Home teeth alignment is quickly becoming one of the most popular treatments for mild-to-moderate underbite. Companies like Byte and SmileDirectClub design their treatment plans to be super discreet and affordable, so they’re well worth considering — but they’re not right for everyone.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the types of underbite home aligners can correct, which home aligner companies are best for treating bite issues, and some alternatives if at-home aligners aren’t right for you.
Table of Contents
What Is Underbite?
Underbite is a common dental condition in which the lower teeth sit too far forward in the mouth. It’s not a serious health concern, but an underbite can cause discomfort and make oral hygiene more difficult. Medical concerns aside, some people say their underbite makes them feel less than 100% comfortable with their smile.
Underbites aren’t always visible. If you have a mild one, it probably won’t change your facial structure at all, but severe cases can cause your jaw to protrude. But it isn’t just a cosmetic issue. Underbites can also cause:
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty chewing
- Speech impediments
- Mouth breathing
- Bad breath
Underbites also put uneven pressure on your teeth, wearing down your enamel in some spots more than others. Leave it untreated long enough and that can lead to cavities, gum disease, and temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Some underbites can also cause sleep apnea.
What Causes Underbite?
Many times, underbites are hereditary. Genetics determine your tooth and jaw sizes, which can both force your lower arch forward. So if it’s common among members of your family, you’re more likely to have one.
But childhood habits can contribute too. Children who suck their thumbs, thrust their tongues against their teeth, or use pacifiers and bottles past age three are at greater risk of developing or worsening an underbite.
Jaw injuries are another possible cause. For example, if you break your lower jaw, it might not fit together with the upper jaw properly after it’s healed.
How Do Home Teeth Aligners Work?
Home teeth aligners are exactly what they sound like: aligners designed to treat dental concerns from home, without the added cost or hassle of making regular trips to the dentist. But what does the process of home teeth alignment actually entail?
To get the ball rolling, you’ll usually take impressions of your teeth using a kit from your provider (though some offer in-person scans as well). Then, you’ll mail the impressions back to them for their team of dentists to review. If the dentist in charge of your case determines that home aligners aren’t the right fit for you, the company will often refund you for the cost of the kit — usually around $49–$99.
After this step, your provider will use your impressions to design a series of custom aligners, and you should receive them in about one month. From there, it’s up to you to wear your aligners for 22+ hours each day — or ten hours if you choose a nighttime-only plan — keep up with your oral hygiene routine, and progress through the series of aligners as directed.
Can Home Aligners Fix Underbite?
In some cases, yes! Although home aligners are most effective for straightening teeth and fixing crowding and spacing, they can sometimes correct bite misalignments as well. It all depends on the nature and severity of the bite issue.
Some underbites come from a misalignment of the teeth alone. Others are skeletal, which means misaligned jaws are the root cause. The condition also varies in severity (mild, moderate, or severe) depending on the degree to which the bottom teeth protrude beyond the upper ones.
If you have a mild or moderate case, where the lower teeth align with or slightly overlap the upper teeth, home aligners could be an effective and affordable solution. However, if your underbite is severe or caused by a skeletal misalignment, you’ll probably require a more robust treatment — like braces or Invisalign.
With all this in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the best home alignment services for underbite.
The Best At-Home Aligners for Underbite
Home teeth alignment is a relatively new industry, but there are already several well-established and reliable brands to choose from. That said, some providers are friendlier toward bite issues than others. We’ve researched and reviewed the best home teeth alignment services for underbite, and narrowed down a few that stand out from the bunch:
Byte is one of the most innovative aligner treatments on the market. They provide a high-frequency vibration device called HyperByte — which is intended to reduce discomfort — and claim their average treatment plan length is just 4–5 months. Plus, they put a lifetime guarantee on your smile, and for those who’d prefer not to wear aligners all day, they offer “At-Night” aligners designed with thick, grind-resistant plastic.
- Byte claims their average treatment plan length is just 4–5 months.
- Byte includes their high-frequency vibration device, the HyperByte, in the cost of your aligner bundle. There’s evidence that devices like this may provide a more comfortable aligner fit and faster dental shifts for some people.
- The Byte-For-Life guarantee provides new aligners if your teeth ever shift, as long as you continue purchasing and wearing their retainers as directed.
