Historically, the only way to transform your smile was to get braces or Invisalign from your dentist — but that’s no longer the case. Today, at-home clear aligner brands like Candid make achieving your ideal smile both affordable and convenient.
Candid stands out from the at-home clear aligner pack as the only company that offers remote monitoring during the treatment process. But is Candid the right fit for you? In this review, we’ll walk you through everything you should know before deciding whether or not to move forward with treatment.
Table of Contents
Is Candid Legit? Why They Score 4.4/5 Overall
Candid scores 4.4/5 overall based on our 5 review criteria (effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support). This makes Candid our second-highest rated home teeth alignment service (Byte is #1).
If you’re willing and able to pay a premium for a highly effective and attentive treatment, Candid could be the right fit for you. They’re the only at-home teeth straightening company that offers a remote monitoring service, giving users direct digital access to the orthodontist overseeing their treatment plan.
Candid vs. Byte: Our Top 2 Recommendations
Candid is a top-notch treatment option, no doubt — but many of our readers find the $2,400 price point difficult to swallow. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck without sacrificing treatment quality, Byte is tough to beat.
Byte is the #1 option we recommend not only to our readers, but to our family and friends. At $1,895, Byte rings up at 20% less than Candid. Plus, their HyperByte vibration technology makes treatment twice as fast (and significantly more comfortable).
Based out of New York City, Candid is a company that offers convenient and affordable teeth aligners, empowering you to transform your smile from home. Their clear aligners look and feel similar to Invisalign — they are made from clear plastic and fit snugly over your teeth, much less visible than traditional braces. However, unlike Invisalign, Candid’s treatment plan doesn’t require a single trip to the dentist. Instead, your aligners are prepared, approved, and monitored remotely by one of Candid’s licensed orthodontists.
Overall, Candid aims to stand out by offering the most professional at-home teeth straightening service through treatment plans crafted exclusively by orthodontists.
Like other home-based clear aligner products, Candid is primarily a cosmetic treatment. Their aligners are designed specifically to correct mild-to-moderate cases of spacing and crowding issues, along with some minor bite conditions. If your case is severe, you may see better results from a treatment plan managed in-person by a dentist, like braces or Invisalign.
How Does Candid Work?
Candid wants to ensure that their aligners are capable of delivering your desired results. Before getting started, they’ll send you a special kit to collect a 3D impression of your teeth. Or, if you live near a Candid Studio location, you can schedule an appointment for a free teeth scan by a certified dental professional. This may be a better option for anyone who is uncomfortable taking the impression themselves.
If you’re a good candidate, Candid’s network of orthodontists will use this impression or scan to develop your customized treatment plan. After you confirm the plan, they will produce and ship your clear aligners. Over the next six months or so, wear the aligners for at least 22 hours per day and check in regularly with your Candid orthodontist to gradually shift your teeth to the desired position.
Candid Pros & Cons
Before you decide to move forward with Candid treatment, it’s a good idea to weigh the benefits and drawbacks to make sure it’s the right fit for you. We’ve sifted through the details of Candid’s service offerings and compiled a list of the most important pros & cons to keep in mind:
- Candid is among the more well-established at-home clear aligner companies. They’ve successfully transformed tens of thousands of smiles, making them more experienced than most competitors.
- Candid prioritizes customer safety by working with a network of premium orthodontists.
- With Candid, you can book an in-person teeth scan with an orthodontist at one of their Candid Studios, so it’s easy to get the ball rolling.
- Their CandidMonitoring system lets you send digital images of your teeth to your orthodontist throughout the process, so they can evaluate your progress every step of the way.
- Candid works with a highly-respected, trustworthy clear aligner manufacturer called ClearCorrect, ensuring a top-quality product.
- Both of Candid’s financing options (in-house and through Affirm) require a credit check. The good news is that their in-house option approves nearly everyone.
- The CandidMonitoring service gives Candid a higher price point than its competitors.
So, do the Pros Outweigh the Cons?
In many cases, yes. Candid offers a premium-quality service, but it comes at a premium price point. If you like the idea of having consistent remote access to your orthodontist and are willing to pay extra for it, Candid could be the right provider for you.
Orthodontic treatment is an investment, so you don’t want to dive in without being sure that it can deliver the results you’re after. In this section, we’ll go over what type of results you can expect from a Candid treatment.
Just like other home-based clear aligner products, Candid is designed to address simple misalignment issues. Severe cases of crowding, spacing, or bite conditions might require a more robust, in-office treatment. To make sure Candid’s system is well-suited to your smile goals, the company provides a 3D preview of how your teeth will look after treatment. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into.
