Aligner company byte is one of the most popular products currently on the market. Providing an affordable alternative to traditional braces and Invisalign, the company has grown from strength to strength over the last few years. However, with plenty of new products coming to the market, how does byte compare? We take a detailed look at everything you need to know about them and their clear aligners in our byte review.
🏆 Best for Ease of Use & Effectiveness / Options & Extras
byte has won our ‘Ease of Use & Effectiveness’ and ‘Options & Extras’ awards in our 2020 Aligners Awards.
There’s a lot to appreciate about byte. The company was founded in 2017 as a means of disrupting the traditional orthodontic industry. As a challenger brand, they’ve brought many innovations to the space, and remain one of the most established and respected aligner companies.
Fast treatment time, averaging just 3 months for their day aligners
The story behind byte is quite a novel one, particularly given that much of the current industry has followed byte’s trend. Chief Cosmetic Officer, Dr. Jon Marashi, is the brains behind the operation. He spent many years giving Hollywood celebrities the smiles they desire. His goal was to bring that to the masses.
Byte uses what’s known as Smile Science, an exclusive process that supposedly gives more satisfying results. They’re a privately held company that’s based out of Los Angeles, California.
Who can use byte aligners?
byte is designed for those with minor to moderate alignment issues. So, this means that if you have a mild to moderate crowding, rotation, or spacing issues, or need a minor bite correction, it could be for you.
More significant malocclusions aren’t suitable for treatment with byte. In fact, most aligner companies won’t treat major issues, as treatment just isn’t effective. Instead, you’ll need to see an orthodontist to discuss treatment options.
If you’re not sure whether byte is the right choice for you, the impression kits should give you the answer. It takes a mold of your top and bottom teeth, which are then assessed by professional orthodontists. If they think it’s beneficial, they’ll let you know you’re a viable candidate.
There are a couple of options when it comes to treatment. This means that if you’re not comfortable with the idea of wearing aligners all day, you can choose just to wear them at night. Such options are only available at a few competitors.
How are the dental aligners made?
The aligners used by byte are made from BPA-free medical-grade polymer film that’s highly transparent. According to the byte website, their aligners are scientifically proven to be smoother than competitors, as well as 88% more stain resistant. Despite this, they’re still resistant to tears and comfortable to wear.
Unlike some other companies that use 3D scans to measure your mouth and teeth, byte relies on molds of your teeth. These molds are made by using the impression kits sent to you in the post. They contain a putty that you bite into, giving an outline of your teeth.
From the impression kit, orthodontists will come up with a treatment plan that’s specialized for you. Each of your aligners will be made to gradually realign your teeth to give the desired effect. Along with the aligners, you’ll also need to use the HyperByte device to help your progress along.
The aligners themselves are cut straight across, which may be a little uncomfortable at first. However, this method means that they grip your teeth and create a gentle force, moving your teeth to where they need to be.
What treatment options are available?
There are two main types of treatment that you can opt for with byte. With many competitors, you can only choose the standard aligner. However, with byte, you can choose between the standard and the at-night aligners.
These two methods are quite different (as the name suggests). The standard, all-day aligners are those that you have to wear for 22 hours per day for the duration of your treatment. The at-night ones only need to be worn for 10 hours at night.
The at-night aligners are more expensive and take longer to work. However, they do give you greater freedom with when you have to wear them. Although the clear plastic aligners are mostly invisible, some people prefer not to use them all day.
Not everyone wants to wear dental aligners for 22 hours a day. You might lead a busy lifestyle, and want to avoid thinking about putting your aligners in and out of your mouth every time you eat. Or perhaps there’s something around your job that prevents you from using them during working hours. For those people, byte offers a premium service called ‘At-Night’.
This gives you the same quality treatment that normal byte aligners offer, but you only need to wear them overnight. As it’s a premium service, it does cost a little more, and the treatment times are slightly longer too. However, if you’re looking for a straighter smile without the need to constantly wear aligners, byte At-Night could be ideal.
When you use all-day aligners with byte, you should wear them for at least 22 hours. Instead, if you choose byte At-Night, you’ll only need to wear them for at least 10 hours. This does mean that, for many people, you can’t just wear them while you sleep – adults average 6-8 hours of sleep per night. So, you’ll just need to make sure that you put them in your mouth a couple of hours before you sleep, or leave them in for a couple of hours in the morning before you brush your teeth.
