Candid and Byte have a lot in common. Both clear aligner services offer at-home teeth straightening, and both are newer to the scene than industry giant SmileDirectClub. But when you dig a bit deeper, there are actually some major differences between these companies that aren’t so apparent on the surface.
We’re here to help you decipher these differences and hone in on the features that are most important to you. In this comparison review, we’ll take you on an in-depth tour of Candid and Byte, and provide all the information you need to choose the best home teeth aligner for you.
Table of Contents
Overview & Recommendation: Byte Wins
Two Great Companies, but Byte Gets Our Vote.
Both Candid & Byte provide exceptional treatment quality, but in our opinion, Byte wins the race. Why? Three reasons:
- Faster Treatment Time: Thanks to their proprietary HyperByte vibration device, Byte is able to offer the industry’s fastest treatment times. On average, they can achieve the desired results in just 3-4 months, compared to Candid’s 6-month average treatment window. Dentists often charge upwards of $1,000 for similar devices, but Byte includes it for free in your aligner bundle.
- More Affordable: At $1,895, Byte rings up at over 20% less than Candid treatment (which costs $2,400).
- Satisfaction Guarantee: Byte treatment comes with an insurance plan on your smile. Once you’ve completed treatment, their Byte for Life guarantee promises that if your teeth ever shift back, they’ll realign your smile free of charge.
Is Byte Right for You?
Out of all the clear aligners we’ve reviewed, Byte is the #1 option we feel most comfortable recommending not only to our readers, but also to our family and friends. They scored 4.7/5 overall based on our 5 review criteria (effectiveness, affordability, convenience, appearance, and customer support) — a higher rating than any other provider.
If it turns out that you’re a good candidate for treatment, 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, but we think that Byte’s faster treatment times make them a slightly more effective option.
- Works exclusively with orthodontists
- Offers direct orthodontist access with Remote Monitoring
- Partners with a reputable manufacturer (ClearCorrect)
- Average treatment time is 6 months
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top for extra power
- Works with licensed dentists & orthodontists
- HyperByte technology decreases the average treatment time to 3-4 months
- Unclear who they partner with for manufacturing
- Also uses a straight cut for increased aligner power
Most home aligner companies have a network of licensed dentists and orthodontists who develop and oversee their treatment plans. But Candid takes this a step further, working solely with orthodontists — the only company in the industry to do so.
Orthodontists have 6 years of post-graduate training in the art of crafting smiles, meaning that Candid puts your treatment in the hands of a highly-specialized individual. Byte ensures an orthodontist will be involved in crafting your treatment plan, but doesn’t guarantee your aligners will be designed by an orthodontist from start to finish. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that dentists are trained to administer clear aligners like Invisalign, and are totally qualified for the task.
Candid also gives users regular access to their personal orthodontist throughout the treatment process, which Byte does not. With Candid’s Remote Monitoring system, customers use a special device to send intraoral images to their orthodontist every 7-10 days so the orthodontist can regularly evaluate their progress. However, this premium level of support accounts for Candid’s premium price point (more on this later).
Manufacturing can also make a difference in overall aligner quality and consistency.
Candid receives its aligners from ClearCorrect, the industry’s second-largest manufacturer. ClearCorrect’s aligners have been FDA-approved since 2009, so they have a long track record of success and they’ve built up a reputation as a trusted producer. This gives you the reassurance that you’re receiving top-of-the-line aligners that will get the job done.
Byte hasn’t released the name of their manufacturer, although they affirm that their aligners are made with safe, BPA-free plastics. And, given their aligner quality, we assume that they partner with a reputable producer.
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 are able to 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 shorter treatment times and more nuanced smile transformations. Their HyperByte device (mentioned above), uses gentle vibrations to ensure better-fitting aligners and faster teeth shifts. Dentists often charge upwards of $1,000 for similar devices, but Byte includes it for free. It’s what allows Byte to guarantee a shorter treatment time, 3 months on average.
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 can design a smile that complements your entire face, not just your mouth.
Candid’s technology focuses on consistency rather than speed. They include a Remote Monitoring device that allows you to take intraoral photos with your phone, then send them to your orthodontist throughout the process. While this ensures a safe and reliable treatment, it doesn’t guarantee the same kind of efficiency as the HyperByte.
