Until recently, the only legitimate options for adults seeking straighter teeth were braces or Invisalign — but this is no longer the case. Today, home teeth alignment services like byte offer a safe, convenient and affordable alternative to traditional orthodontic treatment.
An exciting newcomer to the industry, byte has made it their top priority to deliver a satisfying customer experience. Plus, they’ve pioneered new technologies to offer faster results than the competition. But is byte the right fit for your smile goals? Read on to find out!
Table of Contents
What is byte?
byte is the brainchild of Dr. Jon Marashi, who has a star-studded list of celebrity patients. It’s an online company that ships convenient and affordable clear aligners directly to your home. byte’s aligners look and feel similar to Invisalign — they fit the contours of your teeth and are considerably more discreet than traditional braces. However, unlike Invisalign, treatment doesn’t require a single trip to the dentist. Instead, your treatment plan will be prepared and monitored by one of byte’s professionally licensed orthodontists.
If that sounds appealing, you should know that byte is just one of several new companies that offer home-based clear aligner treatment. The popularity and effectiveness of home aligners have caused the rise of several quality providers, including SmileDirectClub, Candid, Smilelove, and SnapCorrect. However, byte started selling aligners in 2018, making it the newest company of the bunch.
What sets byte apart is its pioneering spirit. More than any other company in this space, byte has demonstrated a commitment to product and service innovation. In the short time it’s been in business, byte has already rolled out a number of creative solutions geared toward making its treatment more accessible. The two primary examples are HyperByte, a unique technology that cuts treatment time in half, and bytepay, which guarantees affordable financing regardless of customer credit.
Based on what they’ve accomplished so far, we can’t wait to see what byte has in store in the coming months and years.
byte aims to stand out by offering the fastest treatment plan, the latest dental technology, and the best customer experience.
Like other home-based clear aligner products, byte is primarily a cosmetic treatment. It’s only designed to treat mild-to-moderate cases of spacing and crowding as well as some minor bite issues. Even with their innovative approach, byte isn’t a perfect fit for everyone. If you have a severe case that involves a bite issue, you won’t automatically be denied treatment, but you might see more desirable results from an in-person treatment like braces or Invisalign.
How Does byte Work?
To create a personalized treatment plan for your unique teeth, byte’s team of orthodontists needs to analyze your smile. This means you’ll need to order an impression kit and take 3D molds of your teeth. byte’s orthodontists will evaluate your impressions to determine whether or not you’re a good candidate for treatment. If you are, they’ll go ahead and develop your custom treatment plan.
After the planning stage, your byte orthodontist will send you a digital preview of your post-treatment smile. If you like what you see, you can give them the go-ahead and the company will produce and ship your custom aligners. The actual treatment phase requires some dedication, but if you diligently wear your aligners for about 22 hours each day, your teeth will gradually shift over 2-4 months.
Thanks to their HyperByte technology, byte treatment only takes about half the time of most alternative home aligner systems. All you need to do is bite down on the HyperByte device for 5 minutes a day. This proven technology uses high-frequency (yet gentle) vibrations to stimulate the bone structures in your mouth, allowing your teeth to move faster.
What Makes byte Different?
byte vs Invisalign
Although Invisalign® and byte have a lot in common, there are some important differences to note. Both companies sell clear aligners that are designed to improve the user’s smile, but byte’s are much more convenient and affordable. Invisalign®, on the other hand, has been in business for more than 20 years and is much more established and widely trusted. Below we’ll compare these two options in terms of cost, convenience, effectiveness, and the details of their treatment plans:
byte is much more cost-effective because it does not require in-person visits with a dental professional. These office visits make up a large percentage of Invisalign’s price, so by eliminating them, byte drastically reduces its sticker price. byte’s total cost is $1,895 (before insurance), while Invisalign® costs between $4,000 and $8,000 (before insurance).
Since byte is sent to you in the mail and does not require in-person visits, it fits a busy lifestyle more easily than Invisalign®. On top of that, the three-month average treatment window means you’ll spend a lot less time wearing your aligners than the 12 months (on average) required for Invisalign.
For smiles that only need minor to moderate adjustments, byte is just as effective as Invisalign®. Invisalign® shines in cases where the patient is trying to correct a complicated dental problem, like a severe bite misalignment. Invisalign® is a better option for complex cases because the in-person treatment allows a dentist or orthodontist to apply advanced techniques as part of your treatment plan. An Invisalign® treatment plan may include the use of attachments, buttons, and bands – appliances that cannot be applied at home but may be required for the best results.