With the shorter wear time, this naturally means your treatment will take longer than it would if you chose all-day aligners. However, this is partially countered due to the At-Night aligners being thicker. This means they can move your teeth more during the hours you are wearing them. You’ll also need to use the HyperByte tool for 10 minutes per day.
By using the HyperByte tool and wearing your At-Night aligners for at least 10 hours a day, you can expect results in 5-6 months. This is longer than the all-day byte aligners which average 3 months, but it’s around the same length as many other providers’ all-day aligners, which makes it a very attractive option if you want results pretty fast, without the all-day inconvenience.
With the thicker aligners giving you the accelerated service to keep treatment times to a minimum, there is an increased cost when paying for At-Night aligners. They cost $2,245 if you pay upfront and in full. This is $350 more than the all-day aligners.
If you choose to pay by instalments, it will cost you $98 per month for 25 months, with a down payment of $415. The total cost when paid in installments is, therefore, $2,865, which is $441 more expensive than paying for all-day aligners in instalments, and also $620 more expensive than paying for At-Night aligners upfront.
byte At-Night summary
Choosing At-Night aligners is more expensive than all-day and it means your treatment time is longer – but when you compare it against other providers’ all-day aligners, it’s still as quick (or quicker) than most. If you can’t wear aligners during the day, or you don’t want to, byte At-Night may just be the perfect solution for you.
How long does byte treatment take?
There are two main factors that determine how long your byte treatment will last:
The type of aligners. Byte’s all-day aligners need to be worn for 22 hours per day. However, treatment can often be completed in as little as three months. At-night aligners need to be worn for 10 hours overnight, but take on average 4-10 months to have the desired effect.
Your teeth. The exact amount of time needed depends a fair amount on your teeth. Those with minor issues will often find treatment is quicker than for those with moderate issues. You’ll receive aligners based on your specific needs.
Are there any other steps to take?
Along with having the retainers in, there are a few things you’ll need to do during your treatment. The most important of these is using the HyperByte for 5-10 minutes per day, depending on your treatment. This proprietary vibration tool helps speed up the process of realignment.
You’ll also have to provide updates regarding your progress, usually in the form of a photograph every few weeks. Qualified orthodontists will check your teeth to make sure that everything is progressing as it should.
How much does byte treatment cost?
Treatment with byte is competitively priced, cheaper than some alternatives, but more expensive than others. There are a few factors that impact your total cost, and there are a few additional fees here and there.
The byte impression kit costs $95, which is a little on the expensive side compared to some other brands. However, the cost is refundable if the orthodontist determines you’re not a good fit for the treatment. If you make a mistake using the impression kit, you’ll get another one sent out to you.
The cost of your full byte aligners set is $1895 for all-day aligners and $2,245 for at-night aligners if you pay the full amount upfront. This amount includes aligners for the duration of your treatment plan, the HyperByte teeth movement accelerator, and teeth whitener.
There are also payment plans available, allowing you to spread the cost. However, these tend to cost a little bit more. All-day aligners cost $83 per month for 25 months, with a down payment of $349. This cost totals $2424, which is $529 more expensive than the lump sum payment.
At-night aligners cost $98 per month for 25 months, with a $415 deposit. The total cost of this treatment is $2865, which is $620 more than the one-time payment option.
These treatment costs make byte one of the most expensive brands on the market. However, you do get a few extras (such as the HyperByte tool).
If you lose or damage your aligner, you’ll have to pay for a replacement yourself. The exact cost of the replacement depends on which ones you need, and range from $29 to $500. However, if the aligner is damaged because of a manufacturing defect, byte will issue a free replacement.
After your treatment is complete, you’ll have to wear retainers at night for the rest of your life. Each set lasts around six months and costs $99. However, your first set of retainers are included in the cost of your treatment.
Are payment options available?
byte offers patients a variety of payment plans to make the cost of your aligners fit your monthly budget. As well as the option to purchase them outright, you also have a few options for payment plans:
bytepay. This is a 100% guaranteed approval option and requires a $349/$415 deposit, depending on the type of retainer you get. It then costs $83 or $98 per month for 25 months.
Splitit. With this method, you can purchase with Visa or Mastercard and split the cost across 3 or 6 monthly payments that are interest-free.
Affirm. This method lets you split your payments over as many monthly payments as you want.
Is a warranty or guarantee available?