One of the first things many adults check when considering home aligner treatment is their budget. Which provider offers lower prices? The short answer is Byte. But it’s important to focus on more than just the upfront cost. You should also consider financing options, payment plans, and what each cost includes.
- $2,400 sticker price
- Includes retainers for no charge
- Impression kit is $95 (or free at a Candid Studio location)
- Offers in-house and third-party financing plans. Both require a credit check, although nearly everyone qualifies for the in-house plan.
- $1,895 sticker price
- Includes aftercare retainers in the initial cost
- Impression kit is $95
- Financing requires a down payment, but everyone is approved
This is the price you’ll find on either company’s website, the number that most potential customers evaluate when making a decision. Byte beats Candid here by a few hundred dollars. Candid’s sticker price is $2,400 while Byte’s is only $1,895 (or $2,295 for nighttime-only treatment).
This is mainly due to Candid’s Remote Monitoring service, which involves digital check-ins with your assigned orthodontist every couple of weeks. It’s a nice feature that keeps your treatment on track, but it does drive the price up.
But you shouldn’t take these numbers at face value. Look further to find out everything that each one includes. For example, both Candid and Byte’s upfront payments include your post-treatment retainers, which saves you some money on the backend.
Other companies might have lower starting costs, but you’ll need to purchase their retainers for around $100 after you’ve finished your treatment. Neither Candid nor Byte includes the $95 impression kit in their price, although Candid allows you to skip the impressions by getting free teeth scans from a Candid Studio instead.
Payment Plan Options
As you think about cost, you should also keep in mind how you will finance your treatment. Candid and Byte each provide a financing option, but there are some key differences between them.
- Byte offers an $83/month, 29-month financing plan (BytePay), which requires a $349 down payment. If you choose Byte At-Night treatment instead, you’ll make a $449 down payment followed by $99/month. With BytePay, everyone is approved for financing. Plus, BytePay includes a 5-year “Smile Protection Plan,” which provides biannual retainer replacement and two free replacements for lost or stolen retainers.
- Candid’s 36-month financing plan requires a credit check (although they approve nearly everyone), and includes a $299 down payment followed by payments as low as $79/month. They also offer third-party financing through Affirm which requires a more selective credit check, but has 0% APR and no down payment.
If you’re confident in your credit score, Candid’s option is more flexible. But if you don’t think you would qualify based on a credit check, Byte’s financing might be the better route. With either in-house option, you’ll pay a bit extra to finance your care when you factor in the interest paid over time by financing, so it’s worth it to pay upfront if you can make the finances work!
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 unique HyperByte device, which you’ll use daily to cut treatment time nearly in half. It’s a huge added bonus. Candid doesn’t have anything like HyperByte, but they throw in a little tool to help you remove your aligners. This is a thoughtful addition, as it makes the process much easier for any patient with limited dexterity.
Additionally, Candid’s price covers their Remote Monitoring service and equipment. This includes a device that allows you to take intraoral images with your phone and regular digital check-ins with your orthodontist.
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 skip the office visits and complete your treatment from home is convenient no matter which company you choose. Certain companies, like both Candid and Byte, go the extra mile to ensure an even more convenient customer experience. It’s hard to contend with Byte’s fast treatment time and nighttime-only option, but Candid’s simpler startup process is a huge plus too.
- Provides 20+ Candid Studios that offer free teeth scans as an alternative to impression kits
- Treatment time is an average of 6 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
- Treatment time is 3-4 months
- Offers a nighttime-only option that requires aligner use for only 10 hours per day.
- Allows you to use aligners and whitening products simultaneously
The first step in any home aligner plan is sending the company images of your teeth. Not only do these images help determine if you’re a good candidate, but they’re also essential to designing your aligners and treatment plan. This first step can sometimes be the largest and most difficult. Most customers obtain teeth images by ordering an impression kit from their company of choice.
These kits, however, aren’t always easy. Think about it, how many times have you made molds of your own teeth? Without the necessary experience, customers can struggle to get a good impression. And yet, if you choose Byte, you’re required to go through this sometimes cumbersome process.
Candid, on the other hand, has looked to eliminate startup struggles by establishing physical locations, called Candid Studios, across the U.S. At one of these 20+ locations, a staff member will scan your teeth for free, then immediately send your scans to Candid for review, making the process quicker and easier.
