There’s no question that young adults today lead busy lives — it’s always one thing after the next. And when your calendar and to-do list are packed, wearing clear aligners all day long might seem like a tall order. To help you out, SmileDirectClub, Byte, and AlignerCo each developed aligner plans that only require nighttime wear.
That’s right. These plans only require ten hours of continuous daily wear instead of 22. Sign me up, right? But before committing, evaluate your options to determine which of these three nighttime treatments, if any, are a good fit. This guide has everything you need to make your decision.
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How Are Nighttime Aligners Different?
With SmileDirectClub, NewSmile, and AlignerCo they aren’t. You’ll receive the same aligners whether you choose daytime or nighttime treatment. The only difference is how long you’ll wear them. On a standard schedule, you’ll wear each set of aligners 22 hours per day for one week before moving on to the next one. With nighttime-only treatment, you’ll often wear each set ten hours per day for two weeks instead of one.
Byte is the only provider that designs and manufactures their nighttime aligners differently from their daytime ones. They use a thicker, medical-grade plastic that facilitates faster teeth movements over shorter daily wear periods.
What Providers Offer Nighttime Aligners?
SmileDirectClub was the first to advertise a nighttime-only treatment option, then Byte, AlignerCo, and NewSmile followed suit. However, their treatment plans aren’t exactly the same. If you’re considering nighttime treatment, it’s a good idea to examine each program before choosing one over the other.
When it comes to efficiency, Byte is a stellar option. Byte At-Night uses especially designed aligners for nighttime-only treatment. Their thicker plastic exerts more power on your teeth, even on a ten-hour-per-day schedule. And let’s not forget the HyperByte, the device that gently vibrates your teeth to help achieve a better aligner fit and faster dental shifts.
Standard treatment requires you to use the HyperByte for five minutes per day, while nighttime treatment requires ten minutes per day. Together, these innovations facilitate a 5-6 month treatment timeline for some people, which isn’t far behind their 4-5 month average for all-day treatment. This is a massive advantage because you can get all the benefits of nighttime-only treatment without missing a beat — but it comes at a higher price. Byte At-Night costs $2,399 compared to their regular $1,999 price.
Interested in Byte At-Night?
If you’re set on nighttime-only treatment, we think Byte is the best option available. While other providers use the same aligners for daytime and nighttime treatment, Byte’s At-Night aligners have a different design to ensure your teeth shift quickly and safely.
SmileDirectClub has been in the home aligner game longer than just about anyone. They hit the market in 2014 and have transformed over 1.5 million smiles since then, so they have a lot more experience than newer companies like Byte and AlignerCo. And with SmileDirectClub’s 300+ physical locations offering free teeth scans — plus their partnership with 1,500+ dental offices — it’s easier than ever to get started with treatment.
They were also the first home aligner company to offer a nighttime-only option, although their Nighttime Aligners aren’t any different from the ones they use for their standard treatment. You simply wear them for shorter amounts of time per day on a longer overall timeline. For nighttime-only treatment, you’ll wear each aligner set ten hours per day for two weeks before moving on to the next set, and the entire process takes ten months on average (compared to the usual 4–6).
They’re younger than the other companies listed here, but NewSmile has quickly established themselves as an impressively affordable at-home aligner brand that features app-based oversight, interest-free financing, and nighttime-only treatment.
Much like SmileDirectClub, NewSmile’s Night Aligners use the same design and materials as their standard, all-day ones. You’ll just wear them ten hours per day instead of 22, and for 8–10 months instead of 4–6.
This plan also costs $100 more: $1,495 instead of $1,395. Even so, Night Aligners are still less expensive than Byte or SmileDirectClub. If you opt for their financing plan, you’ll need a credit check for approval, then you’ll make 18 monthly payments of $88 for a total of $1,595.
Interested in NewSmile Night Aligners Treatment?
For budget-friendly nighttime aligner treatment with convenient app-based oversight, check out NewSmile. They might not have tons of experience, but they’ve already shown a commitment to quality and affordability.
All at-home aligner treatments are relatively cost-effective, but AlignerCo is hands down the most affordable. Their price tags are several hundred less than the competition, plus they offer frequent discounts of up to $400 and have flexible financing plans too.
AlignerCo’s nighttime option (called NightOnly) provides the same aligners that you’d receive from their standard daytime plan. You just wear them on a different schedule: ten hours per night, changing aligner sets every two weeks. Unsurprisingly, the entire process takes slightly longer: 6–8 months.
