If you were one of the unlucky ones, you remember painful visits to the orthodontist in your teens. The sticky leather chair, picking out your colored rubber bands (orange and black for Halloween, duh), and lots and lots of metal.
It’s safe to say that getting your teeth straightened hasn’t been fun, or even easy. While Invisalign has been a leader in the invisible aligner game for awhile now, there are more and more options popping up that allow you to get straight teeth in the comfort of your own home – all while saving you upwards of $4,000.
How Do Invisible Aligners Work to Straighten Your Teeth?
1. Determine if you’re a good fit for invisible aligners.
Depending on what changes you want to make to your smile, as well as your overall dental health, you’ll want to make sure that invisible aligners are right for you. Most companies have a quiz or ask you take photos of your smile to help ensure you’re a good fit for aligners – and Byte, Invisalign and Candid all have licensed orthodontists involved, either online or in person, so you can ask questions to make sure this is the right way for your to straighten your smile. Of course, you can always ask your dentist at your normal visit.
2. Get a model of your teeth.
Once you’re ready to take the plunge, you’ll have to get a model of your teeth taken through a puddy impression kit or digital scan.
3. Customize your smile.
Whichever company you choose, you’ll have the chance to work with an orthodontist – online, or in some cases in person – to develop a treatment plan and customize your smile. That gap in your two front teeth doesn’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want it to.
4. Wear your aligners.
5. Flash your new smile! (And wear those retainers.)
Most treatments take anywhere from 3 months to a year to complete. Once your aligner treatment is complete, you’ll wear retainers to follow to ensure your smile stays in place.
How Candid, Byte, and Invisalign are Different than Traditional Braces
The biggest difference in braces vs. invisible aligners is the process in which your teeth are straightened. With braces, you’re using metal brackets and wires to mold and shape your teeth. Invisible aligners use a set of BPA-free plastic aligners that gradually move your teeth as the molds get closer and closer to your desired smile.
When it comes to convenience, teeth aligners are much easier to manage and look a lot better than braces do, making them a perfect choice for anyone who wants to continue their day-to-day life without feeling self conscious about straightening their teeth.
Also, remember how you always used to get that piece of corn stuck in your braces? That’s not a problem with invisible aligners. (Were we even allowed to eat corn when we had braces? I can’t remember. But corn is delicious.)
Is Candid, Byte, or Invisalign the Best Choice for Your Budget?
While Byte, Candid and Invisalign all offer a relatively similar type of invisible aligner and have somewhat similar process, it really comes down to how much you want to pay and how soon you want to see results. So who is more affordable, Invisalign, Byte or Candid?
With similar pricing structures and no need for office visits, Candid and Byte may come out ahead for those looking to save time and money. While Candid customers have reported successful results and positive customer service reviews, Byte is introducing a new technology, the HyperByte™ vibration tool, to cut your treatment time in half compared to Candid.
Neither requires you to actually go see an orthodontist in person (although you with Candid you can choose to go to one of their 25 offices for a scan, or do it all from home by yourself with their starter kit) – everything is handled online by their orthodontists.
Not having to actually go to a waiting room and hang out listening to the smooth jazz station while someone pokes in your mouth is a big difference vs. Invisalign, which requires you to go see a mouth doctor who has received specialized training. Depending on how much your value your time, this could be a big hidden cost difference between these solutions.
While all treatment times will vary in the end based on your teeth, use this comparison chart to compare Candid, Byte, and Invisalign to see which might be the best solution for your needs and budget.
Candid vs Byte vs Invisalign: Best Teeth Aligners Comparison
|Teeth Aligner Price||$1,900 $88/month||$1,895 $83/month||$3,000-$8,000 $100-$260/month|
|Insurance Eligible||Accepts HSA + FSAWill file claim for you||Provides forms for you to file claim||Accepts HSA + FSA Insurance processed through dental office|
|Requires Initial Office Visit to Start||Optional||No||Yes|
|Requires Monthly Office Visits||No||No||Yes|
|Treatment Overseen by Orthodontist||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Retainer Price||$99 per set||First set free $99 per set||First set free Set of 4 for $589|
|Average Treatment Time||6 months||3 months with HyperByte™ Vibration Tool||12-18 months|
|Impression Kit or Scan Cost||$95||$95||Varies by doctor|
|Teeth Modeling Process||At-home impression kit or visit one of 25+ locations for scan||At-home impression kit||In-office digital scan|
|Requires Attachments for Aligners||No||No||Yes|
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Detailed Comparison of Candid, Byte, and Invisalign
The ideal Candid candidate has good oral care, no permanent retainers, and desires only mild to moderate changes to their smile. They are not great for folks with more difficult cases (scroll down to Invisalign if that’s you).