There are a couple of guarantees available to patients who choose byte:
Impression kits: If you order an impression kit and the orthodontists determine you’re not suitable for treatment, you’ll get a refund on your order.
Aligners: Your byte treatment is ‘guaranteed for life’ according to the byte website. This means the company is committed to your ongoing smile. If at the end of your treatment, you’re not happy with the results, you may be eligible for further treatment at no cost. This depends on you having followed the treatment plan carefully.
How old do you have to be?
Those over the age of 12 are eligible for treatment, provided they have their full set of adult teeth. Those under the age of 18 will need signed consent for treatment from their parent or guardian.
Where is byte treatment available?
Patients across the US can get treatment from byte. Because they have no physical clinics you can visit, the whole process is done remotely. They ship their impression kits and aligners to all US states, meaning you can get treatment no matter where you are.
What about customer service?
Customers often praise byte for their customer service, and the company seems dedicated to making the process as easy as possible. On the byte Contact Us page, there are several options available for you to get in touch. This includes:
Text message on 310-803-5878
Voice call on 866-765-2327
As well as these methods of customer service, you can also contact them if you’re having difficulty using the impression kits. They will talk you through the process either on the phone or through video chat.
byte: The Verdict
As one of the major players in the aligner market, there’s a lot to like about byte. They provide enough unique features to set them apart from the pack, making them one of the best companies we’ve looked at so far. Here’s why:
Just about anyone in the US can order an impression kit from byte and get started with their dental journey. byte ships their products to all 50 states, meaning you can get aligners no matter where you are.
The downside is that they don’t have any physical locations. Companies like SmileDirectClub offer in-person consultations and scans, which can make the whole process feel a lot more reassuring and professional.
Although at the expensive end of the scale, byte offers patients good value for money when it comes to aligners. As ever, they’re much cheaper than Invisalign or braces, and there are some good options available.
One drawback is that the finance options often end up costing a lot more than the one-time payment. Realistically, you’ll pay $500-$600 more for choosing finance, which is a significant amount.
Ease of use
The process is similar to that of many competitor brands, making these aligners fairly straight forward to use. You have the option of choosing 22-hour per day or 10-hour per night aligners, which is a freedom only a few brands offer.
Your entire set of aligners, as well as the HyperByte alignment tool, are sent directly to your door. You’re given a full set of instructions, and there are some good support systems in place for anyone who struggles.
It’s really great to see multiple options when it comes to both the treatment and the payment of byte aligners. Those who don’t like the idea of all-day braces can opt for the at-night ones, while the range of payment options means you can spread the cost in a way that works best for you.
The team at byte seems reasonably passionate about ensuring you get the results you want. As well as a refund for anyone who isn’t eligible for treatment, byte ensures that you get ongoing support should your results not be satisfactory, as well as a lifetime guarantee on your treatment.
🤑 How much are byte aligners?
When you start your journey with byte, you’ll pay for the impression kit which costs $95. If, after your impression is taken, you’re judged to not be suitable for treatment, this total amount is refunded. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay $1895 for the full aligner treatment. Military and student discounts are available if you get in touch.
If you wanted to pay via instalments, you can do – byte has various options available, which all bring the cost slightly higher but make it much more manageable, some without a down payment. You can also use FSA/HAS for byte, and it can be claimed on your dental insurance too, in order to make it more affordable when you begin treatment.
🤔 Do byte aligners work?
Yes – byte aligners do work and they have the testimonials to prove it, as well as many recommendations from independent authorities. If you’re concerned whether byte will work for you, you can speak to byte who can show you examples of past customers with similar smiles to yours, and the results they achieved.
If you do follow the byte treatment plan and stick to the rules, including taking progress photos, and at the end of the treatment you aren’t happy with the results, speak to byte and they will re-evaluate you and potentially give you more aligners at no extra charge.
😁 What is Smile Science?
Smile Science is a system used by byte to determine your treatment plan. It was developed by Dr. Marashi, a cosmetic dentist who has worked with many top Hollywood actors. The system uses five points of analysis to determine your perfect smile and how to help you achieve that, which is then reflected in the customized aligners you’ll be sent. It’s the most precise way of creating a smile you’ll fall in love with.
😴 Can you do byte treatment at night only?
Yes – byte aligners are one of the few providers now offering an aligner system that works only at night. If you’re unsure about whether aligners will be comfortable to wear, or you’re self-conscious about even clear aligners being on show during the day, you can choose to wear these nighttime-only aligners. It’ll extend your treatment time by a few months, but it may be the preferred option if you want to avoid wearing aligners for most of the day.
