Find out how Candid aligners compare to other products on the market. We look at how the Candid process works, how much it costs, and what treatment options are available.
Written by Blair Hudson GDP Registered Dentist
Candid is a
company that offers teeth-straightening aligners via their online service.
Since the company’s foundation in 2017, they have served tens of thousands of
customers. The Candid service provides mail order invisible braces, without the
need to visit an orthodontist.
So, how does
Candid’s offering stack up and will their service leave you with a smile on
your face? We take a detailed look at what they provide.
a number of promises when it comes to their services. Perhaps the most
interesting is their commitment to using only orthodontists, rather than just
general dentists. This, they claim, gives you a more comprehensive level of
exclusive use of orthodontists comes their second promise – that patients
receive care throughout their alignment process. They provide remote monitoring
by an orthodontist, as well as a proprietary treatment protocol.
Offer free appointments and have
Access to licensed orthodontists
throughout your care
Progress tracked through scans taken
on your phone
Top-quality clear aligners
Slower than some alternatives
Price point is higher than many
Finance options may require a credit
Who is behind Candid?
First things first – you may come across a variety of names for Candid and their service. Candid Co and Candid Care Co are two of the other names you’ll potentially see on your search. We’ll use Candid to cover all three.
launched in 2017, after a group of entrepreneurs partnered with Dr. C. Lynn Hurst,
a world-class orthodontist. Since then, the company has grown to have over 300
employees, helping tens of thousands of patients improve their smile.
24 Candid studios across the US, from Atlanta to Washington. Of course, there
isn’t one near you, you can go down the at-home route to get started.
Who can use Candid aligners?
Candid aligners are for patients who have crooked or overcrowded teeth. Those
with small gaps or spaces may also benefit from this type of treatment.
Essentially, they’re for mild to moderate malocclusions (your teeth don’t align
when your jaw is closed).
Those with more severe issues, such as those needing bite corrections or with extreme alignment/spacing issues, are not suitable for treatment. Similarly, if you’ve had recent dental work or have some scheduled for issues like cavities, decay, or gum issues, you won’t be eligible.
To find out
whether you’re a suitable candidate, the Candid website has a 30-second survey
that you can take. They ask you questions about your teeth, your age, and your
zip code to determine if you’re eligible. If you are, you can then book an
appointment or order a home test kit.
How are Candid dental aligners made?
starts the process by using either a 3D scan of your teeth taken at their
clinic or a putty impression if you use the at-home starter kit. From here,
your scan and photos are sent to a state-licensed orthodontist who reviews your
dental records and creates a plan.
other aligner companies, Candid doesn’t use PET-G resin for its products.
Instead, they use a stain-resistant thermoplastic. This durable material is
thermoformed using precision measurements and is almost entirely invisible.
Once you’ve visited a studio or sent off your impression kit, it takes around two weeks to get your teeth assessed. Once your treatment plan is approved, you can expect to wait a further three weeks for Candid to make and ship your aligners.
process is quite a bit longer than some of the competitors out there, but the
emphasis is on a thorough assessment and the use of quality materials.
What treatment options are available?
comes to the treatment options on offer, there isn’t much variation. Candid
only offer the standard clear aligners, which gradually move the teeth over
time. Their standard course of treatment takes six months on average.
fairly limited scope of options, it’s clear that Candid isn’t the right choice
for everyone. Those with more severe alignment or spacing issues won’t find the
answer here. As for the length of time, six months is shorter than braces or
Invisalign treatment, but longer than similar competitors.
choose Candid aligners will need to wear them for at least 22 hours per day,
taking them out only to eat and clean them. After eating, you should brush your
teeth before reinserting the aligners.
There is a
choice when it comes to how you start your treatment. Patients can choose
whether to take the at-home test kit or visit one of the Candid clinics.
