Candid and Byte have a lot in common. Both companies offer convenient clear aligner treatment, and both are more affordable than traditional options like Invisalign and braces. But when you dig a bit deeper, there are some major differences between these companies that aren’t so apparent on the surface.
We’re here to help you decipher these differences and determine the features that are most important to you. In this comparison review, we’ll take you on an in-depth tour of Candid’s hybrid in-person/at-home care and Byte’s completely remote service, providing all the information you need to choose the best clear aligner treatment for you.
Table of Contents
Overview & Recommendation: Byte Wins
Two Great Companies, but Byte Gets Our Vote.
Both Candid and Byte provide exceptional treatment quality. Candid incorporates hands-on care from a dentist to provide a great option, but in our opinion, Byte wins the race. Why? Two reasons:
- Treatment Efficiency: Thanks in part to their “HyperByte” high-frequency vibration device, Byte boasts an average treatment plan length of just 4–5 months, compared to Candid’s 6-9-month average window. Byte includes this device in the cost of every treatment plan.
- More Affordable: Like other at-home aligner treatments, Byte has drastically reduced the cost of clear aligners by eliminating office visits. As a result, their entire treatment costs $1,999 (or $2,399 for Byte At-Night). Candid, on the other hand, costs $3,500 or more — depending on your dentist’s rates — since you’re paying for in-person care plus robust remote monitoring throughout the process.
Is Byte Right for You?
Your ideal clear aligner treatment depends largely on your unique condition, goals, and budget. But Byte is a great option for most people with mild-to-moderate misalignments. They scored 4.3/5 overall based on our five review criteria (effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support) — a higher rating than any other provider.
Special Offer: Save 80% off your impression kit & receive a complementary whitening pen
If you’re a good candidate, Candid and Byte both deliver highly effective treatments. They each show a great commitment to delivering the highest quality products and consistent results. Their approaches are different, so each presents different advantages — and even though neither can match Invisalign’s power, we think Candid’s in-person care and comprehensive remote oversight make them one of the most effective clear aligner options out there.
- Involves a local dentist in the entire treatment process, including at least one in-person appointment.
- Offers clinical oversight throughout treatment with CandidMonitoring
- Their aligner plans can move even the molars when it’s appropriate.
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top for extra power.
- Can incorporate additional office visits if any serious issues arise.
- Works with licensed dentists & orthodontists to design treatment.
- Recommends virtual check-ins on their mobile app every month, but doesn’t require them.
- Primarily focused on moving the front six teeth and sometimes premolars.
- Also uses a straight cut for increased aligner power.
Candid stands out by including in-person care as part of your treatment. Every Candid patient starts the process in the chair of an in-network provider for onboarding, similar to in-office options like Invisalign. This ensures that Candid receives accurate scans of your teeth and provides a local dentist who will play a role in overseeing your treatment.
Byte doesn’t incorporate any hands-on care, and they don’t keep a local dentist in the loop the entire time like Candid. They do ensure an orthodontist will be involved in crafting your treatment plan, although there’s no guarantee that your aligners will be designed by one from start to finish. That said, it’s important to remember that dentists are trained to administer clear aligners like Invisalign, and are totally qualified for the task.
After your initial office visit, Candid requires you to complete virtual check-ins every 14 days, so they can collaborate with your dentist to keep you on track. This remote monitoring system (called CandidMonitoring) uses a ScanBox device that attaches to your phone and helps take accurate photos, which you’ll upload via Candid’s mobile app. If Candid or your dentist spots any serious issues, they can recommend additional office visits. By implementing this model of robust remote oversight, Candid has effectively streamlined Invisalign’s model of office visits every 4–6 weeks.
Byte recommends that you upload monthly photos through their My Byte app, but doesn’t require it unless you have certain dental conditions. If you choose to complete these check-ins, you’ll have the reassurance that Byte’s experts are monitoring your progress every step of the way — although it’s still not as consistent or robust as Candid’s oversight.
