When you’re on the path to a straighter smile, you want to make sure you’ve chosen the best clear aligners. Your smile should be something you’re proud of. You don’t want to pay too much or choose a provider that doesn’t meet your needs.
Clear aligners are a great way to achieve a smile that you love. They’re discreet and convenient, working quickly and effectively to move your teeth with minimal discomfort.
When you receive your aligners, you should wear them for at least 22 hours every day. These clear aligners can be worn at work, at the gym or on a hike. You should only remove them if you’re eating, brushing or drinking anything other than water. Treatment could take as little as three months with some providers.
Two providers of clear aligners are Candid and byte. How do you know which is best? Check our comparison of these two clear aligner companies.
How much do Candid aligners cost?
Candid aligners aren’t cheap. In fact, you’ll pay $2,400 for treatment. This makes Candid one of the most expensive clear aligner providers. If you’re lucky, you’ll start treatment when there’s a deal to save money – like the Buy It Now Kit, which is now available for $2,100 and includes everything you need for at-home treatment.
You can choose to start by paying for a Starter Kit. This is the kit to make impressions at home, costing $95. If you’re sure you want to go ahead, it might be better to pay for the treatment plan without buying a separate Starter Kit. If you sign up to the whole treatment plan, you’ll get your impression kit included and shipped to your door. Alternatively, book a visit to one of Candid’s clinics. There, get a free 3D scan so you don’t need to make impressions at home.
If you want to pay in instalments, there’s a couple of options. A 0% APR and $0 down payment option is available pending a credit check, or customers can choose a $299 down payment and payments from $79 each month. This raises the price of your treatment, but helps to spread the cost.
Replacement aligners cost $49. This is a fairly typical price if you’ve lost or broken an aligner tray. When your treatment comes to an end, maintain your smile with retainers costing $99. You’re likely to need a new set of retainers every six months after treatment, but Candid will provide your first set at no extra cost.
How much do byte aligners cost?
Treatment with byte is a very affordable $1,895, with an extra $95 that you’ll need to pay for your impression kit. There are no clinics to visit, so investing in your impression kit will be the only way to get started.
You can sign up to a finance plan, paying for aligners in instalments. Again, this will be more expensive than making one up-front payment. There’s a $359 down payment for aligners, followed by ongoing payments of $83 a month for 25 months. This brings the total treatment cost to $2,424, which is about the same as paying up-front for Candid treatment.
Replacement aligners, with byte, are an unpredictable cost. How much you pay will depend on which aligner trays you’ve broken, and on your current stage of treatment. Whilst byte reserves the right to charge up to $500, replacement aligners do start from $29 per tray. It’s likely that you’ll pay something closer to the lower end of this broad scale.
Replacement aligners, if yours are lost or damaged, can cost up to $500. It’s likely you’ll be charged a more reasonable price, but best to be prepared for the worst. The cost of your replacement will depend on which trays and aligners you need, with prices starting from $29.
Once you’ve finished your treatment, retainers from byte cost $99 a set. Your first set is included in the cost of your treatment.
So, which is more affordable?
Treatment from byte is significantly cheaper than Candid. Candid’s prices start at $2,100 if you choose the Buy It Now Kit, or $2,400 full price, but for byte this price is close to what you’ll pay if you spread the cost over two years. With byte, paying up-front will cost just $1,895.
Payment plans, if you’re going down that route, are fairly equal. Down payments are similar, and in both cases you’ll be paying for two years in total. The difference is that where byte charges $83 each month, Candid instalments start at $79 but could be a lot higher in your case. Much of how much you’ll pay with Candid depends on your credit history.
How long does treatment take with Candid?
Some dental aligner providers will make very specific promises. Candid won’t do this. Instead, they’ll tell you that most treatments take between 3-10 months. That’s a big window, but the average treatment takes about 6 months.
The exact length of time you’ll need to wear aligners will depend on your unique teeth. If your smile needs more movement, you’ll need to wear aligners for closer to 10 months. If your teeth just need a small adjustment, you could be done in 3 months.
Throughout your treatment, you must wear your aligners for about 22 hours a day. Only remove them for brushing your teeth, eating, or drinking anything other than water.
How long does treatment take with byte?
With byte, treatment can be accelerated. This provider claims that treatment might take less than 3 months, and that by following byte’s treatment plan you can cut your overall treatment time in half. Where other providers estimate 6 months, byte will get things done in half the time.
Again, despite byte’s attractive claims, you’ll need to be aware that some smiles simply take longer to adjust. Your byte aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours a day
So, which is more effective?
If you’re looking for a quick fix, byte is the obvious winner. This company claims that it could improve your smile in half the time. If you’re happy to go slow and steady, Candid provides a realistic window that should cover most situations. Expect to have your new smile in as little as 3 months, especially with byte, but be prepared to use aligners slightly longer.
How good is the service provided by Candid?