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.
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. This is a relatively recent trend in the home aligner industry, and currently, only three companies offer it: Byte, SmileDirectClub, and AlignerCo..
The idea is that you wear each set of aligners for 10 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 from 3 to 4-6 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.
Candid doesn’t currently offer a nighttime-only option. However, we wouldn’t be surprised if more home aligner companies started jumping on this trend soon.
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.
Appearance is a highly subjective category but we still have our own opinion. Based on our research and the customer reviews we examined, we give Candid a slight advantage.
- Uses a frosted, textured plastic that better matches your tooth surfaces
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top
- Reasonably stain resistant
- Uses a smooth, translucent, shiny plastic
- Cuts their aligners straight across the top
- Reasonably stain resistant
There are two schools of thought concerning aligner material. The first is that translucent, shiny 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 naturally porous, which gives them a matte surface, so a textured aligner more closely matches your natural tooth appearance. Smooth, clear aligners can be reflective and look artificially shiny. For this reason, we think that Candid’s frosted aligners look better than Byte’s smooth ones.
But again, “better looking” is a fairly subjective term, and some customers actually prefer smooth, shiny aligners for the way that they can make a smile “gleam.” Consider your own 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 gumline (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 counterparts.
Both companies make aligners that are resistant to staining, but we would not recommend drinking colored beverages while wearing them.
Customer Service Comparison
You never want to imagine something going wrong with your treatment, but if it does, you’ll likely appreciate having a responsive, caring customer service team at your back. Both Candid and Byte are dedicated to cultivating a quality customer experience from start to finish.
Whether you have a simple question about your aligners or you’re not totally satisfied with your progress, they’ve each developed networks of support to ensure that your issue gets resolved as soon as possible. Candid offers more comprehensive and responsive support than almost every other home aligner company, but Byte’s personalized care and lifetime warranty are truly next-level.
Candid Customer Service
Byte Customer Service
- Offers numerous support platforms, including video chat
- Has received excellent customer reviews
- Provides direct regular access to your orthodontist.
- Will work with you to modify your plan if you’re not satisfied
- 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
Both companies offer a variety of avenues for communication, primarily phone, email, and webchat. Byte’s representatives are available from 8am to 6pm (Pacific time) and their website says you have access to your care team seven days a week. You can reach Candid’s customer support from 9am to 7pm (Eastern time) every day (including weekends). Both companies are also incredibly responsive on social media, replying to inquiries on social media platforms within 24 hours.
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 customer support teams.
Candid prioritizes their customer experience and appears to be very responsive on all channels, and they emphasize transparency about their treatment procedures. We’ve encountered very few complaints revolving around their customer support.
But even with courteous, helpful representatives, Candid doesn’t go quite as far as Byte. Aside from the typical customer support avenues and hours, Byte assigns each customer with a personal advisor who checks in throughout the treatment journey and answers any questions that arise. This level of personalized support is unmatched in the industry. On top of that, Byte’s online reviewers rave about the responsiveness and thoughtfulness of their customer support team.
Candid doesn’t stray too far from the industry standard when it comes to refund policies. If they determine that you’re not a candidate right from the start, you’ll receive a full refund for your impression kit and any advance payments you might have made at a Candid Studio.
But say you’re four months into your treatment and dissatisfied with your progress, what then? You won’t receive a refund, but Candid won’t leave you with an incomplete smile either. To ensure your satisfaction, they will work with you to further realign your teeth and achieve the smile you want.
Likewise, Byte doesn’t offer refunds after you’ve begun treatment, but their dentists will work with you to readjust your teeth if necessary. And once you’ve got the smile you’re after, they insure it for life. That’s right, 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. That’s truly above and beyond customer support.
Candid Company Background
Byte Company Background
- Founded in 2017
- Second-largest home aligner company in the industry
- Made a name for themselves through high-quality products and excellent customer service
- Founded in 2018
- Quickly gained popularity due to their innovative technology and excellent customer service
- Currently one of the industry’s most promising and fastest-growing new companies.
Even though they just hit the market in 2017, Candid has experienced a rapid ascent in the home aligner industry. They’re currently the second-largest company in the space (behind SmileDirectClub) and they’re still growing. With tens of thousands of smiles transformed and over 300 employees, they’re continuing to make waves.