Candid treatment has the ability to move all of your teeth, including the molars. In doing so, Candid can create the necessary space in your dental arches, laying the groundwork to move your front six teeth without negatively impacting your bite. This is a more holistic approach than at-home aligner services — closer to what you’d get from Invisalign. Molar movement isn’t required for every case, but it’s nice to know that Candid is capable if necessary.
Manufacturing can also make a difference in overall aligner quality and consistency.
Candid used to partner with ClearCorrect, Invisalign’s biggest competitor, but they’ve since moved their production in-house, giving them greater control over their product design and quality. They craft their aligners from a premium tri-layer plastic called Zendura FLX and 3D print them to ensure precision and a perfect aligner fit.
In late 2020, Byte was acquired by Dentsply Sirona, a reputable dental manufacturing company that makes cleaning instruments, scanning machines, retainers, and virtually any other dental equipment you can imagine. So you can be sure that Byte’s products are trustworthy and well-designed.
Both companies make aligners cut straight across the top that slightly overlap the gums, which can increase their effectiveness. Not all clear aligners overlap the gums, but those that do can induce more powerful teeth movements. These aligners use the gums as a point of leverage to pivot and push the teeth into alignment. Clear aligners that are trimmed to follow the gum line might be slightly less visible, but they’re also less powerful.
This applies more specifically to Byte. Candid uses technology too, but Byte has gone above and beyond to implement innovations that allow for potentially shorter treatment times and more nuanced smile transformations. Their HyperByte device (mentioned above) uses gentle vibrations to help provide a more comfortable aligner fit — and there’s evidence that it can encourage faster teeth movements as well.
During the treatment development process, they also use a unique software called Smile Science to evaluate your entire facial structure. This way, Byte’s dentists and orthodontists can design a smile that complements your entire face, not just your mouth. And they automatically upload all of your treatment details to your My Byte App, where you can track your progress and contact customer support.
Candid’s technology focuses on consistency rather than speed. Their ScanBox helps you take photos of your teeth, which you’ll upload via the CandidApp, ensuring consistent oversight from your dentist and Candid’s team throughout your treatment.
One of the first things many adults check when considering clear aligners is their budget. Candid’s hybrid treatment is more affordable than more comprehensive in-office options like Invisalign, but it’s quite a bit more expensive than Byte. The sticker price isn’t the only thing to consider, though. You should also consider what that price includes and how the company makes it more accessible.
- $3,500+ price, depending on your dentist’s location.
- Price includes office visits, plus the CandidMonitoring service and equipment.
- Charges $99 for retainers after treatment.
- You can enroll in a financing plan through your dentist’s office or third-party companies.
- $1,999 sticker price.
- Includes aftercare retainers in the initial cost.
- The impression kit is $95.
- Financing requires a down payment and soft credit check.
This is the number that most potential customers evaluate when making a decision. Byte charges $1,999 (or $2,399 if you choose the Byte At Night plan), which is much cheaper than in-office options, but pretty average for completely at-home clear aligners. That price includes a set of aftercare retainers, but not the impression kit, so you’ll have to purchase it separately for $95.
Since Candid treatment involves in-person care and the ongoing expertise of a local dentist, their price is often $3,500 or more. The exact price, however, depends on your dentist’s location and rates. There’s no impression kit necessary because your dentist will take teeth scans to start your treatment, but you’ll still need to pay $99 for aftercare retainers.
Payment Plan Options
As you think about cost, you should also consider how you will finance your treatment. You should be able to enroll in a financing plan for either option, but they have very different procedures.
Byte offers a $70/month, 36-month financing plan (BytePay), which requires a $249 down payment and a soft credit check. If you choose Byte At-Night treatment instead, you’ll make a $299 down payment followed by $84/month.
You won’t be paying Candid directly for your treatment — you’ll be paying your dentist. The good news is that many dental offices offer payment plans, or can at least recommend a good third-party financing option. If you’re interested in financing your Candid aligners, discuss your options with your dentist.
