Invisible braces or clear aligners are currently the favorite solutions for people who want to straighten their teeth or discretely fix tooth gaps. Unlike traditional metal braces that are so obvious, clear aligners are almost invisible – people will hardly notice you are wearing them unless you point it out!
Aside from being able to fix up your orthodontic issues discretely, the treatment can be done with remote monitoring. You do not have to see a dental professional in their office – they will check on you online.
Clear aligners are specially made to fix minor to moderate cases of misaligned or crooked teeth so it does not really need heavy monitoring.
The combination of advancements in the dental industry and online technology has made it possible for people to enjoy affordable invisible braces treatment in the comfort of their own homes!
When it comes to home clear aligners, three brands stand out in the market: Candid, Smile Direct Club, and Byte. These three may seem very similar on the surface but if you dig a little deeper, you will find that they actually have some key differences. So, how will you know which among the three is the better pick?
In this article, we compare Candid, Smile Direct Club, and Byte under different categories or factors that are important when it comes to choosing teeth aligners.
Candid is a company that has been around since 2017. Though they joined the aligners market more recently compared to other brands, they can establish a place in the market because of their high-quality materials and their exclusiveness to work with orthodontists only.
Smile Direct Club is a company that has been around since 2014. They have made their mark in the market by being the first company to offer invisible aligners online. The company that started in Nashville, Tennessee, now has hundreds of SmileShops all over the USA and has branched out all over the world.
Byte is a Los Angeles-based company that has made its mark in the market with its cutting-edge technology. In fact, they are the only company that has a device that helps cut treatment times in half. When it comes to technology, the Byte team makes sure that they are always ahead among its competitors.
How it works
To start the Candid treatment, you have to order an impression kit from their website. You can also start with Candid studios – all you have to do is check if there is one near you. If there is one, you can just make an appointment so they can do a 3D scan of your teeth.
If you are approved as a candidate for Candid treatment, you will probably receive your aligner kit in 2 to 3 weeks, depending on your location. Candid will be sending all the aligner sets you will be using throughout the treatment in one package so you need to store them properly.
Candid will assign an orthodontist to you and that orthodontist will monitor you and your progress remotely online through the Candid app. Throughout your treatment, you will be required to send pictures and phone scans of your teeth to the app every 10 days. You will be notified if it is time to use the next set of aligner trays in your aligner kit.
You will also be receiving Candid’s teeth whitening foam in your aligner kit. This teeth whitening product is for free and will allow you to have whiter teeth while straightening them.
To start your Smile Direct Club treatment, you should order an impression kit from their website. If you do not want to do your own impressions, you can also check if there is a SmileShop near you. If there is, you can make an appointment so that they can do a 3D scan of your teeth.
Once approved for Smile Direct treatment, your impressions or 3D scans will be used as a reference to design your treatment process and create your customized clear aligners. All the aligners you will be needed for the treatment will be sent to you in one package.
A licensed dentist or orthodontist will be assigned to your case. Remote monitoring will be practiced and you will be asked to take pictures of your teeth and upload them from time to time. They will give you instructions on when it is time to move on to the next set of teeth aligners in your aligner kit.
You will be getting a free Smile Science teeth whitening treatment in your aligner kit. This means that you do not only get to straighten your teeth but also whiten them as well.
To begin treatment plan with Byte, you have to order an impression kit from their website. Unlike Candid and Smile Direct Club who has a Candid Studio and Smile Shop, respectively, Byte does not have a physical location so you have no choice but to make your impressions.
The good news is that the impression kit has enough materials to give you two chances of making your impressions, so if you make a mistake the first time, you still have a second try.
If you qualify for treatment, a licensed dentist or orthodontist will be assigned to you. The dentist or orthodontist assigned to your case will create your treatment plan and show it to you for approval. You need to approve it before they will begin to create your aligner trays.
It will take about 4 to 6 weeks for you to receive your aligner kit, depending on where you are located. It helps if you send back your impressions right away, make sure you fill out your account information and upload pictures of your teeth to expedite your order.
You will be receiving all the aligners you need for your treatment in one package. Also, you will be receiving the HyperByte device. This device gives high-frequency vibration to your teeth to help them move easier and faster. You will be instructed to use this device for only 5 minutes a day.
Also, you will be receiving a bottle of BrightByte. This is Byte’s 3-in-1 teeth whitener – it is a teeth whitener, breath freshener, and aligner cleaner in one.
