TREATMENT SPEED 6-month average treatment time
BANG FOR YOUR BUCK $1,895 price point is in line with industry average
CUSTOMER SERVICE Customer support reps are responsive, but not as helpful as other providers
NOTICEABILITY Most users are satisfied with aligners' appearance
Ratings Breakdown
Quality
3.9
Speed
4.5
Value
4.0
Customer Service
3.4
Noticeability
4.6

Odds are you’ve probably seen an advertisement for SmileDirectClub on TV or social media. That’s because they’re the oldest, most experienced service on the market, having served more than 750,000 customers since their start in 2014.

Like Candid, SmileDirectClub has retail locations, aptly named SmileShops. Unlike Candid, SmileDirectClub has hundreds of locations, so they’re much more accessible. If you can visit a SmileShop, then it’s free to get your teeth scanned. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy an impression kit.

In addition, SmileDirectClub offers nighttime-only treatment. They’re one of just two companies we’ve reviewed that offer this service. Here’s how SmileDirectClub stacks up compared to its competitors:

  • SmileDirectClub vs. byte: Both byte and SmileDirectClub offer nighttime treatment options. byte isn’t as well-known, but their treatment options (both nighttime and traditional) are months faster.
  • SmileDirectClub vs. Candid: Candid and SmileDirectClub are the only two companies we’ve reviewed that offer retail locations. They have similar price points, but if the convenience of the brick and mortar matters to you, you’ll have better luck with SmileDirectClub’s multiple locations.

In addition, the other three companies use only orthodontists in their dental networks. SmileDirectClub uses a mixed team of orthodontists and dentists. While this isn’t a make-or-break issue, it does mean that there’s no guarantee that an orthodontist will oversee your case. Dentists are qualified to work with teeth, but orthodontists have much more training in the specific science of moving teeth.

SmileDirectClub’s Pricing

The sticker price for SmileDirectClub is $1,895. Every once in a while, you’ll find a discount. For example, at New Year’s, they run a $100 off promotion.

That money only gets you the aligners included in your treatment plan plus a free whitening treatment. You’ll need to spend a little extra on your impression kit—$49 to be exact. It’s free if you get a scan done at a SmileShop. And you’ll also need to buy your own post-treatment aligners. Each set costs $99.

If the base price is a bit too much to pay all at once, you can enroll in SmileDirectClub’s payment plan. There’s no credit check; all you need is a $250 downpayment. After that, you’ll pay $85 per month for 24 months for a total cost of $2,290. All told, SmileDirectClub is a fair value, but it’s not the most competitive price on the market.

SmileDirectClub’s Customer Support

SmileDirectClub has a huge customer base, but they’ve had a few hiccups with their customer support. We suspect that their customer list has grown much faster than their support department. Put simply, SmileDirectClub’s customer support is good once you reach them, but reaching them is the hard part. You may experience delays.

The good news: SmileDirectClub offers a ton of online resources, from how-to videos to FAQs to blog posts. If you need help with your aligners, we recommend checking their website first. Then, if you still have questions (or you have questions about your payments), you should try to contact them.

SmileDirectClub uses email and phone. We’ve found that their phone support is much faster. Email inquiries can wait more than 24 hours for a response.

Who Should Use SmileDirectClub?

If you prefer an in-person office visit to completing your own impressions, then SmileDirectClub is the best choice for you. Their SmileShops are more numerous than Candid’s retail locations. SmileDirectClub is also worth a second look if you want to use a nighttime aligner system instead of the traditional all-day aligners.

 

Which is the Best Home Teeth Aligner?

Technically speaking, you can take your pick of these four companies. All of these options are reliable, efficient, and safe. Each company has its perks, too: byte is fast and a good value, Candid prioritizes quality, and SmileDirectClub is the most experienced.

However, Byte, in our opinion, is the best clear teeth aligner. They work exclusively with orthodontists, so you know a highly-specialized professional will oversee your treatment.

Beyond that, byte is a winning blend of speed, quality, value, and great customer service. They’re twice as fast as their competitors, and you get a lot of valuable features per dollar.