- Their financing plans don’t require a credit check, so everyone qualifies.
- Byte-At-Night only requires ten hours of continuous wear per day instead of the usual 22.
- Byte includes one set of aftercare retainers for free.
- Byte doesn’t currently have any retail locations, so you’ll need to order an impression kit to get started.
- Byte’s $1,999 price tag is just average for the industry.
Having a bite issue by no means disqualifies you from treatment. If you’re considering using Byte to correct your underbite, say that on their “30-second assessment.” Byte treats malocclusions on a case-by-case basis, so they’ll need to review the impressions of your teeth before confirming that their aligners can produce the results you want.
Candid is a trailblazer in the world of clear aligners, the first to blend elements of traditional and remote care. Their hybrid at-home and in-office treatment model starts with a dentist visit, where you get an examination and digital scan. After that, you’ll complete regular check-ins using the CandidApp and CandidMonitoring kit — no additional office visits required.
- Candid has a network of 300+ dentists, and they’re adding more all the time.
- The local dentist who examined you in-person will collaborate with Candid throughout the entire treatment process. Fully remote teeth alignment services like Byte and SmileDirectClub don’t offer this benefit.
- Since your dentist performs a 3D scan, you get to skip the impression kit.
- CandidMonitoring lets your dentist and Candid’s team evaluate your progress every step of the way, helping your treatment stay on track.
- Candid’s aligners are made from Zendura FLX plastic, so they’re flexible, durable, and powerful.
- Candid treatment averages around $3,500, which is more than fully remote services, closer to what you’d pay for Invisalign or ClearCorrect.
- Financing varies between doctors, but isn’t always available.
- Candid’s average treatment time of 6–9 months is middle of the road when compared to other at-home options.
When it comes to bite correction, Candid is able and willing to treat cases of underbite that fall into the “mild to moderate” category. Just like Byte, a dentist will review the condition of your teeth to determine your eligibility. However, unlike Byte, Candid has you work with a dentist one on one, so if their system isn’t a good fit, the dentist can find one that is.
SmileDirectClub is easily the best-known brand of home teeth aligners on the market today. They’ve been straightening teeth since 2014 and served over 1.5 million customers to date. With over 100 SmileShops and a nighttime-only treatment option, they’re a highly convenient service. Plus, they have a lifetime smile warranty and extensive refund policies.
- SmileDirectClub has over 100 SmileShops and 1,000+ partnering dentists located across the U.S. where you can get a free teeth scan and skip the impression kit.
- Through SmilePay, every customer can receive financing, no credit check required.
- SmileDirectClub’s Nighttime Aligners allow you to complete your treatment by wearing aligners for just ten hours per day.
- Their Lifetime Smile Guarantee will provide new aligners if your teeth shift out of place in the future, as long as you purchase two sets of retainers every year and wear them as directed.
- SmileDirectClub issues full refunds within the first 30 days of treatment and partial refunds after that.
- SmileDirectClub has a mixed track record of customer service quality.
- They used to have a manufacturing partnership with Align Technology (makers of Invisalign) but now they produce their aligners in-house.
- SmileDirectClub charges an additional $125 fee for retainers after treatment.
SmileDirectClub makes similar promises to the other providers above when it comes to correcting mild-to-moderate underbites. It certainly won’t disqualify you from treatment, but they need to get their eyes on your teeth before moving forward with your case!
What Are My Other Options?
While home aligners are often an effective and affordable treatment method for mild-to-moderate cases of underbite, they’re certainly not the only option out there. If you find out that you aren’t a candidate for home aligner treatment, or would feel more comfortable with a traditional in-person treatment plan, there are a few alternatives you can discuss with your dental care provider.
Braces are highly effective at correcting adult underbite. They’re sturdy, powerful, and orthodontists can pair them with additional appliances such as elastics to produce incredible transformations of the teeth and jaw. If you don’t love the idea of having a smile full of metal, however, there are several types of braces that are much less noticeable than the traditional style. However, braces are expensive, often costing $3,000–$7,000 (or significantly more for discreet options like lingual braces).