🤓 What is the HyperByte?
The HyperByte is a small vibrating tool that helps to soften the gums and makes it easier for your teeth to be realigned. It’s a very clever bit of kit that orthodontists would normally charge up to $900 for privately, but you’ll get a HyperByte tool included free with your aligner plan. Use it daily and it can shorten your treatment time drastically, allowing you to see results in an average of just 3 months.
😀 What is BrightByte?
BrightByte is a 3-in-1 solution that byte offers with its aligner plans. You’ll get a one month’s supply included with your aligners, with each subsequent month costing $30 to order direct from byte.
The solution works as a foam cleaner for your aligners, helping to sterilize them and keep them clean and safe to use. They’re also a teeth whitener, giving you a brighter smile while your teeth are adjusted. And finally, they’re also a breath freshener, so your mouth will be as fresh as your new smile.
It’s simple to apply – just spray the foam into your aligner once per day after brushing your teeth, before you fit them.
🦷 Do byte aligners fix overbites?
Aligners aren’t just designed for straightening teeth – they can also help to correct an overbite. If you want to use byte aligners to fix your overbite, you may be eligible – but it will depend on how big the overbite is.
When you get your impression kit, make sure you follow the instructions to get an accurate depiction of your overbite. Then the orthodontists working for byte will be able to determine whether aligners can help you. If not, you’ll get a full refund on the cost of your impression kit.
😕 Do byte aligners hurt?
When you first change to a new set of aligners, it’s not unusual to feel a little bit of soreness. That’s because the aligner is actively pushing your teeth into a new position. You should get used to it pretty quickly, and it should completely disappear within a couple of days. If it doesn’t hurt at all, it likely means they’re not working – check you’ve inserted them properly.
If the pain is strong, or it lasts more than a few days, you should contact byte immediately and they’ll help you identify the issue.
💦 How to clean byte aligners?
According to byte, the best way to clean your aligners is to rinse them and brush them with your toothbrush as soon as you’ve removed them, which you should do whenever you’re eating. You don’t need to use toothpaste to clean them.
You can also use BrightByte whitening gel, which not only whitens your teeth, but it cleans the aligners at the same time. Just add the gel when you’re replacing your aligners to stop them from going off-color. Again, make sure you rinse off any residue from the gel when you next remove your aligners.
🔎 What are byte aligners made of?
Byte aligners are made of a type of plastic, a BPA-free polymer film that is almost completely transparent. It’s medical-grade too, so you know your aligners will be safe to use. Byte claims that their aligners are smoother than aligners from other brands, and 88% more stain-resistant too.
They’re designed to be strong, but that doesn’t mean you can be reckless with them. You should always remove your aligners before you eat, and try not to keep biting down on them. Also, never clean them in very hot water, as this can cause them to warp and lose their shape, which will render them ineffective.
Your package also includes your first set of retainers, to protect your new smile once your treatment is complete.
👀 What do byte aligners look like?
The BPA-free plastic material that goes into making byte aligners means they are almost completely transparent. So, your aligners will look like a clear gum shield with indentations to match your teeth when you look at them up close, but once you’re wearing them, they’re pretty much invisible.
That’s why so many people are turning to clear dental aligners over braces. The treatment may take a little longer (although, with byte’s innovations, that’s negated), but wearing clear aligners lets people feel more confident since their treatment won’t even be noticeable.
😁 I’ve just had my wisdom teeth removed, is it too soon to start byte?
You need to make sure that your mouth is completely settled before you start using byte dental aligners. If not, then the work they do could be undone, and you won’t qualify for the lifetime guarantee.
If you’ve just had your wisdom teeth removed, you should wait six weeks before you start byte’s dental aligner treatment. If your wisdom teeth haven’t come through yet, you should wait until they have, and then you’ll need to get a recommendation from your dentist that you’re fine to keep them. Your dentist may recommend removing them instead.
👩🏽💻 Who owns byte aligners?
The company behind byte aligners was founded in 2017 by Scott Cohen and Blake Johnson. Both are entrepreneurs with plenty of experience behind them, each building up successful businesses before deciding to move into dental aligners.
The current company president is Neeraj Gunsagar, who was brought into the company by Cohen and Johnson to prepare for international expansion.