We Recommend Byte

overall rating
4.9/5
Byte Reviews - Best Home Teeth Aligners

Byte is our #1 choice for home teeth straightening. They have the best customer support, fastest treatment timeline, and more.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What About Invisalign?

Home teeth aligners are not the same thing as Invisalign. Invisalign also utilizes clear aligner technology, but that’s where the similarity ends.

Invisalign is basically the same as braces, but without all the brackets and wires. Just like braces, treatment with Invisalign requires ongoing office visits, during which your dentist can incorporate other dental appliances (like elastics) into your treatment plan. This makes Invisalign a great treatment option for more severe cases of dental misalignment.

Are Home Teeth Straightening Kits Covered by Insurance?

The short answer: it depends. Most home teeth aligner companies accept FSA and HSA accounts. But as far as true insurance goes, you’ll have to check with your individual provider. Home teeth aligner systems are considered “orthodontic treatments.” So, if your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, then you’ll get some reimbursement for your aligners.

As a general rule, we recommend that you contact your insurance company before purchasing your aligners. They’ll help you quickly determine whether or not your aligners will be covered. And if they are, your insurance company can help make sure your treatment gets coded correctly.

It’s a hassle up front, but it’s much easier to address this issue before making any payments than after!

If I Use an At-Home Teeth Alignment Service, Should I Get a Teeth Scan or Use an Impression Kit?

This question really only applies to Candid and Smile Direct Club. And ultimately, it’s up to you. We’ve read a lot of customer reviews from individuals that loved the customer service at the retail locations, so if you live near one, go for it.

It’s free, and there’s no requirement to buy aligners. But if you’re too far away, stick with the impression kit.

Does Any of These Services Offer Discounts?

All four do. The real question is how often. Check out our clear aligners discount page for the most up to date deals!

What If I’m Not Happy With the Outcome?

Most of these companies do not offer refunds if you’re not satisfied with the outcome once you’ve finished treatment.

However, you can appeal for a correction to your treatment provided you’ve followed your treatment correctly.

I’ve Heard the Most About Smile Direct. How Do Other Providers Compare?

Smile Direct is definitely the biggest name in the industry. Their brand power is a big advantage. And they do have a lot going for them: they offer nighttime-only treatment, and they’re a reputable brand.

Other companies are a bit cheaper or faster, however—especially Byte.

How Do At-Home Teeth Aligners Compare to Invisalign/Braces?

At-home teeth aligners are much cheaper than Invisalign and braces. They’re usually faster, too. The biggest drawback is that online teeth aligners cannot correct bite issues or misshapen jaws.

Extreme cases should be handled in person, making Invisalign or braces a better option. The required office visits would ensure detailed care.

Do the Results From At-Home Teeth Alignment Last Forever?

It’s possible that your teeth will shift, regardless of whether you use traditional braces or an at-home aligner system. To reduce the risk of shifting, you should wear (and regularly replace) the post-treatment retainers provided by your aligner company.

In some cases, your first set is free. Other companies charge a modest fee for these retainers.

Do Any of These Services Include Whitening Kits?

All four companies include a complimentary whitening kit with your aligners. You can use these kits during your treatment; they’re formulated to safely whiten your teeth without damaging your aligners. If you run out, you can purchase a new set at the shop of the company you choose.

I’m in a Rush! Which is the Fastest Home Teeth Aligner?

Byte, hands-down. Thanks to the Hyperbyte system, the typical treatment (using daytime, 22-hour wear) lasts 3 months with Byte. Other companies average 6 months.

Do Any Online Teeth Alignment Services Have Refund Policies?

Strictly speaking, most don’t. They’ll help correct your smile if your treatment doesn’t go as planned, but you won’t get your money back.

Smile Direct has a 30-day refund policy, but that’s not much help because you won’t really see tangible results within thirty days.

Can I Use Any of These Services If I Live Outside the United States?