Invisalign is another highly effective option for correcting more severe cases of adult underbite. Just like home teeth aligners, Invisalign trays are discreet and removable — but unlike home aligners, Invisalign is administered at a dental office. That means your treatment plan can include things like elastics and tooth shaving to help shift your bite into a more comfortable position. However, the cost of Invisalign is significantly higher than home teeth aligners — and even slightly higher than traditional braces.
If you’re set on in-office clear aligner treatment, but aren’t sold on Invisalign, ClearCorrect is one of their biggest direct competitors. Their process is almost identical to Invisalign, and their aligners can also incorporate attachments to treat severe cases and bite misalignments. ClearCorrect isn’t as experienced or prolific as Invisalign, but they charge dentists less for lab fees and have multiple plans — including one where you pay per aligner — so your treatment might be more affordable.
Another one of Invisalign’s oldest competitors, SureSmile launched its clear aligners in 2007. It can treat the same scope of misalignments as Invisalign, and the company says that their patients are less likely to need refinements after treatment. Despite this, they boast lower prices and, since they don’t have a specific mandatory scanner, providers can save money and pass those savings on to you.
3M Clarity Aligners
3M — the company behind Scotch Tape and Post-Its — creates clear aligners with incredible teeth-moving power thanks to their unique attachment placement. Clarity Aligners are only available to orthodontists, who can use two different proprietary materials to deliver a treatment highly customized to your condition. Since 3M also makes Clarity Clear Braces, orthodontists can also design a combination treatment that uses them simultaneously with aligners.
In short, as long as you choose a provider that offers some degree of bite correction (any of the ones listed above), home teeth alignment could be a viable, cost-effective option for correcting your underbite. If you’re wondering whether you’re a candidate, it’s pretty low-risk to get the ball rolling. If you don’t qualify for treatment, most companies will reimburse you for any costs incurred, and if you change your mind after getting approved, there’s no obligation to move forward.
Remember, underbite is rarely a medical concern, and having one doesn’t change who you are. Choosing a corrective treatment is a very personal decision. As long as you keep your unique goals, priorities, and overall well-being in mind, you’ll find the perfect option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes underbites?
Underbites have several possible causes. Genetics can play a role, like if you were born with irregularly sized jaws or teeth that come in crooked. But childhood habits can contribute too. Children who suck their thumbs, thrust their tongues against their teeth, or use pacifiers and bottles past age three are at greater risk of developing or worsening an underbite.
What happens if you don’t fix an underbite?
An underbite can cause your enamel to wear down unevenly, and over time, that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and temporomandibular disorders (TMD). An untreated underbite can also cause sleep apnea and chronic jaw pain.
What’s the best treatment for an underbite?
It depends entirely on your unique case. Mild underbites can respond well to at-home clear aligners like Byte or SmileDirectClub, while moderate ones often require in-person care with braces, Invisalign, or other in-office clear aligners. Some severe cases require surgical intervention, but they’re rare.
How long does it take to fix an underbite?
It depends on the severity of your case. Particularly mild cases might take only a few months with at-home aligners, but braces or Invisalign can take 12–30 months to fix more significant ones.
What age is best to correct underbite?
Childhood is best, if possible, since the underbite could affect how the child’s jaws grow and develop. Treating it early allows the permanent teeth to descend in an ideal environment, reducing the risk of misalignments later on. But that doesn’t mean adults can’t get an underbite fixed. Ask your dentist about your options as soon as you notice symptoms of an underbite.
How do I get started with at-home aligner treatment?
You will need to order an impression kit from your chosen home aligner company. The kit includes putty and trays, which you’ll use to make molds of your top and bottom dental arches before mailing them to the company. This process can sometimes be difficult, so SmileDirectClub offers physical locations where you can get free teeth scans, and Candid has every customer begin treatment by attending an appointment with one of their network dentists.
Do clear aligners hurt?
Customers often report experiencing tightness or discomfort during the first 1–2 days wearing a new set of aligners, after which the discomfort subsides. Some companies provide “chewies” or other devices to help ensure a more comfortable aligner fit.
How do home aligner companies prepare my treatment plan?
After you submit your impression kit or teeth scans, a dental professional will analyze them and use specialized software to create digital models of your teeth and aligners for every stage in the process. The company will send you digital images of the treatment plan for your approval before beginning production.