When a patient signs up to receive Invisalign® treatment, their dentist or orthodontist can either be very involved with the treatment plan or not involved at all. What does this mean? Let’s say you go to see your dentist and opt to begin Invisalign® treatment. The dentist/orthodontist takes images of your teeth and then sends them to Invisalign®, where a technician (not an orthodontist or dentist) creates your treatment plan. Your personal, hometown dentist or orthodontist can either make changes to your technician-created plan or leave it as is.
On the other hand, byte assigns you a personal orthodontist who will create your treatment plan and check in throughout the process. There are no middle-men technicians who develop your plans or aligners. byte’s process ensures that your plan is made just for you by someone you interact with regularly.
byte vs Other Home Aligners
The at-home teeth straightening industry is booming. Customers love the results that home aligners can provide for less time and money, and new companies are jumping on the trend. This is great for customers because there are many options to choose from! But not every home aligner company is equal. Based on our research, we’ve determined that the top five at-home clear aligner companies are: Candid, byte, SmileDirectClub, Smilelove, and SnapCorrect.
We rank byte as the #2 company out these five. Here’s why:
- byte works exclusively with orthodontists (dentists with advanced training), which means that your treatment plan will always be created by someone with specialized training in crafting beautiful smiles.
- byte offers faster results than competing companies. They claim that using their special Hyperbyte device, you can finish treatment in just 3 months. That’s half the time of its competitors.
- byte puts a lifetime guarantee on your smile. If your teeth shift after you complete your treatment, byte will give you new aligners to readjust them for free, even if your teeth shift years after your original treatment!
- They offer a competitive financing plan that doesn't require a credit check.
- byte recently announced a nighttime-only option for customers seeking even more flexible and discreet treatment.
- byte includes aftercare retainers for free, as part of your overall treatment. Most of the other home aligner companies charge extra for retainers.
- byte has only been available for a couple of years and doesn't have an extensive track record like other companies. Their early reviews are promising, but it will take time for their service quality to be fully vetted.
- byte doesn’t currently have any retail locations, so you’ll need to order an impression kit to get started. While ordering a kit doesn’t obligate you to purchase treatment, it is non-refundable if you are approved. No physical locations also means you'll be own your own to take the impression, without the support of a professional.
- We assume that byte works with a reputable clear aligner producer, but can’t verify it because byte does not currently disclose their partnership.
Who is byte Right For?
We think byte is a great option for just about anyone looking to transform their smile, especially those who prefer to work with an orthodontist and like the idea of completing treatment in under four months. You might also check out our #1 ranked company, Candid, which is similar to byte in many ways, although byte has Candid beat on treatment time.
Special Offer: 70% off byte Impression Kit + $100 off aligners
Orthodontic treatment is an investment, so you don’t want to commit to a particular company without knowing that it can deliver your desired results. Read on to see what type of results you can expect from a byte treatment.
Just like other home-based clear aligner treatment products, byte is designed to address simple misalignment issues like minor spacing and crowding. For more severe conditions like bite misalignments, it might not have the capacity to achieve significant teeth and jaw movements. This is why the impression kit is so important, and byte’s orthodontists will be up front with you about whether or not their treatment can achieve the results you want.
To make sure byte is a good option for you, the company provides a 3D preview of your “after” shot, how your teeth will look after your treatment. If you like what you see, they’ll produce and ship your aligners right away. But if you have concerns, there’s no obligation to continue.
byte works only with orthodontists to create your treatment plan.
For patients with mild-to-moderate teeth misalignment, byte’s licensed staff of orthodontists are an ideal match. They can effectively transform smiles while ensuring safe, efficient treatment.
The skill and experience of the person in charge of your care can have a huge impact on your treatment outcome. That’s why byte chooses to work solely with a network of over 50 licensed orthodontists who prepare and oversee customer treatment plans. Some companies like SmileDirectClub work with both general dentists and orthodontists, while others work with “dental professionals” to create the treatment plans under a dentist’s supervision. “Dental professionals” are individuals trained to create treatment plans using computer software, but are not usually licensed dentists.
Orthodontists, on the other hand, receive six years of post-graduate training to master the art and science of adjusting teeth. This gives byte customers an extra level of expertise that other companies don’t provide. Dental professionals are certainly skilled individuals, but not nearly as experienced or highly-specialized as orthodontists. In a worst-case scenario, treatment at the hands of an inexperienced professional could lead to more complicated bite issues in the future.
While still a newcomer, byte shows a nearly-unrivaled commitment to customer safety by maintaining a team of only orthodontists. While this sets them apart, it’s important to note that byte isn’t the only company taking this route – Candid also works only with orthodontists.
byte uses unique technologies to achieve better outcomes.