Like SmileDirectClub, they’ve started to establish a strong physical presence with 20+ Candid Studio locations. All the while, Candid has maintained their commitment to top-quality products, effective treatment, and customer safety.
Much like Candid, Byte burst onto the scene and immediately started turning heads. By implementing bold new technology like the HyperByte to decrease treatment time and increase convenience, Byte rapidly rose in popularity after launching in 2018.
We love what Byte has been doing and we think they have the ambition and potential to lead the industry. Candid is one of the most experienced and trustworthy home aligner companies out there, but we think that Byte has pioneered the industry’s fastest and most effective treatment. You can’t go wrong with Candid, but if you want an unrivaled combination of quality, speed, and customer support, Byte is our pick.
What Are Customers Saying?
When we review a company like Byte or Candid, we start out by digging through online user reviews to understand the common issues customers face, and how the company handles them. Here’s how these two services stack up.
Generally, Byte users express positivity and satisfaction with their Byte experience. They often say they chose Byte because they appreciated the convenience of a three-month treatment plan, and liked that the HyperByte device would eliminate much of the pain associated with orthodontic treatment.
In the few cases where something goes wrong, it seems that Byte is quick and caring to resolve the issue, making sure the customer feels safe and valued. Many users also note that the HyperByte device really helps their aligners feel more comfortable, and that they notice more discomfort if they’re not using HyperByte regularly.
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.
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 customers have to say.
Which Home Teeth Aligner Should You Use?
As you can see, Candid and Byte have a lot in common, but their differences are where you want to focus when making a final decision. If you’re still not sure which clear aligner service to choose, let’s look at a couple of scenarios that might help you figure out which is the better option for you.
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:
Interested in at-home treatment, but are willing to pay a premium for direct access to an orthodontist throughout the process.
We Recommend Byte For Most Users
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either of these companies. Candid and Byte both offer a convenient and affordable alternative to visiting your dental provider for Invisalign treatment. Still, we recommend byte because they offer a significantly lower price point, and 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 if you want our honest opinion, go with Byte. They pair the industry’s fastest treatment time with high-quality products and exceptional customer service.
That said, you can’t go wrong with Candid either. Their Remote Monitoring and orthodontist-only network 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. Candid sells impression kits too, but they also maintain physical locations (called Candid Studios) across the country, which is a quicker, easier process if you live near one. So, it can be easier to get the ball rolling with Candid.
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 Candid Studio procedures.
What is the fastest home aligner company?
byte. Their average treatment takes just 3 months, while most other home aligner companies take around 6. Even Byte At-Night takes 4-6 months, right around the industry average.
What is the most effective home aligner company?
That honor goes to Candid. They’re the only company that works solely with orthodontists to design and oversee treatments. Plus, they give you constant access to your assigned orthodontist through their Remote Monitoring service. Check out other effective treatments on our Top 3 Most Effective Home Aligners guide.
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 treatments use a series of clear aligners to shift your teeth. The major difference is that your dentist or orthodontist will administer Invisalign in-office and can incorporate supplement attachments (elastics, buttons, etc.).
As a result, Invisalign can treat just about any condition that braces can. Home aligners don’t require office visits, so they can’t employ attachments and they have a smaller range of treatable cases. Take a look at our Byte vs. Invisalign and Candid vs. Invisalign guides for a deeper analysis.
How long does home aligner treatment take?
In most cases, 6 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 will move a bit faster. They use “HyperByte” technology to achieve faster teeth shifts, completing most treatments in 3-4 months instead of 6.
What other companies should I consider?
AlignerCo, SmileDirectClub, and SnapCorrect 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 SnapCorrect provides free whitening for life. Read through our guide to the top 5 home aligner companies for more on each option.
How much do home aligners cost?
They go for $1,200 – $2,500, 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 Candid, who provides extensive Remote Monitoring, costs $2,400. Even the most expensive home aligners are still much cheaper than the $3,000 – $8,000 you’ll pay for Invisalign or braces.
Does insurance cover home aligners?
Sometimes, but not often. Many insurance providers don’t cover cosmetic treatments, which includes home aligners. If your plan includes orthodontic benefits, though, you might receive a 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.