Byte and Candid currently don’t ship internationally. Smile Direct Club ships to the most countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

What Happens If I Mess Up the Impression Kit?

If you’re not sure if your kit will work, go ahead and send it in. If your provider can’t use the mold you’ve made, they’ll let you know.

But if you totally botched the impressions and you know they’re unusable, then contact their customer support. They’ll get the process rolling to send you a new kit.

Do These Services Have Aggressive Upsells?

Thankfully, no. Each company has a soft upsell by including a free whitening kit with your treatment. But since there’s no commitment to buy replacement whitening kits once you run out, it’s not a true upsell.

Is There an Age Requirement for Using an At-Home Teeth Aligner?

It depends on the aligner company. Some companies will treat people as young as 13, provided all the adult teeth are in. Others start at age 16. Regardless of the company you choose, minors must receive parental consent before treatment.

Will Home Teeth Aligners Make Me Talk Funny?

Home teeth aligners are minimally invasive. To most people, they’re imperceptible.

But let’s be real: there’s a foreign object in your mouth. It might feel weird at first. Most people usually adjust after a few days and don’t have any weird speech quirks during treatment.

Can I Drink Coffee or Tea While Using an Online Teeth Straightening Kit?

Nope. Tea, coffee, and foods all can damage or stain your aligners. The only exception is water. Otherwise, you should remove your aligners whenever you eat or drink.

What Happens If I Lose My Aligners?

Contact customer support right away, and they’ll tell you what to do. Some companies will send a replacement aligner. But in general, you should wear your previous aligner in the meantime. That will keep your teeth from shifting back to their original position.

Is it Worth Paying Extra for a Teeth Whitening Kit?

Your first kit is typically included. But after that, you’ll need to purchase a kit if you want further whitening treatment. Even without whitening, your teeth will look better than when you started.

That said, if you want to brighten your smile during treatment, you should stick with the treatment your company provides, even if it’s more expensive than another option. It’s safe to use with your aligners.

Do These Services Have Good Customer Support?

In general, all of these companies provide good customer support. The question is how quickly you’ll get support.

Byte and Candid really stand out for prompt, friendly, helpful services. Smile Direct Club will get you the help you need, but we’ve found that they’re a touch slower to respond.

 

 

3 Things to Keep in Mind Before Choosing

Invisible aligners may be cheaper than braces, but they’re still a pretty big investment. To be sure you find the best fit for your condition, lifestyle, and expectations, keep these things in mind:

1) Not all aligners are created equal

Some have a matte finish while others are shiny. Some are scalloped to match the gum line, and others are cut straight across. These two differences affect the visibility and effectiveness of your aligners. Matte aligners are less visible than shiny ones, and straight-cut aligners are stronger than ones cut to match your gums. On top of that, certain companies partner with trusted aligner manufacturers to ensure high-quality production. If visibility, quality, or treatment speed are important factors for you, you’ll want to investigate each company’s aligners before you purchase.

2) Clear aligners might come with some discomfort

Everyone’s experience is a bit different, but the aggressiveness of your treatment goes hand-in-hand with levels of potential discomfort. For example, nighttime-only aligners tend to cause a bit more soreness than traditional treatment because your teeth have less time to adjust to their new positions. Similarly, some companies give you biweekly or weekly aligners, and weekly aligners cause a touch more discomfort.

3) Aligners don’t mix with food and beverages

With any aligner company, you’ll need to remove your aligners whenever you eat or drink (water excluded). Then, before you put them back in, you should brush your teeth and floss. If you’re a frequent snacker or drink a lot of coffee, this can be a hassle since you wear your aligners for 22 hours per day. It’s an avoidable hassle, though: nighttime-only aligners only require ten hours of continuous wear.

 

Does Insurance Cover At-Home Clear Aligners?

The short answer: it depends. Most home teeth aligner companies accept FSA and HSA accounts. But as far as true insurance goes, you’ll have to check with your individual provider.