NightOnly treatment costs $1,345, which is slightly higher than AlignerCo’s standard $1,145 price tag. But even at that price point, they’re still the cheapest nighttime treatment on the market. Financing is available too. If you don’t mind a credit check, SmileFlex requires 12 monthly payments of $99. And if you’re not confident in your credit score, SmileFlex Easy requires a $345 down payment, then six monthly payments of $175.
Advantages of Nighttime Aligners
If you didn’t think that at-home clear aligner treatment could get any more convenient, think again! Nighttime-only aligners take this convenience to a whole new level. Just look at a few of the advantages:
1) Nobody Has To Know
There’s no doubt that clear aligners are already much more discreet than traditional metal braces. Modern clear aligners blend in very well and are hardly noticeable unless you’re getting up close and personal. Still, they’re not completely invisible and can sometimes create a slight lisp. Looking for the most low-key treatment? Nighttime-only usage means that you won’t have to wear anything during your workday, lunch outing, social gathering, or any other daytime activity. You’ll only wear your aligners overnight, while no one else is around.
2) Worry-Free Eating and Drinking
Every time you eat or drink, you’ll need to remove your aligners. After you finish, you’ll have to brush and floss before replacing them to maintain good oral hygiene. Since most people eat several times throughout the day (excluding the intermittent fasters out there), you’ll be removing and reapplying your aligners often. Unless you’re a frequent midnight snacker, nighttime treatment lets you avoid this whole routine. You can simply pop them in after dinnertime and forget about them until the next morning.
3) Easy to Incorporate Into Your Evening Routine
Forming a routine is the easiest way to stay consistent with your aligners. This consistency is vital for ensuring your treatment’s effectiveness, no matter which company you choose. Otherwise, your aligners could stop fitting correctly, which can extend the duration of your treatment by several months and require costly modifications to your aligner plan.
Nighttime-only treatment makes it incredibly easy to follow a plan. Whether you’re a night owl or an early riser, it’s pretty effortless to introduce nighttime aligners into your bedtime routine. After brushing your teeth and flossing, simply pop in your aligners and do your typical nighttime activities. Wash your face, read a book, journal, catch up on some work, do the dishes, or just climb right into bed. In the morning, you can remove your aligners and go about your day.
Drawbacks to Nighttime Aligners
At this point, nighttime-only aligners might sound too good to be true, but they’re not without flaws. Before you make your final decision, it’s important to understand the drawbacks that come with this unique treatment schedule.
1) Longer Correction Time
Byte estimates that most nighttime-only treatment plans will last roughly 5-6 months, which is slightly longer than their standard daytime option. SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Aligners take ten months on average, NewSmile’s typically take 8–10, and AlignerCo says their NightOnly aligners usually take 6–8. If you’re hoping to improve your smile ASAP, whether for a specific event like a wedding or because you just can’t wait for your new, more comfortable smile, you’re likely better off going with an all-day treatment plan. It might require more discipline, but you’ll enjoy a shorter overall treatment timeline.
2) Treatment May Be More Uncomfortable
Since Invisalign developed the first clear aligner treatment, plans have required patients to wear them 22+ hours per day. This hasn’t changed in two decades because there’s a good reason for it. When you remove the aligners, your teeth start to shift back to their original positions. The longer you go without them each day, the more your teeth shift. Not only does this slow down treatment, but it also puts additional strain on your teeth, continually shifting them in and out of their new positions. This back and forth can cause additional discomfort and if you’re a light sleeper, it could mean some restless nights.
Regardless, for years dentists and orthodontists have been advising their patients to keep aligners in place as much of the day as possible. It’s not just to speed up treatment, but also to support a safe and healthy adjustment process. If you’re cautious about your teeth, this is something you’ll probably want to consider before signing up for a nighttime-only plan.
3) Only Suitable for Minor Misalignments
In general, at-home aligners are better suited for milder cases of crowding and spacing. As an even less intensive treatment, nighttime-only aligners are not designed to treat more severe cases. In fact, SmileDirectClub explains on their blog that Nighttime Aligners are not well-suited for patients with moderate-to-severe crowding, spacing, or bite misalignments.
Byte and NewSmile require special approval from their dentists and orthodontists for their At-Night treatment. If you have a substantial issue, there’s a good chance you might be ineligible for nighttime-only treatment. Even if you qualify, you might not achieve the same quality of outcome that you could with regular, all-day aligners.