To ensure patient safety and great results, Candid works only with orthodontists to create your treatment plan.
Patients with mild teeth misalignment can be confident that Candid will correct their condition while guaranteeing treatment safety.
How? By working solely with a network of over 50 skilled, experienced, and licensed orthodontists who design and oversee all Candid treatment plans. Orthodontists receive six years of post-graduate training to master the art and science of adjusting teeth. They have the technical know-how and experience to evaluate your face, neck, jaw, and teeth, then develop an effective solution.
Most other clear aligner companies, including SmileDirectClub, work with general dentists instead of specialized orthodontists. Candid’s commitment to work exclusively with orthodontists sets them apart and shows their dedication to customer safety.
By implementing a remote monitoring service, Candid gives you consistent access to your orthodontist.
Currently, Candid is the only company that offers a remote monitoring service (called CandidMonitoring), in which you send your orthodontist digital images of your teeth periodically during treatment. This allows them to make sure your smile is on track and adjust your timeline to match. You can take these images right from your phone using a specialized device from Candid.
According to their website, CandidMonitoring helps to ensure quality results and might decrease your treatment time by up to 30%. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind that an orthodontist is keeping track of your progress the entire way. It’s not as intensive as in-office treatments like Invisalign, but it’s the next best thing.
Candid aligners are made by a trusted manufacturer.
A team of excellent orthodontists wouldn’t matter if the aligners were poorly-crafted and could break or lose shape. Candid avoids this pitfall by partnering with ClearCorrect, the second-largest manufacturer of invisible aligners in the U.S. ClearCorrect has many years of experience and a top-notch reputation for reliability.
ClearCorrect aligners have been FDA-approved since 2009 and their aligners are made with a high-quality, BPA-free plastic material called Zendura. Backed by years of testing and results, Zendura is strong, durable, and highly effective. This is the same plastic that Invisalign used for almost a decade before switching to a new material called SmartTrack. Candid is the only home aligner brand that offers ClearCorrect products.
Candid aligners are cut straight across the top (rather than trimmed to match the gumline), making them more powerful.
Most home aligners, including Candid’s, are cut straight across instead of scalloped along the gumline. There’s a good reason for this.
When applying in-office clear aligner treatments (like Invisalign) dentists often place attachments on the teeth, holding the aligners in place. This is why Invisalign trays stay in place even though they’re trimmed to follow the gumline.
But since these attachments must be installed by a dentist, fully-remote treatments like Candid can’t use them. This might seem like a drawback, but Candid uses it to their advantage. Their aligners use the gums as an anchor to apply up to 4x more force, no attachments necessary. As you analyze various home aligner companies, it’s best to go with a company that cuts aligners straight across rather than matching the gumline. Scalloped aligners are wonderful for in-office plans but simply aren’t as effective for at-home treatments.
Historically, the high price tag for braces and Invisalign has made teeth alignment a substantial financial burden. On top of that, health insurers seldom cover this type of cosmetic treatment, and dental insurance will typically reimburse just a small fraction of the cost.
A major benefit of home aligner companies like Candid is the affordable price point compared to traditional treatment options. The innovation of home alignment technology has made orthodontic treatment much more accessible. Home aligner products typically cost around $2,000, significantly less than Invisalign or braces, which can set you back more than $4,500.
The total cost of a Candid aligner kit is $2,400 (or $79/month), which is more expensive than other home aligner options.
This sticker price covers the cost of your treatment plan, clear aligners, Remote Monitoring service, and teeth whitening. It also includes your first set of retainers, which some competitors charge extra for after treatment is complete.
Candid offers two different payment plan options, but both require a credit check.
Even though Candid is much cheaper than braces or Invisalign, not everyone has nearly $2,400 lying around. To make aligner treatment more accessible for all, Candid offers two financing plans. Their in-house plan includes a $299 down payment, followed by 36 monthly payments of $79. This plan requires a credit check, but nearly everyone is approved.
The second option involves a third-party company called Affirm. It requires a more selective credit check, but has 0% APR and no down payment. This option costs less in the long run, but its credit check might disqualify some customers.
SmileDirectClub and Byte, on the other hand, both offer their own payment plans (not through Affirm) which do not require a credit check.
Candid has the highest sticker cost of any home aligner company, but they offer flexible in-house and third-party financing plans. Other companies like Byte and SmileDirectClub have lower prices and provide financing with better terms, but when compared to traditional orthodontics, Candid’s price is still attractive.