Once you determine whether you’re a good fit, it’s time to get a model of your teeth. Candid is the one company that has options when it comes to getting your model made.
For the busy bees out there, you can have an at-home impression kit sent to you for $95. If you live near one of their 25+ locations nationwide, you can pop in for a scan of your teeth.
Either option takes approximately 30 minutes, but you obviously get the benefit of not having to leave your house (thus saving time) if you choose the at home option.
From there, your local Candid orthodontist will review the model of your teeth and work with you to create a plan that meets your smile goals. Once your treatment plan is set, you’ll review a 3D model of your new smile before receiving your aligners. Unlike Invisalign, Candid provides you with all of the aligners you need in your treatment plan in one shipment.
An added bonus? Feel good while you straighten your teeth. For each set sold, Candid donates $25 to Smile Train, an organization that helps provide cleft palate treatments to children around the world.
Your new teeth with Candid will set you back $1,900, or $88 per month with their payment plan.
The newest player in the invisible aligners game is Byte. Their mission? To get you to use a vibrator for your teeth. But also to be the company that gets your teeth straighter, faster.
Like Candid, Byte helps you decide if you’re a good fit for their product with a 30 second survey that asks you about your teeth spacing and crowding, existing dental work, as well as your insurance.
Byte doesn’t have any offices, so as soon as you’re ready, you’ll get your impression kit ($95, but they often have discounts of up to 70% off) delivered to your door to make a model of those pearly whites. Next, orthodontists will customize your treatment plan and prepare a 3D model of your teeth. That orthodontist work is all done online, so you don’t need to do any office visits.
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Happy with your future smile? It’s time to get shaking. Literally. Byte will mail you all of your aligners, along with a HyperByte™ and a free whitening kit.
The HyperByte vibration tool is Byte’s so-called secret weapon. Using high frequency vibration therapy, HyperByte helps reduce the discomfort found in wearing aligners, as well as help them fit better around your teeth. You’ll use the HyperByte daily for 5 minutes to speed up the process – and maybe even add a little jolt to your day.
The vibration angle is a pretty huge deal – this piece of technology means that you’ll have to wear the Byte aligners for 3 months, half the average time for a Candid treatment and something like ¼ the length of time for Invisalign’s treatment plan.
We also like their “byte-for-life” guarantee:
“We guarantee your new smile forever. If at any time after going through your byte treatment and while using your retainers that your smile moves out of alignment, we’ll help get it back into alignment at no additional cost. No questions asked.” Pretty cool.
Byte’s program costs $1895, or $83 per month, so if you want straighter teeth just in time for that big event at a slightly lower price than Candid, Byte might be the perfect fit.
The tried and true invisible aligner solution – but is it right for you?
Unlike Candid and Byte, Invisalign requires multiple in-office visits, including an initial consultation with your orthodontist to examine your teeth.
Once you’re ready and the doctor confirms you’re a good fit, they’ll take a digital scan of your teeth and begin to develop your treatment plan.
You’ll receive your first few sets of aligners initially, wearing each set for about two weeks. To keep track of your progress, Invisalign recommends in-office check ins every six to eight weeks so that your orthodontist can adjust your plan as needed.
With in-office care and regular check-ins with someone who can actually see and feel your teeth, Invisalign may be a better solution for those with more severe or unique teeth issues, or if you just want more oversight during your treatment.
Invisalign’s pricing varies, depending on your needs and treatment time, but most treatments average between $3,000 and $8,000, with varying monthly payment plans if needed
Which do we recommend: Candid vs Byte vs Invisalign?
With great reviews across the board, Candid is our top pick for invisible aligners. With Candid, you’ll save time with no required orthodontist office visits (unless you live near one of their locations and want to go in), and save money compared to the industry veteran, Invisalign. At the moment they are offering 65% off their starter kit with code NEWYOU65.
Byte is another great option, especially for impatient patients looking for results FAST. Research shows that their HyperByte vibration tool results in faster treatment times, and the brand was started by renowned dentist-to-the-stars Dr. Jon Marashi, so you know it’s legit. You can get one here and slash 70% OFF the price with code BACK2ME.
Once touted as an innovative industry disruptor, Invisalign is not for the time or cash poor. With required in-office visits and steep scale when it comes to pricing, Invisalign may beat braces, but it isn’t be our first pick for straightening out a smile on a budget.
If you’ve had experience with any of these (or other!) teeth aligners, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.