Something that makes byte stand out from other companies, including Invisalign, is their use of technology to improve treatment effectiveness. They are constantly looking to blaze new trails in the industry and have developed two key technologies that no other company offers: Smile Science and HyperByte.
Your smile is a significant part of your facial features, but it’s not a separate entity. Your teeth, nose, eyes, cheeks, and chin all work together to create your unique and beautiful look, and byte understands this. Other companies treat your teeth by themselves, separate from your other facial features, but byte doesn’t.
The orthodontists at byte are trained to use a system called Smile Science to create a smile that fits your specific facial features as they plan your treatment. Their treatment development software is unique; it analyzes your entire facial structure, rather than just your teeth (like most other companies, including Invisalign). They also employ special training procedures that follow treatment procedures outlined by byte founder and Chief Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. John Marashi.
But how does byte achieve such customized and impressive adjustments so quickly? HyperByte. It might sound like a superhero name, but HyperByte works, and it’s backed by research and results. Using gentle, high-frequency vibrations for five minutes a day, the HyperByte tool helps shift your teeth faster while ensuring comfortable, better-fitting aligners. byte is the only home aligner company offering a tool like HyperByte.
byte does not share who manufactures their clear aligners.
Some home aligner companies make it known that they work with well-established clear aligner manufacturers (Candid, for example, works with ClearCorrect). byte does not explicitly share their manufacturing partnership, but they clearly communicate that their aligners are made of safe, BPA-free plastic.
Working only with orthodontists and using technology to more predictably move the teeth positively impact byte’s effectiveness and treatment time — 4/5
Historically, the high price tag for braces and Invisalign has made teeth alignment a substantial financial burden. And because it’s often a purely cosmetic treatment, health insurers rarely cover it, and dental insurance typically reimburses just a small fraction of the cost.
A major benefit of home teeth straightening systems like byte is the price point, especially compared to traditional treatments. The rise of at-home teeth alignment technology has increased access to orthodontic treatment for a large percentage of people. Home aligner products typically cost between $1,500 and $2,000, significantly more affordable than Invisalign, which usually costs more than $4,500.
The total cost to purchase an aligner kit from byte is $1,895. This is slightly higher than some other home aligner options, but includes free whitening and retainers.
This sticker price covers the cost of your treatment plan, clear aligners, teeth whitening, and the HyperByte device, but not your impression kit (which is $95). byte also includes your first set of retainers with the purchase price, which will save you some money at the end of your treatment. Other services, like SmileDirectClub, do not include retainers in the initial price and instead upsell the retainer at the end of treatment for around $100. Overall, we think byte offers reasonably strong overall value for the top-notch treatment and technology you’ll receive.
byte offers many different payment plan options.
Even though byte is much cheaper than braces or Invisalign, not everyone has around $1900 sitting under their mattress or in a sock drawer. In an effort to make treatment more financially accessible, byte offers a couple of flexible payment options.
Interested in financing, but concerned about your credit score? byte is one of just two companies that offer financing to all customers (no credit check necessary). This plan, called bytepay™, requires a $249 down payment followed by $83 per month for 25 months. That means you’ll be paying just over 20% APR to finance your care with bytepay.
Or, if you’re confident in your credit score, you can undergo a credit check to apply for financing with no down payment through a third-party affiliate called Affirm.
Maybe you have room in your budget and want to pay off your treatment quicker (6 months or less). Use Splitit at check-out (0% APR, no credit check required) and you can establish a short term plan that works for you.
If you have dental coverage, byte makes reimbursement simple.
Since home-based clear aligner treatment is fairly new, the process of claiming insurance reimbursement can be complicated. More and more insurance companies are working out the kinks and starting to cover this form of treatment, but getting reimbursed for treatment can still be a hassle.
byte has worked hard to make this process as easy as possible for its customers. With byte, every patient that has insurance coverage gets their own dedicated insurance specialist (separate from their byte advisor). This specialist helps them speak to the insurance companies and process the reimbursement forms, making the process much less intimidating.
Overall, byte offers excellent affordability and various payment plans, including ones that don’t require down payments or credit checks, making their treatment more accessible than most competitors. — 4.5/5.
Aside from cost, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing a more comfortable smile is the time commitment of traditional orthodontics. Finding time to visit the dentist’s office in between all of your other responsibilities might not top your priority list.
Aside from the monthly time commitment, traditional orthodontic treatments aren’t always fast. If you have a special event coming up this year (not two or three years down the road) and want to finish treatment ASAP, your adjustments might not be complete in time.