Financing plans typically include interest, so you’ll pay a little more overall than if you simply paid the full amount up front.
These are the bonus items you’ll receive along with your aligners, retainers, and whitening, little perks that can make your treatment process smoother. Both companies include free whitening to accompany your aligners, so you can brighten your smile while you straighten your teeth.
Byte will include their HyperByte device, which you’ll use daily to encourage well-fitting, comfortable, effective aligners. It’s a huge bonus. As we mentioned, they also include one set of aftercare retainers, which typically go for $129.
If you want to save money on retainers, the Byte Protection Plan provides five years’ worth for $749. Instead of placing individual orders twice per year, Byte will ship your replacements automatically. You’ll get ten sets in total, so you’ll pay around $75 per set instead of $129.
Candid doesn’t have anything like HyperByte, but their price covers your office visits plus their CandidMonitoring service and equipment. They don’t have a protection plan either, although your dentist might have a similar retainer plan or subscription.
In the end, both companies offer strong value, especially when compared to Invisalign or braces, which will typically set you back $5,000 or more.
Being able to complete part or all of your treatment from home is convenient no matter which company you choose, but Candid and Byte go the extra mile to ensure an even more convenient customer experience. Candid is more streamlined than Invisalign and other treatments that incorporate in-person care, but it’s hard to contend with Byte’s efficiency and nighttime-only option.
- Has a network of 300+ dentist partners who will help you kick off your treatment during an office visit.
- Average treatment plan is 6–9 months.
- Does not offer a nighttime-only option, only the full-time, 22+ hour/day schedule.
- Allows you to use aligners and whitening products simultaneously.
- No physical locations that offer teeth scans, so you’ll need to use an impression kit.
- Average treatment plan length of 4–5 months.
- Offers a nighttime-only option that requires aligner use for only ten hours per day.
- Allows you to use aligners and whitening products simultaneously.
To get started with any clear aligner treatment, you need to submit images of your teeth. The difference here is how you take those images.
Byte requires every customer to create molds of their teeth using an impression kit. You can complete this kit entirely from home, but it can be difficult if you’ve never made impressions of your teeth before. If you nail them on the first try, it’s a pretty convenient process. If you don’t, it can be a bit frustrating, and you might need to order additional kits.
The first step for Candid is scheduling an office visit with one of their network providers. They have 300+ partnering dentists nationwide who will provide an initial consultation, scan your teeth, take X-rays, and kick off your Candid treatment. While it might mean taking a couple of hours off work, this in-person appointment ensures that Candid gets accurate dental images and lets you meet face-to-face with the dentist who will be involved throughout the process.
After that, you’ll upload photos of your teeth to the CandidApp every 14 days. While these check-ins add another item to your to-do list, they also allow your dentist and Candid’s team to head off complications before they become serious, which could be more convenient in the long run. It provides clinical oversight that’s similar to Invisalign in a more streamlined package.
The only potential issue with Candid’s model is that it’s only available to people who live near one of their 300+ dentist partners. They’re working to expand that network, but for now, if you can’t find one of their dentists nearby, you’ll need to look into other options.
One of the biggest advantages at-home aligner services have over fully in-person options is efficiency. Even a hybrid model like Candid is often faster than Invisalign’s average 12–24-month treatment time. Their treatment typically lasts 6–9 months, while Byte boasts an average treatment plan length of just 4–5 months.
Both Candid and Byte include teeth whitening products with your aligners, so you can brighten that smile while you straighten your teeth. Some other home aligner companies won’t allow you to begin whitening until after you’ve finished your treatment. Candid and Byte make these processes simultaneous — just pump the whitening foam into your aligners and go about your day.
And Candid takes it a step further: They’ll send you a Philips Zoom whitening right after you sign on, so you can whiten your teeth before treatment while they spend a few weeks designing your aligners. However, this premium option costs an extra $299.