You also get your first set of retainers from Byte in the package, which you will be using at the end of your treatment.
You will be required to wear your Candid aligners for a minimum of 22 hours per day. The average treatment time is 4 to 6 months.
You will be required to wear Smile Direct Club aligners for at least 22 hours per day. The average treatment time is 6 to 12 months.
If you do not want to wear your teeth aligners all day, Smile Direct Club also has nighttime aligners available as a treatment option. These aligners should be worn for at least 10 hours per night. The average treatment time is 10 to 12 months.
You will be required to wear Byte aligners for a minimum of 22 hours each day. The average treatment time is 3 to 4 months.
Byte also has night aligners available. These aligners should be worn for a minimum of 10 hours every night. The average Byte treatment time is 5 to 6 months.
The Candid impression kit costs $95. If you start your treatment with a Candid Studio, the 3D scan is free.
The Candid invisible aligners cost $2400. There is an installment plan available where you give a down payment of $399 and you will be paying $99 per month for the next 24 months. You should know that Candid does a credit check for their installment plan.
The SmileDirect impression kit costs $59. If you start your treatment with a SmileShop, the 3D scan will be done for free.
Unlike other brands where the nighttime aligners are offered at a higher price than the daytime aligners, Smile Direct Club charges the same rate no matter which one you get.
The SmileDirect aligners cost $1950. An installment plan is available where you give a down payment of $250 and you pay $89 per month for the next 24 months.
The Byte home impression kit costs $95.
The Byte day aligners cost $1895. An installment plan is available where the down payment is $349 and you pay $82 per month for the next 29 months.
The Byte night aligners cost $2295. An installment plan is available where the down payment is $449 ad you pay $99per month for the next 29 months.
Candid only works with a licensed orthodontist. This makes them stand out from other home aligner brands.
An orthodontist has more training compared to a dentist and specializes in teeth straightening. You can be assured that you will be getting quality care and monitoring.
The licensed orthodontist that will be overlooking your case is also someone who has a dental office in your state.
Smile Direct Club works with both dentists and orthodontists – there is no way to tell which one you are getting. But you can be guaranteed that these are licensed dental professionals who are capable of handling your case.
Byte works with both dentists and orthodontists but they have a very exclusive network. Byte is known to only partner with dental professionals who are highly reputed and well trained when it comes to teledentistry.
Candid aligners are made with Zendura, a durable and rigid plastic material. Zendura does not have phthalates, BPA, or parabens so they are considered very safe for dental use and the material is stain resistant. Since the material is rigid, the aligners will have a snug fit on your teeth.
Smile Direct Club
Smile Direct Club aligners are made out of flexible, BPA-free plastic. The material is hardly noticeable and stain-resistant. Because the material is flexible, the aligners will be a more comfortable fit.
Byte aligners are made out of transparent, medical-grade, polymer film and BPA-free plastic. The surface is smooth to the touch and is durable. Byte aligners are reported to fit just fine. It is snug yet not uncomfortable.
Candid vs. SmileDirect vs. Byte FAQs
Candid vs. SmileDirect vs. Byte – Which one has the best quality
Candid has the highest quality among the three. Candid clear aligners are made of high-quality materials that can compete with Invisalign.
Aside from high-quality material, Candid only works with licensed orthodontists. This means you can be assured a specialist created your treatment plan and is monitoring you even if you just have a mild case of misalignment. You get quality care even if it is through remote monitoring!
Candid vs. Smile Direct vs. Byte – Which one is more comfortable?
Smile Direct aligners are made out of flexible plastic material. This makes them a more comfortable fit among the three. Smile Direct Club reviews always are positive regarding the fit with users praising the way they are very comfortable to wear.
Candid vs. SmileDirect vs. Byte – Which one is cheapest?
Smile Direct Club has more affordable rates among the three. Their daytime treatment and nighttime only treatment have the same price and their installment plan has no interest.
Smile Direct Club also has hundreds of SmileShops over the world. If you get to find one near you, you can get a free 3D scan of your teeth so you do not have to pay for impression kits.
Are clear aligners better than traditional braces?
This depends on the severity of your orthodontic issues.
If you have a severe or complex case of misalignment, you will not be allowed to use clear aligners. Traditional metal braces will have to be your only hope for realignment.
But when it comes to mild and moderate cases, invisible braces work better than traditional metal braces because of all the convenience it brings.