If you’re not a suitable candidate for dental aligners, Candid will refund the cost of the home impression kit you purchased. Beyond this, though, Candid doesn’t offer refunds if you’re unhappy. Once you’ve started, you’ll need to see your treatment through all the way to completion.
If you finish your treatment and you still don’t like your smile, Candid will offer free refinements until you’ve got the smile you expected. Refinements come in the form of extra aligners, extending the treatment to reach your desired results. If you want free refinements, you'll need to make sure that you’ve followed Candid’s treatment plan and checked in with them regularly.
How good is the service provided by byte?
Customer support from byte is incredibly impressive. Not only will they refund the cost of your impression kit if you’re not a suitable candidate, but they’ll also offer a lifetime guarantee once you reach the end of your treatment. If your teeth ever start to slip out of place again, they’ll give you new aligners for adjustments.
Retainers will help you to avoid the need to call upon byte’s lifetime guarantee. Whichever dental aligners you choose, make sure you invest in retainers.
So, which offers the most reassurance?
Candid is self-assured. This company feels confident that it’s the best, so further reassurance is limited. If you’re unhappy when you’ve finished your treatment, Candid will support you until you have the look you’ve always wanted. After that, it’s up to you to maintain that straight smile.
With byte, lifetime support and a lifetime guarantee are even more reassuring. You’ll know that no matter what happens in future, you can make sure that your smile always looks its best.
How easy is it to get started with Candid?
With Candid, there are two ways to get started. You can visit a Candid clinic for a free 3D scan, or you can buy a home impression kit to make dental impressions on your own.
There are six Candid clinics in California, as well as further clinics in Boston, Chicago, New York, Austin and Washington DC. If you’re not close to one of these clinics, home impressions might be your only option.
A home impression kit costs $95, with remote support from orthodontists if you can’t see them face-to-face.
Once your dental impressions have been sent to the lab, it’ll take about three weeks to get your aligners.
How easy is it to get started with byte?
There are no byte clinics, so you’ll need to start your treatment at home. You can’t arrange a face-to-face appointment. With byte, only remote support is available. You’ll use a home impression kit to create a mold of your teeth, with clear instructions so you won’t make a mistake.
Once you’ve made your dental impressions, you’ll be waiting 4-6 weeks for your aligners to arrive. Shipping is available to all US states.
So, which has the best availability?
With the option to visit a clinic if you don’t want to use a home impression kit, Candid is the winner in this category. With either provider you can go through the entire treatment process at home. If you’d prefer to get a 3D scan, it’s Candid that you’ll need to work with.
Options & Additional Services
What’s included with Candid’s clear aligners?
When you sign up for Candid treatment, you’ll get a pack containing everything you need from the very beginning ‘til the end. This means that you get all sets of clear aligner trays, along with ongoing support and regular checks so that you know when it’s time to switch.
You’ll get Chewies to use with your aligners. These are small tubes that you put into your mouth temporarily, as soon as you’ve inserted your aligners. Bite down on the Chewies to help your aligners firmly move into place. This makes sure that your aligners sit comfortable, making them more effective and reducing any discomfort.
Also included in your Candid pack is a whitening foam. This can be used at any point during or after your treatment.
You will also receive your first set of retainers, covered within your treatment cost.
What’s included with byte aligners?
Your byte pack includes all the aligners you’ll need as you work through your treatment. You’ll follow your plan to make sure that you know when to switch to your next aligner trays. This should be roughly every two weeks, but with byte’s HyperByte® tool you may be able to move to new aligners every week.
The HyperByte® tool is a vibrating machine that’s like Chewies, but much more effective. Fit the HyperByte® over your aligners, and let them wiggle into place. The HyperByte® tool will shift your aligners until they’re in the perfect position, reducing discomfort and making sure that they work as quickly as possible. Using your HyperByte® can halve your total treatment time.
Also in your pack you’ll get a one month supply of BrightByte. More is available to purchase. This teeth whitening product can be used with your aligners, and brightens your teeth whilst also cleaning the aligner trays.
With byte you’ll get your first set of aligners, included in the cost of your treatment.
So, which offers the best extra services?
Candid and byte have similar offerings. Both send all of your aligners at the same time, so you can work alone through your treatment plan. Both also provide your first set of retainers, to help you maintain your new smile, as well as some teeth whitening foam to make your teeth look their brightest and best.
The only real difference between byte and Candid’s offerings will be the HyperByte® tool. This electronic gadget makes standard Chewies seem a lot less impressive.
So, which is best overall?
byte wins: 4
Candid wins: 1
There’s a clear winner in this battle. Whilst Candid’s clinics are a definite plus point, there’s a lot that they don’t do to the same standard. Candid treatment is costly, but without enough to make their offering stand out from the crowd.
As well as being more affordable, byte treatment comes with a lifetime guarantee and a handy HyperByte® tool to speed up your treatment.
If you choose Candid then you’re choosing a provider that’s clearly very self-assured. Candid is confident that it’s the best, and you might find that very reassuring. That said, if a straight smile is your only concern then you could save time and money with byte.