Aside from cost, one of the biggest barriers to pursuing a more comfortable smile is the time commitment of traditional orthodontics. When the daily grind is running you ragged, repeated dentist visits aren’t exactly convenient. And taking time off from work each month for your appointments isn’t ideal either. Not to mention that traditional methods take longer, so if you have a big event coming up this year (not two or three years down the road) and you want to finish treatment ASAP, it may not be complete in time.
Home aligner companies like Candid make this kind of treatment more convenient by shipping the aligners to your home, so you can spend less time in the dentist’s chair and more time living life. Most home aligners (Candid included) deliver results in half a year or less – much faster than the typical 18 months for braces and 12 months for Invisalign.
When it comes to convenience, Candid steals the show from both braces and Invisalign. However, among the popular at-home aligner companies, there are some differences that make certain brands stand out as more or less user-friendly.
Our convenience rating is measured by startup difficulty, shipping time, and average treatment duration.
Candid Studios make it super easy to get your treatment started.
Many customers find that the hardest part of home aligner treatment is taking the first step. Fortunately, Candid provides options and support that make it fast and painless. To create your custom treatment plan, the company send you a kit you can use at home to make a mold, or “impression” of your teeth. Mix the two different types of putty together and place that mixture in a tray. When you bite down on it, the putty surrounds your teeth and creates a mold. Candid can then use this impression to evaluate your current smile and develop your unique aligners.
Completing the impression kit can be challenging since most people don’t have experience using them. To help you succeed, Candid sends three sets of putty and trays, three chances to make a good impression of both your top and bottom arches. Plus, they offer support to walk you through the process if you’re having difficulties (or just need some encouragement). Still, this step can be tricky, and not everyone gets it on the first try. Some people may need a second impression kit before getting approved for treatment.
If you’d rather avoid the impression kit altogether, Candid offers free 3D teeth scans at retail locations called Candid Studios as an easier alternative. Simply book an appointment online and when you arrive, a technician will use a handheld device to take images of your teeth.
Candid and SmileDirectClub are currently the only two home aligner companies that offer retail locations for teeth scans. If you go with another company, taking impressions yourself is your only option.
CandidMonitoring improves effectiveness and treatment time, but takes a bit more work.
There are plenty of benefits that come with CandidMonitoring, but it also adds some extra steps to the process. You’ll need to take images of your teeth and send them to your orthodontist for each new aligner set. Candid makes this process easy, and it doesn’t take much time out of your day, but it’s still another thing to remember.
Expect to wait around 5 weeks before beginning treatment.
After you complete your Candid Studio visit or submit your impression kit, Candid usually takes two weeks to process the impressions and prepare your treatment plan. This is somewhat slower than other companies. For instance, SmileDirectClub promises to complete this step in just 72 hours. After receiving and approving your treatment plan, Candid will take another three weeks to produce and ship your aligners, which is fairly standard. Altogether, it’ll be about five weeks before you’re wearing your first aligner.
Start to finish, treatment takes 6 months on average.
As long as you’re using your aligners properly and wearing them at least 22 hours per day, you can expect the process to last half a year. Candid’s treatment is much shorter than Invisalign or braces, but it’s not as fast as Byte, who boasts an average 3-4-month treatment time. They claim that Remote Monitoring can decrease your treatment time up to 30%, which would put it around four months. However, this depends on your specific case and condition.
As you weigh your options, consider your calendar and goals. If your wedding is in three months, Candid’s timeline might not align with yours.
Teeth whitening is included as part of your treatment.
There’s no added costs, upselling, or hidden fees here. With Candid, you’ll receive a whitening foam that you can use while you straighten your teeth. Simply pump the foam into your aligner trays and go about your day! Other aligner companies don’t start whitening treatment until after you complete your correction due to the material used in their aligners.
When it comes to teeth straightening treatments, most adults agree: the less visible, the better. They often don’t want to attend business meetings, dates, or special occasions sporting visible metal brackets. Clear aligner products pride themselves on being far more discreet than braces. For this reason, all clear aligners tend to excel aesthetically, and Candid is no exception.
That said, not all clear aligners are created equal in terms of appearance. While they’re all made from transparent, BPA-free plastic, variations in manufacturing processes cause each brand to look slightly different.
Candid aligners are less noticeable than most of the alternatives.