Home teeth aligner systems are considered “orthodontic treatments,” so, if your insurance includes orthodontic benefits, you may get some coverage for your aligners. Home aligner companies don’t accept insurance payments directly, but they will help you complete the necessary paperwork to receive a reimbursement.

As a general rule, we recommend that you contact your insurance company before purchasing your aligners. They’ll help you quickly determine whether or not your aligners will be covered. And if they are, your insurance company can help make sure your treatment gets coded correctly. It’s a hassle up front, but it’s much easier to address this issue before payment than after!

 

4 Tips for Making Your Home Teeth Alignment Treatment as Effective as Possible

You’ve decided on the aligner company you’re going to use. You’ll be on your way to a winning smile very soon. But before you kick off your treatment, follow these tips to make the process as simple as possible.

1) Get rid of those wisdom teeth first

Technically speaking, you can still get treatment before your wisdom teeth have come in. But then you run the risk of having them come in and push your freshly-straightened teeth out of the way. It’s better to postpone your treatment until you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed.

2) Follow your prescribed treatment to a T

Each home aligner company has its own treatment process, such as wearing an aligner for a week or two weeks, using a HyperByte tool, or wearing the aligners for a set time per day. Deviating from the plan can derail your treatment and cause additional discomfort, so don’t do it.

3) If anything goes wrong, contact customer support right away

Life happens. Your aligners could break or go missing. Or maybe you get a bad infection on your tooth that requires you to avoid wearing your aligners for a bit. If anything ever happens that obstructs your prescribed treatment, then get in touch with your support team. They’ll be able to help you replace your aligners or revise your treatment plan accordingly.

4) For whitening, use the treatment your clear aligner provides

Each company includes at least one set of their whitening treatment with each treatment set, and there’s a good reason for that. The whitening product they’ve developed is formulated to use in conjunction with their aligners. Some other whitening treatments could damage the plastic in your aligners.

 

How Does Home Teeth Alignment Actually Work?

By magic! Okay, not really. It only seems that home teeth aligners use magic to shift your teeth as invisibly as possible. But home teeth aligners use the same science as braces to straighten your smile. The only key difference is that clear aligners don’t use wires and brackets.

Instead, plastic aligners, when used as a full, step-by-step set, gradually shift your teeth to move them into place. Each aligner moves your teeth a tiny bit closer to your perfect smile.

At-home teeth aligners are much cheaper than traditional braces and Invisalign because there are no office visits involved. Basically, you don’t get charged for the overhead costs involved with a traditional dentist or orthodontist. That said, home teeth aligners are still reliable because they’re tailored specifically to your smile. Like we’ve mentioned, most companies use orthodontists to create their treatment plans. So, it’s almost the same as visiting the orthodontist but without the annoying office visits.

One note: these home teeth aligner companies are not the same thing as Invisalign. Invisalign uses clear aligners, but that’s where the similarity ends. Invisalign treatment is basically the same as braces but without the brackets and wires. It still requires office visits and the cost that goes with them. Home teeth aligners let you straighten your teeth at home from start to finish.

 

Ready for that Million Dollar Smile?

Feel comfortable using the best clear home aligner online.

We Recommend Byte

overall rating
4.9/5
Byte Reviews - Best Home Teeth Aligners

Byte is our #1 choice for home teeth straightening. They have the best customer support, fastest treatment timeline, and more.

 

About BestHomeTeethAligners.com

Top 4 Best Home Teeth Aligners (Byte vs Candid vs Smile Direct vs Smilelove)
Colin McKinney (left) and Casey Walker (right)

Dental care of any kind is a big investment. Straightening your teeth is no exception. Home teeth aligners make it easy and more affordable to get the smile of your dreams.

That said, there are several options to choose from. We’ve reviewed five of the top companies to help you choose which is best for you.

Whenever we review a home alignment service, we focus on the following criteria: Treatment Quality, Treatment Speed, Bang for Your Buck, Customer Service, and Noticeability.

While everyone has their own tastes and preferences, these are the five critical areas everyone should consider when choosing a company to perfect their smile. These are also the five things we look at most when reviewing at home clear aligners.