Think about your life with aligners, wearing them 22+ hours per day, only removing them to eat and drink, switching to a new set every week. Sound reasonable? Great! But if you don’t think you could work this commitment into your schedule, a nighttime-only option could be the right move for you.
On the Byte At-Night plan, you’ll wear each set of aligners for ten hours per day instead of the usual 22, and switch to the next set after two weeks instead of one. Of course, this extends Byte’s overall timeline to around 5–6 months on average, but it’s nice to have a flexible option if you don’t think an all-day schedule will work for you.
Like comprehensive in-office aligners, Candid is intended solely for all-day treatment. There may be a small amount of leeway here, but your dentist will most likely require you to wear your Candid aligners for at least 22 hours/day, removing them only to eat, drink, and brush.
Clear aligners are, by nature, highly discreet, much less visible than traditional braces. Any company you choose will provide a great-looking option without a metal bracket in sight. That said, each home aligner brand has their own ideas of what looks best, and each customer has their own aesthetic preferences.
Based on our research and the customer reviews we examined, Candid and Byte are both highly discreet options.
- Uses a frosted, textured plastic.
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top.
- Doesn’t incorporate attachments.
- Reasonably stain-resistant.
- Uses a smooth, translucent, shiny plastic.
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top.
- Doesn’t incorporate attachments.
- Reasonably stain-resistant.
There are two schools of thought concerning aligner material. The first is that translucent, smooth aligners are less visible and the second is that frosted-appearing aligners look more natural.
We tend to agree with the second. Your teeth are porous, which gives them a matte surface, so textured aligners like Candid’s more closely match your natural tooth appearance. Smooth, clear aligners can be reflective and look artificially shiny.
But again, appearance is a pretty subjective category, and some customers actually prefer smooth, shiny aligners like Byte’s for how they can make a smile “gleam.” Consider your priorities and aesthetic preferences as you make your decision.
And, of course, if you’d rather not wear your aligners at all to work, school, or other daytime activities, Byte’s nighttime-only treatment can be a great option.
We noted in the “Effectiveness” section that aligners cut straight across the top are more powerful than ones trimmed to match your gum line (or “scalloped”). However, straight-cut aligners are also slightly more visible, since they overlap your gums. Candid and Byte both use a straight cut for their aligners, so they’re just a little more noticeable than their scalloped competitors.
Both companies make aligners that are resistant to staining, but we would not recommend drinking colored beverages while wearing them.
Patient Experience Comparison
You never want to imagine something going wrong with your treatment, but if it does, you’ll likely appreciate having a responsive, caring support team at your back. Both Candid and Byte are dedicated to cultivating a quality patient experience from start to finish.
Neither one can quite replicate Invisalign and ClearCorrect’s comprehensive in-person support, but Candid’s in-person care, combined with their robust remote monitoring, is the next best thing.
Candid Patient Experience
Byte Patient Experience
- Offers numerous support platforms, including video chat and their mobile app, in addition to your dentist’s office.
- Has received excellent customer reviews.
- Provides check-ins every 14 days via their CandidMonitoring service.
- Your dentist can potentially provide assistance if you’re not satisfied with your results.
- Offers standard communication avenues and will respond on social media as well.
- Provides each customer with a personal Byte advisor to answer questions.
- Receives consistently positive customer reviews.
- The Byte for Life Guarantee ensures your smile forever.
Candid’s patient support is two-fold. Your dentist will provide the treatment, and you’ll also have near-constant access to the Candid remote care team, who can answer your questions and bring your dentist into the loop if necessary.
CandidMonitoring gives your dentist and Candid’s team the chance to review photos of your teeth every 14 days and address any issues as they arise. If anything comes up between check-ins, the most convenient way to contact their team is via live chat on the CandidApp. However, service representatives are also 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.
Byte’s representatives are available from 8am to 6pm (Pacific time), seven days a week. They’re also incredibly responsive on social media, often replying to inquiries on social media platforms within 24 hours. If you choose to complete their recommended monthly check-ins, you can do so via the My Byte app. The app also lets you get notifications for each aligner change, track your HyperByte usage, and chat with customer support, serving as a hub for all your treatment information and reminders.