Home aligner companies like byte make the process more convenient by shipping the aligners to your home, so you spend less time in the patient chair and more time living life. Most home aligners treatments achieve your desired results in half a year, much faster than the typical 18 months for braces and 12 months for Invisalign. byte takes it to the next level with their 2-4 month treatment window, the fastest among home aligner options.
byte is unquestionably more convenient than Invisalign or braces. But how does it stack up against other home aligner companies? There are some differences that make certain brands stand out as more or less convenient.
In determining our convenience rating, we consider the startup difficulty, aligner shipping time, and overall treatment length.
To get started, you’ll need to take a mold of your teeth using byte’s impression kit.
Many customers find that the most difficult part of at-home teeth straightening is getting started. In order to create your treatment plan, the company will need a way to analyze your current smile. All companies, including byte, offer a kit that you can use at home to make a mold of your teeth. To create this impression, you mix together two different types of putty and place the mixture in a teeth tray. Then, carefully bite down on the prepared tray and the putty will surround your teeth, creating the mold. Using this mold, the company can determine whether you’re a good candidate and, if so, prepare your treatment plan.
Most people have never taken a mold of their own teeth, so the impression kit can be challenging. But byte thought ahead. To help customers succeed, they send two sets of putty and teeth trays. So if you mess up the first one, there’s no need to panic. You have another chance to make a good impression of your top and bottom arches. Customer support is also available to walk you through the process and make sure everything goes smoothly. Still, some customers find that taking impressions can be surprisingly tricky. Don’t worry, though — if byte can’t use your first sets of impressions, they’ll send you another kit in the mail to try again.
To remedy this risk of impressions-gone-wrong, some of byte’s competitors offer free 3D teeth scans at their retail locations as an alternative. While byte doesn’t currently offer 3D scans at retail locations, their customer support is available to help you complete your impressions and photos correctly.
Expect to wait around 4 weeks total before you start treatment.
After you order your impression kit, assuming you complete and send back the kit ASAP, you can expect to receive your clear aligners within four weeks of your purchase date. This is faster than some of byte’s competitors, even Candid, who takes around five weeks to produce and ship your aligners.
Treatment takes just 3 months on average.
This is where byte really leads the pack. Most at-home aligner treatments take around six months to complete their transformations. byte is the only company offering a three-month plan. Treatment with byte is much faster than the alternatives thanks to their HyperByte device, mentioned above. So, if your wedding is in five months, byte could be a better option for you than one of its competitors.
Teeth whitening is included as part of your aligner treatment.
With byte, you don’t have to choose between straightening and whitening – you can do them both simultaneously. Simply pump their whitening foam into your aligner trays and go about your day! Other clear aligners, like Smilelove’s, use a material that’s incompatible with whitening foam, so you’ll have to wait until your aligner treatment is finished to start your teeth whitening journey.
They don’t have any retail locations at the moment, but byte’s extremely fast treatment time and the opportunity to whiten your teeth during the treatment process still make it a very convenient option overall. — 4/5.
Adults hoping to straighten their teeth often opt for the least visible option. Many are reluctant to attend an interview, date, meeting, or special occasion sporting metal brackets. For this reason, clear aligners’ low profile – especially when compared to braces – is a key selling point. Because they’re so discreet, clear aligners tend to score well in terms of aesthetics, and byte is no exception.
That said, not all clear aligners look exactly the same. While all clear aligners are made from transparent, BPA-free plastic, each brand looks a bit different due to variations in materials and manufacturing processes.
byte aligners are made with shiny plastic and cut straight across.
byte aligners are made of a shiny, BPA-free plastic, quite different than the slightly frosted aligners from Candid, SmileDirectClub, or Invisalign. Our opinion is that frosted aligners look somewhat more natural than shiny ones because natural teeth are porous (that’s why teeth can absorb stains from coffee and red wine). Those pores make natural teeth appear matte, not smooth and shiny, so matte aligners may draw less attention. But different people have different aesthetic preferences, and some customers actually like the plastic’s shininess. They feel it makes their smile gleam. The smooth, shiny plastic byte uses shouldn’t necessarily deter you, but it is something to consider when making your decision.
byte aligners are cut straight across at the top (rather than scalloped to follow the gumline like Invisalign), which affects their appearance and effectiveness. Since the aligners cover the gums, others may be able to see where the aligners end when you smile, but most customers don’t find straight-cut aligners more noticeable than scalloped ones.