How long does Candid treatment take?
amount of time your treatment will take depends on several factors. On average,
Candid claims that treatment takes six months. However, this may be more or
less for you, depending on the amount of adjustment needed. In reality, it
could be 3-10 months.
factor that determines the length of time it takes is how regularly you wear
your aligners. So long as you wear yours for the recommended 22 hours per day,
you’ll see consistent results.
Are there any other steps to take?
your initial consultation at a Candid clinic, you won’t need to visit any
physical locations. However, you will need to send digital images of your teeth
so that your orthodontists can keep track of your progress.
Monitoring service is supposed to reduce your overall treatment time by 30% and
guarantee that you get the results you want. It also gives you the peace of
mind that you’re having a professional keep an eye on your teeth, even if it is
from a distance.
How much does Candid treatment cost?
Candid aligners cost $2,400 for the full treatment, including the remote monitoring by an orthodontist. This is significantly less than braces or Invisalign, which can cost up to $4,500.
You're able to apply for a monthly payment plan, if you don't want to pay everything up front. These are flexible – there's a 0% APR and $0 down payment plan with financing company Affirm, or you can go with Candid's own finance option, which has a $299 down payment and monthly payments from $79 per month.
It's also now available at a lower price if you choose the Buy It Now Aligner Kit. This offer from Candid includes all your aligners in one box, a free starter kit and Candid's whitening foam. The total cost for this package is $2,100 – so $300 less than the standard price.
Of all the
aligner companies around, Candid ranks as one of the most expensive. However,
their fee includes everything you need before and after treatment.
The first part of the Candid process is the 3D scan of your teeth. This can be done in one of their clinics for free, although the starter kit is included in the final cost of the treatment.
You can also get the scan done based off an impression of your teeth, which can be done at home. The starter kit costs $95 and comes with two impressions and a return shipping label for your kit. You can also save 65% on this price if you use the code ATHOME when you purchase.
treatment plan starts, you’ll get a 3D image of what your teeth will look like
at the end. It’s a nice touch that gives you the confidence to move forward
with the treatment. Once you’ve approved your personalized aligner program,
Candid will start the manufacturing process, which takes around three weeks.
If you’re paying up-front for your treatment, it’ll be a flat fee of $2,400, or $2,100 for the Buy It Now Aligner Kit. For those paying monthly, your payments will depend on your credit score and which payment plan you choose.
If you lose
or damage your aligners, a replacement costs $49.00 each time. However, if you
receive a faulty aligner, then Candid will replace it free of charge.
At the end
of your treatment, you’ll get a retainer for free. These are sent to you once
your program is complete. Optional retainers are $99 per set, although, for
each one sold, Candid donates $25 to charity.
Are payment options available?
There are payment plans available. Candid offers their own financing, with flexible payments starting from $79 per month with a $299 down payment. There is also a $0 down payment and 0% APR option but the credit score requirements for this are a little more restrictive.
The 0% interest payment plan is provided through a third-party company called Affirm. However, unlike other aligner companies, these plans may require a credit check.
Is a warranty or guarantee available?
offer a money-back guarantee. They will replace any faulty aligners, but not
those that have been damaged.
this lack of guarantee, Candid is committed to making sure you’re happy with
the results. If at the end of your program, you’re not happy with the results,
they offer refinements. These refinements are additional aligners that will
last you to the end of your treatment and are provided at no cost.
How old do you have to be?
When they first launched, Candid only offered treatment for those aged 18 or over, although select cases would be considered for 16 and 17 year olds.
That changed in 2020 when Candid announced they were now able to treat teenagers, with a minimum age limit of 13. Now, younger teens can get the same quality of Candid treatment, overseen by a qualified orthodontist, without the need to keep visiting the office.
There are some slight differences for teens – they need to upload high-res scans of their teeth every 10 days to ensure that treatment stays on track while the teeth are finding their place. It's simple enough to do though – just upload a picture through the app. It's also beneficial to teens as it lets them track their progress.