Candid aligners are made from a textured plastic that appears frosted. This is a result of the 3D-printed molds that their producer ClearCorrect uses. Frosted aligners simply look more natural than the smooth ones that AlignerCo and other companies use. Teeth are naturally porous – which is why coffee and red wine can stain them – and these pores give a matte appearance. Candid’s frosted plastic mimics this matte look, so your teeth won’t look unnaturally shiny.
As we mentioned earlier, Candid aligners are cut straight across at the top (rather than scalloped to follow the gumline), which affects their appearance and effectiveness. Since they partially cover the gums, others may be able to see where the aligners end when you smile. Even so, most customers don’t find straight-cut aligners to be more noticeable than scalloped ones.
You’ll want to take out your aligners before eating & drinking to avoid stains.
All clear aligners are susceptible to food and beverage stains — that’s why it’s important to remove them before eating or drinking anything besides water. Our current understanding is that Candid aligners are reasonably stain-resistant, although we certainly wouldn’t recommend drinking coffee, red wine, or other dark liquids while wearing them.
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 any issues arise.
If you’re seeking a provider that truly cares for its customers, Candid is a great choice. They offer reliable, courteous customer service that will go the extra mile to meet your needs.
Their customer support appears more responsive than most of the alternatives.
Candid is a highly customer-oriented company. They provide multiple avenues to contact support and extensive online resources. Service representatives are available by phone, chat, and email every day (including weekends) from 9am-7pm. If you reach out on social media, expect a response within 24 hours.
You have constant access to your assigned orthodontist
With the implementation of CandidMonitoring, Candid provides frequent check-ins with your orthodontist. This gives you assurance that your treatment is on track and it may answer some of your questions as well.
Candid wants to make sure you are completely satisfied with your smile.
No one wants to imagine poor results, especially when it comes to your smile. Fortunately, Candid has a solid refund policy in place. It doesn’t try anything too far outside the box, sticking pretty close to the industry standard.
If your assigned orthodontist determines right off the bat that you’re not a candidate for Candid’s treatment, you will receive a full refund for the impression kit and any up-front payment you may have made at a Candid Studio.
But let’s say you’re three months into your treatment and your smile isn’t progressing the way you expected. In this case, Candid will not offer a refund. However, because they’re committed to successful smile transformation, you can work with your Candid orthodontist free of charge to alter your treatment and achieve the results you’re after.
What Are Candid Customers Saying?
When we review a company like Candid, we start by digging through customer reviews to understand common issues and concerns.
Candid has numerous honest and straightforward online reviewers who don’t appear to be sponsored by the company. The general sentiment from these reviews is that customers feel satisfied and valued. Often, these customers chose Candid because they appreciated having an orthodontist’s oversight and the convenience of Candid Studio teeth scanning.
Most customers had very few issues with their clear aligners and expressed excitement about starting and continuing their treatment. In cases where something went wrong, Candid took care of it efficiently and inspired customer satisfaction in the outcome.
For a realistic look at the Candid customer experience, check out the unbiased Candid reviews we’ve gathered from users at various stages of the treatment process.
Here are a couple of review videos from real Candid customers we found especially useful:
Candid vs. Invisalign
While Candid works exclusively with orthodontists to create their at-home treatment plans and provides continued access to these orthodontists, in-person care can’t be beaten for more intensive cases. Sound like you? Invisalign may be an ideal option because of its versatility.
Invisalign’s additional dentist face-time allows for appliances and adjustments that achieve more complicated tooth and jaw movements. If you have a bite misalignment or a severe case of crowding or spacing, Candid’s home aligners might simply be too limited to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Candid vs. Other At-Home Aligners
While Candid is a great clear aligner company, there are other at-home and in-office options to consider. Invisalign is the primary in-office option, and while it’s more expensive than home aligners, it allows dentists to add special appliances and achieve more advanced teeth movements. There are also several other home aligner options worth exploring, especially if you want the shortest treatment time or a quick treatment start.
Byte vs. Candid
While Byte is newer to the home aligner market, they win out for their innovation. They offer a treatment plan that takes only 3-4 months, thanks to their HyperByte device, which uses gentle vibrations to reduce discomfort and provide a better fitting aligner. They don’t have any retail stores yet but if a short treatment time and orthodontist oversight are your priorities, Byte may be a good option.
SmileDirectClub vs. Candid
SmileDirectClub stands out as the largest and most popular at-home clear aligner brand. They don’t work exclusively with orthodontists like Candid, but they do have more retail locations, which makes it easier to get started, depending on where you live. Plus, they’re the most experienced home aligner company, having transformed over one million smiles so far.