Responsiveness & Helpfulness
We scoured the Internet for genuine reviews of these companies and discovered that most customers report positive experiences with both Byte and Candid’s support teams.
Having a local dentist’s office in the mix throughout your Candid treatment will give you a resource that knows you and your teeth personally. Plus, Candid’s remote team has prioritized patient experience and appears to be very responsive on all channels, and they emphasize transparency about their treatment procedures. We’ve encountered very few complaints about their support.
Aside from the typical customer support avenues and hours, Byte assigns each customer a personal advisor who checks in throughout the journey and answers any questions that arise, something very few other providers do. They’ve received some complaints about long wait times and unresponsive customer support, but most of their customer feedback is still positive.
Candid leaves refund policies up to each individual dentist. If you’re deemed ineligible for treatment, you might receive a refund for what you’ve paid so far, but it’s ultimately up to your dentist.
But what if you’re a few months into your aligner plan and dissatisfied with your progress? Contact your dentist. The benefit of having a local dentist in the loop is that they can potentially bring you back to the office for another examination and come up with an appropriate solution.
Byte doesn’t offer refunds after you’ve begun treatment, but their dentists and orthodontists will work with you to readjust your teeth if necessary. And once you’ve got the smile you’re after, they help you keep it forever. Their Byte for Life guarantee means that the company will craft new aligners to realign your teeth if they shift at any point down the road, even years after you’ve completed treatment. To maintain your eligibility, however, you need to purchase their retainers every six months and wear them as directed.
Even though they just hit the market in 2017, Candid has experienced a rapid ascent in the home aligner industry. Their old at-home treatment transformed thousands of smiles, and they’ve continued to show their dedication to quality in developing their hybrid CandidPro model. By backing every clear aligner plan with hands-on care from a local dentist, Candid continues to innovate and deliver safe, effective results.
Much like Candid, Byte burst onto the scene and immediately started turning heads. Co-founded by a dentist who has crafted some of Hollywood’s most famous smiles, they’ve sought ways to bring that A-list service to everyone. Byte quickly made a name for themselves by implementing bold new technology like the HyperByte and Smile Science, and today, they’ve joined Candid among the industry’s largest and most established companies.
Each company has charted their own course, offering customers different enticing advantages. Byte has developed the industry’s most efficient treatment, while Candid has created the effective and clinically intensive one. And they’ve both prioritized customer support, making sure that each customer gets the specific results they’re after.
What Are Customers Saying?
When we review a company like Byte or Candid, we start by digging through online user reviews to understand the common issues customers face, and how the company handles them. Here’s how these two options stack up.
Generally, Byte users express positivity and satisfaction with their Byte experience. They often say they chose Byte because they appreciated the treatment’s efficiency, and liked that the HyperByte device could eliminate some of the discomfort associated with wearing clear aligners.
A few customers, however, have noted that Byte’s aligners didn’t straighten their teeth as much as they’d expected, and they had to seek refinements. Others were pleased with their results, but were frustrated by some back and forth with customer support. These cases seem to be the exception rather than the rule, but they’re definitely something to consider as you research various aligners.
In the cases where something goes wrong, it seems like Byte worked to resolve the issue. So you can be confident that if you experience any issues during treatment, their support team will have your back.
For a realistic look at the customer experience, check out the unbiased Byte reviews we’ve gathered from users at various stages of the treatment process. Or, check out some of the video reviews our readers have submitted below!
The “CandidPro” model is so new that online reviews are virtually non-existent, so it’s difficult to form a view of the typical patient experience. That said, Candid’s fully remote option long inspired rave reviews, which speaks to the quality of their results and support.
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 patients feel satisfied and valued.
Most 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 patient satisfaction in the outcome.