The price for teens is slightly higher than for adults, at $2,800, but this is still usually less expensive than traditional braces, and monthly payment plans are still available, while insurance contributions are welcomed.
Where is Candid treatment available?
Candid operate their service in all 50 states. However, there are only 24 clinics nationwide, meaning you may not be close enough for an initial consultation.
The Studios are open during the COVID-19 pandemic, with extra safety measures put into place, but please check before you travel.
selling point of Candid is that it doesn’t matter where in the US you are, you
can still get access to treatment and a plan from an orthodontist. With their
at-home impression kits, you can get started without having to visit a clinic.
What about customer service?
If you do
go to a clinic, you’ll have a face-to-face meet with the Candid team. Here, you
can talk to the orthodontist and ask any questions you have.
the length of your treatment, you’ll have to provide your mouth scans via their
Remote Monitoring service. This means the orthodontist can still direct your
during your treatment, there is an FAQ page, an online chat portal, and a phone
number. The latter is open Monday – Sunday 9am-7pm EST.
Candid: The Verdict
biggest benefit of choosing Candid is that you can get access to their service
from anywhere in the country. Although you can visit one of their clinics in
person, you can just as easily get started from home.
for those who want the reassurance of an in-person meet with an orthodontist,
this may not be ideal. The vast majority of the contact you have will be
remote. Although convenient, some may prefer the personal touch.
While it’s true that treatment with Candid is significantly cheaper than braces or Invisalign, it’s still one of the priciest options on the market. The $2,400 price tag may be too much for some and paying in installments, although it spreads the cost, works out even more expensive.
The newer Buy It Now kit is cheaper, at $2,100, which does make it more competitive against other aligner providers with a similar service.
Another downside is the fact that Candid’s finance provider performs a credit check when you apply. This means that if your credit score isn’t all that high, you might not get accepted. Candid's newer finance options with a down payment do accept more customers, but the interest means that your aligners will cost more.
expensive, Candid’s treatment does cover everything, so there are no hidden
fees. Additionally, you get access to qualified orthodontists rather than
regular dentists, which is significant.
Ease of use
If you have
an in-clinic consultation, the 3D scan and assessment is a straightforward
process. If you’re not eligible, it won’t cost you a thing. If you are, then
you’ll get your aligners in the mail once you’ve set up payment.
go down the home kit route may have to work a bit harder. Not only does it cost
to have the kit, but you have to make sure you get an accurate indent of your
teeth. They provide two sets of impressions in case you make a mistake.
aligners themselves are easy enough to use. You get sets for the entire length
of your treatment, as well as a complimentary whitening kit for your teeth and
a case. It usually takes a couple of days for your mouth to adjust to having
them in, but you need to leave them in for 22 hours per day.
the range of options you’d usually see with other dental treatments. If you’re
eligible, you’re eligible. If not, you don’t have any other options with
Candid. The one type of aligner they provide is suitable for all the customers
that fit the criteria.
two options for payment – a lump sum and monthly installments. The latter is
more expensive, but it allows you to spread the cost.
their customers’ satisfaction in mind at all times. Although they don’t offer
refunds or discounts, they do make sure they deliver a program that works for
If you’re not happy at the end of your treatment, they will work with you until you are. This includes giving you free Refinements until your teeth are the way you want them to be. However, this only applies if you followed the routine as Candid outlines.
Check your options right now
The quick test helps you find a solution exactly for you
Is Candid FDA approved?
Candid’s dental aligners are made from a special type of plastic that is FDA-approved, so you can be sure they’re safe to use for the treatment of mild to moderate orthodontic issues. The aligners are 3D printed in a similar way to Invisalign.
Does Candid take insurance?
Yes, you can pay for your dental treatment through your normal dental plan – you just need to make sure that orthodontist treatments are covered by the plan you pay for. Treatment is paid directly by your insurer and it must come from your dental insurance, not your standard health insurance.