Bottom Line - Is Candid Right for You?
Out of the five home-based clear aligner products we reviewed, we rank Candid #2 overall. If you like the idea of having direct access to your orthodontist and are willing to pay extra for it, Candid could be the right provider for you.
Our #1 recommended provider, Byte, also boasts a shorter average treatment time than Candid, a nighttime-only treatment option, and personalized customer service. Both are excellent options, but only you can decide on the best fit for your smile, your timeline, and your budget.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Candid offer discounts?
Not frequently, but every so often you can catch a sale. If you sign up for Candid’s emails, they’ll send occasional deals for $100 – $200 off your aligners. They also have a referral program. So, if you refer a friend, they’ll get $100 off their aligners and you’ll get a $100 Amazon gift card if they purchase treatment. For more ways to get discounted Candid treatment, check out our discount guide.
Can Candid correct my condition?
It depends. Candid is extremely effective in treating mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing, but it might not be able to correct jaw misalignments like overbite, underbite, crossbite, etc. The only way to know for sure is to complete an impression kit or visit a Candid Studio.
What about Invisalign?
The clear aligner originator has its own set of unique benefits, most notably in-person care. During regular face-to-face checkups, your dentist or orthodontist can make adjustments to your treatment and add attachments that allow Invisalign to treat a wider scope of cases.
Candid is faster and less expensive, but Invisalign is a great option if your condition is severe or you’d prefer to meet with your dentist in person. Our Invisalign review has a ton more information if you’re interested.
How much will I end up paying?
Even though Candid’s sticker price is $2,400, there are numerous factors that can influence cost, including discounts, financing, insurance, refinements, and more. In most cases, you won’t end up paying exactly $2,400, but it will likely be close. Read through our guide on the true cost of Candid for a more complete look at price influencers.
How do I get started?
Before anything else, Candid’s orthodontists need to take a look at your teeth. You can either submit an impression kit or visit a Candid Studio for a free teeth scan. They’ll use these molds or images to determine if you’re a good candidate and craft your entire treatment plan.
How long will it take?
The average Candid treatment lasts around six months, but each case is unique. Quick fixes might be shorter and more complicated conditions may take longer.
Plus, during CandidMonitoring check-ins, your assigned orthodontist might advise you to start with your next aligner set sooner than expected, shortening the overall timeline. After Candid reviews your impressions/teeth scans, they’ll send you a treatment plan that estimates how long it will take.
Does insurance cover Candid’s treatment?
Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Certain providers label at-home aligners a “cosmetic” treatment and refuse to cover it. But if your plan includes orthodontic benefits, you might receive partial coverage. Check with your insurance provider to see if you can get a partial reimbursement for your treatment.
What is the fastest home aligner service?
If you’re looking to show off a dazzling new smile at an upcoming wedding, graduation, or another event, speed is important. And when it comes to speed, Byte stands apart. Their average 3-4-month treatment time cuts the industry average in half.
Even their nighttime-only option is only 4-6 months (on average), which matches the standard, all-day treatment time for other companies. Learn more about Byte in our full review and other fast options in our guide to the 3 most convenient clear aligner companies.
What is the cheapest home aligner service?
Home aligner companies have drastically reduced the cost of teeth-straightening service, but that doesn’t mean they fit perfectly in every budget. If you’re a cost-conscious shopper, check out AlignerCo. Their $1,145 sticker price is several hundred dollars less than most competitors and around $1,200 less than Candid.
Our full AlignerCo review has more info and you can find other budget-friendly options in our guide on the 3 most affordable home aligner companies.
What is the most effective clear aligner company?
For at-home treatment, Byte and Candid are the front-runners. Byte’s industry-fastest treatment time and orthodontist-only network go a long way, and Candid offers their own benefits with CandidMonitoring. If you prefer an in-office treatment, you can’t go wrong with Invisalign.
For more information and other options, see our guide to the 3 most effective clear aligner companies.
Do clear aligners hurt?
When you switch to a new aligner set every two weeks, you might experience some discomfort for the first day or two, but after that, you’ll hardly notice them.
Is home aligner treatment safe?
Yes! While administering treatment from home might seem daunting, the process is very safe. Home aligner companies use state-licensed dentists and orthodontists to create your treatment plan and design your aligners.
Even though you won’t meet with them in-person, each company offers robust customer support services if something doesn’t feel quite right. And Candid takes your safety a step further. They guarantee that an orthodontist will oversee your treatment regularly through CandidMonitoring check-ins.