Plus, because of the additional back-and-forth wiggling involved with nighttime-only plans, your teeth may be more likely to shift back to their original positions after you wrap up treatment. It’s an especially big risk if you don’t consistently wear your aftercare retainer — which is a good habit no matter which provider and treatment you choose.
Is Nighttime Aligner Treatment Safe?
Your teeth are valuable, so you never want to jump into treatment without being 100% sure that it’s safe. SmileDirectClub, Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo guarantee that their nighttime-only aligners are completely safe, but you should still understand the potential risks.
As we mentioned above, every orthodontic treatment comes with a small risk of dental root damage. Plus, when you’re not wearing your aligners, your teeth are liable to start shifting back to their original positions. So, wearing them for fewer hours per day could cause more back-and-forth movement. If you still have questions or concerns about nighttime aligners, customer support can be helpful.
Nighttime aligners are a relatively new development in clear aligner treatment, so these plans haven’t accumulated a ton of reviews yet. We’re always monitoring online reviews for clear aligner companies, so we’ll evaluate them as they continue to pile up. Regardless, if you want a long-standing, time-tested treatment, you might want a more traditional clear aligner plan.
Which Nighttime Aligners Should I Choose?
If you’ve come this far and you’re all-in on nighttime aligners, your next task is choosing a company. As always, choosing an orthodontic treatment is a highly personal decision that depends on your unique goals and priorities. First, submit an impression kit or teeth scan to determine whether you’re a suitable candidate for home aligner treatment. If your condition is more severe, you might see better results from an in-office option like Invisalign.
If you’re a candidate, great! If you’re on the fence between nighttime and standard aligners, we recommend standard, all-day treatment for most cases because it’s faster and has a longer track record of successful results.
Byte At-Night: Our #1-Recommended Nighttime Aligners
If you’re set on nighttime-only treatment, Byte At-Night could be a great option. Not only are their nighttime treatment plans just 5-6 months on average, but Byte also provides a personal advisor to every customer. And after your treatment wraps up, Byte guarantees your smile for life, as long as you replace your retainers every six months and wear them as directed.
Nighttime-only treatment is an exciting development in the world of home aligners, and a potential game-changer for anyone who would have difficulty wearing their aligners 22 hours a day. While it might take longer to see your desired results, and there aren’t a lot of reviews out there, nighttime-only aligners provide a more flexible, convenient option for getting the smile you want.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are nighttime aligners as effective as daytime treatment?
For anyone with a mild misalignment, yes. Nighttime aligner treatment can achieve the same smile transformations that daytime treatment can. However, nighttime treatment moves slower because you’re wearing your aligners for less time each day.
Am I a candidate for nighttime aligners?
If you have a mild case of crowding or spacing and no jaw misalignments, then you’re likely eligible for nighttime treatment. To find out for sure, you’ll need to complete and submit an impression kit or visit a SmileShop.
Do nighttime aligners cost more?
For SmileDirectClub? No. For Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo? Yes. SmileDirectClub’s nighttime treatment uses the same aligners as its standard daytime treatment, so the price is identical ($2,050). Byte At-Night uses aligners specially designed for nighttime treatment and provides fast results, so it costs slightly more ($2,245). NewSmile and AlignerCo don’t use special materials in their NightOnly aligners, but they still charge more ($1,345).
Which company should I choose for nighttime aligner treatment?
SmileDirectClub, Byte, NewSmile, and AlignerCo’s nighttime treatments are all safe and effective, but we recommend Byte. By providing efficient average treatment times, a lifetime guarantee, and excellent customer service, they’ve developed one of the best clear aligner treatments out there.
How long do I need to wear my aligners each night?
10+ hours. We realize that you probably don’t sleep for ten hours, so just pop them in a couple of hours before bed and you’ll be good to go.
Can I switch from daytime to nighttime aligners mid-treatment?
SmileDirectClub might let you change treatment schedules in the middle of your treatment since both options use the same aligners. Byte won’t, since they use a different type of aligner for nighttime treatment. NewSmile and AlignerCo don’t say whether they allow mid-treatment switches, so it’s best to ask them directly if you’re considering it.
Do nighttime aligners hurt?
Most customers find home aligners fairly comfortable. Nighttime aligners allow your teeth to shift back and forth a bit more, which can cause some additional discomfort. But you’ll be asleep most of the time you’re wearing them anyway.