You cannot split the cost over multiple insurance policies, only single claims are accepted. To submit your insurance details, just log onto the Candid portal once you’ve signed up for treatment and you can enter your details there, ready for Candid to make a claim on your behalf. Also, be aware that even if Candid submits the claim for you, you’ll need to follow up to ensure it’s being dealt with. Candid won’t chase your insurer for payment, and the debt could fall to you.
Do Candid aligners work for overbites?
Unfortunately, Candid don’t recommend use of their aligners for overbites. Aligners are suited for moving individual teeth and not realigning a whole jaw. Instead, speak to your dentist or orthodontist to see what other treatment options are available if you have a pronounced overbite.
How to clean Candid aligners?
Taking care of your Candid dental aligners is easy. You simply need to rinse them under cool water on most days to keep them fresh, and then every now and then brush them gently with a soft-bristle toothbrush and your normal toothpaste.
You should never use hot water to clean your aligners, as this can soften them and cause them to lose their shape. Don’t soak them in mouthwash or denture cleaner either as this can be too abrasive and can cause damage to your aligners that may render them ineffective.
Why were my photos rejected?
If your photos are rejected, this means they couldn’t be used by the Candid orthodontist to properly diagnose you. There are two reasons the photos may be rejected – either the quality of the images are too lower, or they don’t show your teeth and gums sufficiently.
To avoid these issues, make sure you follow the guidelines that come with your remote kit. Take your photos in a well-lit area, and be weary of the flash being too bright. If you follow these instructions your photos should be OK for the orthodontist to use in order to assess you and give you feedback during your treatment process.
Why would someone be rejected for Candid dental aligners?
There are three main reasons you could be rejected for Candid dental aligners.
The first of these is if you require a permanent retainer. If that’s the case, you aren’t eligible.
Secondly, you need to have paid a recent visit to the dentist and had a full check-up. If your gums aren’t healthy, or you have any cavities or other decay issues, then you won’t be suitable for aligner treatment. You’ll need to show records of a recent appointment with a clean dental bill of health.
Finally, it may be that your teeth simply aren’t suited to clear aligners. Clear aligners can only fix mild to moderate issues, and they cannot help with an overbite, so you may require alternative forms of treatment as recommended by your dentist or private orthodontist. Don’t worry, Candid will be honest and won’t charge you if you aren’t suited to their aligners.
Can I be treated if I’m under 18?
Yes - Candid now accepts customers as young as 13 for aligner treatment, providing you are suitable - you'll need to provide a scan or impression of your teeth as normal.
How do I refer friends to Candid?
It’s easy to refer friends to Candid if you’re already a Candid customer. Just log onto your account on the Candid website and you’ll be given a referral code that can be shared in multiple ways, including email, text message or via social media. If your friend becomes a Candid customer, they’ll get a free starter kit and $250 off their treatment. And for your trouble, you’ll get a $100 Amazon gift card within 5-7 business days after their first aligners have arrived.
Does Candid offer a whitening service?
Yes – Candid offers a whitening service that you can use at the same time as your aligners. It’s a gentle foam that you spray into your aligner before placing it, which over time will gradually give you a whiter smile at the same time as your teeth are straightened.
It’s a mild foam, so you shouldn’t suffer any soreness or sensitivity, and you can use it up to four times a day. You’ll get one bottle of the foam included with your aligners, with additional foam available to buy directly from Candid at a cost of $25 per bottle.
What happens if I lose an aligner?
If you lose one of your aligners, or you break one accidentally, then you should contact the Candid care team immediately and they’ll advise you on the best action to take.
If you need to replace the aligners, it’ll cost $99 to get them made and shipped to you, and you may be asked to wear a prior set until they’ve arrived. In some cases though, if you’re most of the way through your period of time with this aligner set, you may be advised to move onto the next set slightly early. It’s important that you let Candid know so that they can give you the best advice and also record your updates in your treatment plan.
Find out how Candid aligners compare to other products on the market. We look at how the Candid process works, how much it costs, and what treatment options are available.