Besides, straight-cut aligners serve an important function. With in-office clear aligner treatments like Invisalign, a dentist will typically place special attachments on the teeth that help anchor the clear aligners in place, shifting the teeth more effectively. Since home aligners like byte don’t involve in-person visits, these attachments are not an option. A straight cut, though arguably less ideal appearance-wise, helps grip the teeth better and can apply up to 4x the amount of force.
Like other clear aligner brands, you’ll want to take out your aligners before eating and drinking to avoid stains.
All clear aligners are susceptible to stains from food and beverages — that’s why it’s important to remove them before eating or drinking anything other than plain water. Our current understanding is that byte aligners are reasonably stain-resistant, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee or red wine with your aligners in.
Like most clear aligners products, byte’s aligners are generally quite inconspicuous, though possibly slightly more noticeable due to their shinier material. — 4/5.
Dental treatment is expensive, and you only have one set of teeth. It’s important to feel completely confident that your treatment provider will treat you right and have your back if anything goes wrong. byte works hard to provide an excellent customer experience before, during, and after your treatment.
byte offers 100% US-based customer support and is very responsive on all channels.
byte is a highly customer-oriented company. They provide several avenues to contact support and offer extensive online resources, so getting your questions answered is fairly easy. byte is available by phone on weekdays from 8am-6pm Pacific time as well as via email and social media. If you reach out on social media, you can expect a response within 24 hours.
In addition, each patient is assigned their own byte advisor, who also helps answer questions and checks in via email throughout the patient’s journey. It’s like having your own personal guide to the process.
byte’s byte-For-Life guarantee means your new smile is forever.
Byte’s refund policy is standard compared to most other home aligner companies. If your byte orthodontist determines you are not a good candidate for treatment, they will refund the cost of your impression kit. They don’t usually offer a refund if you’re dissatisfied with your treatment progress, but they’re happy to work with you and your designated orthodontist for free to change your treatment plan.
Their byte-For-Life guarantee takes customer care to the next level, and this is where byte’s customer service really stands out. In short, they guarantee your smile forever. After completing your treatment, if your smile shifts at any point in the future the company will send you new aligners to help you regain your smile, free of charge. No other company offers this kind of service, especially at no cost! As a side note – be sure to wear your retainer as instructed or you may void this guarantee.
Highly responsive customer support and a generous byte-For-Life guarantee make byte good as gets in terms of Customer Friendliness — 5/5.
What Are Customers Saying?
When we review a company like byte, we start out by digging through customer reviews to understand the common issues customers face.
byte is a pretty young company, so there are currently only a handful of online reviews that appear honest and straightforward, not sponsored by the company. It took some digging, but we compiled as many genuine reviews as we could find to get a better view of byte’s customer experience.
Generally, customers express positivity and satisfaction with their byte treatment and experience. They often chose byte because they liked knowing their treatment was being managed by an orthodontist and appreciated the convenience of a three-month plan. Most customers had very few issues with their clear aligners, and many showed excitement about starting and continuing their treatment.
In the few cases where something went wrong, it seems like byte was quick and caring as they resolved it, making customers feel valued. Several customers also noted that the HyperByte device really helps their aligners feel more comfortable, and that they experienced some discomfort when not using it regularly.
Below are two of the most helpful user reviews we came across. Hopefully, they assist you in the decision-making process!
Alternatives to byte
byte is a great clear aligner company, and we’re confident they will give you a great treatment experience. But you shouldn’t jump to a decision without weighing all your options, both in-office and at-home.
Invisalign is the primary in-office option, and while it is more expensive than home aligners, dentists can achieve more advanced teeth movements by adding attachments and appliances. The at-home aligner field is more crowded, and there are a couple of great options worth considering.
Candid vs byte
Like byte, Candid works only with orthodontists to create treatment plans. Candid is a bit more established than byte (they started in 2017) and they offer retail locations offering free teeth scans that take the place of an impression kit. Candid’s treatment time is two times longer than byte’s, but if you’re interested in a more established company, Candid may be worth a look.
SmileDirectClub vs byte
SmileDirectClub stands out as the largest and most popular at-home clear aligner brand. They don’t work exclusively with orthodontists like byte does, but they do offer retail locations, which makes getting started slightly easier depending on where you live. They’ve also treated over 700,000 patients, making them the most experienced home aligner company out there.
byte is an exciting new company that’s helping people get the smile of their dreams. As a company, they focus on creating custom smiles and an excellent customer experience. With a shorter treatment time and a lifetime smile guarantee, byte shows an unrivaled commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction, which makes them a great option for anyone considering home teeth straightening.