In addition to the unbiased Candid reviews we’ve collected from our readers, we encourage you to check out the video reviews below to get an unbiased look at what real patients have to say. (Keep in mind that these are reviews of Candid’s old fully remote service, not the new CandidPro hybrid model).
Which Clear Aligner Should You Choose?
Candid and Byte both offer convenient clear aligner treatment and excellent customer support. Still, we recommend Byte for most users because of their affordability and superior efficiency.
Choose Byte if You Are:
Looking for a provider that offers the best overall value, and like the idea of transforming your smile as quickly as possible.
Choose Candid if You Are:
Seeking the reassurance and effectiveness that comes from in-person care, paired with the ease of at-home treatment.
We Recommend Byte For Most Readers
Candid and Byte both offer a convenient and affordable alternative to visiting your dental provider for Invisalign treatment. Still, we recommend Byte for most users because they offer a much faster treatment timeline.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose Byte or Candid?
It’s kind of a toss-up because they’re both great companies, but we have to give Byte the edge. They combine fast average treatment times with high-quality products and exceptional customer service. That said, you can’t go wrong with Candid either. Their in-person care and CandidMonitoring remote oversight will deliver safe and consistent treatment. For a deep dive into either company, see our full Byte review and Candid review.
How do I get started with Byte or Candid?
To start your Byte treatment, purchase and submit an impression kit. You’ll create molds of your top and bottom arches using a special putty, then mail back the impressions. Every Candid patient begins their treatment by visiting one of their 300+ network dentists, who will provide an initial consultation and teeth scans. This dentist remains involved throughout the entire process.
What are customers saying about Byte and Candid?
Byte customers rave about everything from customer service to their results. It seems like Byte’s individualized customer service model promotes a great overall experience. But Candid’s customers often love their experiences too, expressing satisfaction with their pricing and final results.
How do I know which option is right for me?
We recommend looking at five things: effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer friendliness. It’s all about finding the one that fits with your priorities, timeline, and budget.
What is the cheapest home aligner company?
AlignerCo. At just $1,145, their price beats every competitor by a few hundred dollars, and sometimes they run promotions that drop it even lower. And if you can’t pay that up front, you can jump on a financing plan, regardless of your credit score. Check out our complete AlignerCo review for more info, or find other great-value options in our guide to the most affordable home aligners.
Will home aligners work for me?
It depends on your condition. Since home aligners don’t require office visits and in-person oversight, they can’t treat severe conditions like most jaw misalignments. If you have a mild or moderate case of crowding or spacing, you’re probably a good fit, though.
How do Byte and Candid compare to Invisalign?
Both companies use a series of clear aligners to shift your teeth. The main difference is that Invisalign requires you to attend office visits every 4–6 weeks for your entire treatment. Candid provides office visits to begin and end treatment and remote oversight throughout, while Byte doesn’t require any in-person care. Take a look at our Byte vs. Invisalign and Candid vs. Invisalign guides for a deeper analysis.
How long does treatment take?
In most cases, around six months. Your timeline could be shorter or longer, though, depending on your condition’s severity and how consistently you wear your aligners. And if you choose Byte, your treatment might move a little faster, thanks in part to their HyperByte technology.
What other companies should I consider?
AlignerCo, SmileDirectClub, and NewSmile are all worth a look. Each one has its own advantages. AlignerCo offers the industry’s lowest prices, SmileDirectClub has the most experience and brand power, and NewSmile is another great value. Read through our guide to the top five home aligner companies for more on each option.
How much do home aligners cost?
$1,200–2,300, depending on which company you choose. AlignerCo, for example, has cut out the bells and whistles to provide effective treatment at just $1,145, while Byte and SmileDirectClub are a bit more. Candid’s hybrid model often costs $3,500+, which is still slightly less than the average costs of Invisalign or braces.
Does insurance cover home aligners?
Sometimes, but not often. Many insurance providers don’t cover cosmetic treatments, which can include home aligners. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, though, you might receive partial reimbursement. The only way to know for sure is to contact your provider directly.
Are home aligners 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.
Do home 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.
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