First, they are hardly noticeable. You will not have to be conscious about your teeth all the time while wearing aligners. It is a huge step compared to the metal mouth look that is very obvious and often can be the cause of ridicule among your peers.
Second, clear aligners are removable. It is designed to be taken off every time you eat or take colored drinks. Because of this, you do also have the convenience of being able to eat or drink anything you want. Traditional braces are fixed and permanent. You have to be conscious about what you eat if you do not want to have food stuck in the wires and brackets.
Third, clear aligners are painless. You do not have to go through painful adjustments like what people with braces have to go through. Clear aligners will be moving your teeth using a gentle force so you will hardly feel a thing. You will only feel mild discomfort as you adjust to every aligner tray you wear but the feeling goes away in a day or two.
How do you use an at home impression kit?
Most companies will ask you to get an impression kit online from their website. The at home impression kit will contain everything that you need to create an impression of your teeth.
You must take the time to read and understand the instructions before you start creating your impressions. This way, there will be fewer chances of errors. Most at home impression kits come with clear and detailed instructions on how you should use it.
Doing your impressions correctly is important since it will be the major reference in creating your customized teeth aligners. If you do not create your impressions correctly, the aligner trays you receive may not be able to fit you well. The treatment plan designed for you will not work.
Once you are done creating your impressions, you will have to send back the kit with your impressions back to the company. The package comes with a return shipping post for free.
Your impressions will be assessed by the dental team when they receive them. If somehow, they find that you do not qualify as a candidate, they will contact you and give you a full refund. Some will even refer you to a licensed dental professional in your area to help you with your orthodontic issues.
If you do qualify as a candidate for clear aligners, they will proceed to create a customized treatment plan for you. Upon approval, they will proceed to create your clear aligners.
Your impressions must be done thoroughly and correctly. If you are not confident, choose a brand that has a physical location where they can do the impressions for you or take a 3D scan of your teeth instead.
What happens after the treatment plan?
When you reach the end of your treatment plan, you will be required to wear a retainer. This is the protocol for any teeth straightening treatment. A retainer is important because it keeps your straight teeth in place.
You see, as you age, your teeth will be shifting naturally. There is a possibility that your teeth can switch back to their original position after you completed treatment. To prevent this from happening, you need a retainer.
For the first 2 to 3 months, you will have to wear a retainer all day. After, you can wear your retainers only while you sleep.
Retainers must be customized too so it is best to purchase your retainers from the same brand that you purchased your aligners since they already have your records.
Take note that post treatment retainers must be replaced every 6 months for sanitary purposes.
Are invisible braces the right treatment plan for me?
Sadly, not everyone can enjoy the benefits of invisible braces to get a straight smile. These teeth aligners can only treat mild to moderate cases of misaligned teeth or malocclusion.
Generally, clear aligners can be used to treat mild to moderate cases of gap teeth, crowded teeth, open bite, overbite, and underbite.
If you have a more severe or complex medical condition, you will have to do in-office orthodontic treatment. Severe cases can not be manageable under remote monitoring. Your dentist or orthodontist will have to see you in person most of the time.
Also, you need to have good dental health to take clear aligners. If you have cases of cavities, gum issues, or other dental problems, you will be advised to fix them first before you will be qualified for treatment.
Clear aligner service is revolutionizing the way people straighten teeth. As a result, more people are having better and improved smiles. This helps them become more confident in themselves after getting treatment, knowing that they can now flash a winning smile.
When it comes to your teeth straightening needs, Candid, SmileDirect, and Byte are good brands that can get the job done. It is just a matter of what you prioritize when it comes to Candid vs Smile Direct Club vs Byte.
If you prioritize quality, choose Candid. It works exclusively with orthodontists meaning you can be assured a specialist is looking after you. Plus, they also use high-quality materials for their aligners, ensuring effective treatment.
If you prioritize your budget, Smile Direct Club is the most affordable choice among the three. They have the same rates for their day and night aligners too.
If you prioritize a shorter treatment time, Choose Byte. Their HyperByte technology effectively helps you shorten your treatment time by a couple of months.
But overall, if you have to choose only one among the three, our honest opinion is that you choose Byte to get your teeth straightened.
Aside from the shortest treatment time, it also gives you more value for your money with all the freebies you are getting in the aligner kit such as teeth whitening products, the HyperByte device, and a free retainer. Byte also comes with a Byte for life guarantee that will be very useful in keeping your better smile.