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’ service offerings 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 and Recommendation
Bottom Line: Both Companies Offer High-Quality Products and Exceptional Effectiveness
Candid and byte both offer a convenient and affordable alternative to visiting your dental provider for Invisalign treatment. Each company is committed to providing excellent products and care for every customer. Both have networks of orthodontists who craft custom treatment plans before the company ships a series of aligners to your home.
Despite their similar processes and values, there are several differences between Candid and byte that will likely help you decide between them.
Two Great Companies, but Candid Gets Our Vote
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either of these companies. They both provide exceptional effectiveness and treatment quality. Candid takes extensive measures to ensure top-quality products and treatment, but byte boasts the industry’s fastest treatment times while providing equally-effective care. It’s a close race, but we give byte the nod.
Why do we rank Candid higher than byte? They have two things Candid has that byte doesn’t:
- Faster Treatment Time: Thanks to their proprietary HyperByte device, which uses gentle vibrations to enable faster teeth movements, byte has the industry’s most efficient treatment times. On average, they can achieve the desired results in just 3 months, compared to Candid’s average 6-month treatment window.
- Customer Support: byte’s customer support is a cut above most of the competition. They assign each customer a personal byte advisor, who checks in to answer questions and concerns throughout the treatment process. No other home aligner company does this. Both companies receive consistently excellent reviews on their customer support, but byte’s personalized model and byte-for-life guarantee are tough to beat.
Again, this is a tough decision, as byte has its own significant advantages, particularly their fast treatment time. But in our opinion, byte’s speed and customer care are simply too good to pass up. We think these factors really matter. At the end of the day, it’s not just your money. It’s also your teeth. To us, each company’s commitment to quality and safety goes a long way, and Candid’s longer track record of experience gives them a leg up.
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.
- HyperByte technology decreases the average treatment time to 3 months
- Also works exclusively with orthodontists
- Unclear who they partner with for manufacturing
- Also uses a straight cut for increased aligner power
When you send off your impressions or teeth scans, where do they go? Who reviews them? It might seem like they disappear into a void and reappear weeks later as a treatment plan.
But knowing who is behind that plan is important. Most home aligner companies have a network of generalized dental professionals who develop and oversee treatments. But Candid and byte both take this a step further, working solely with orthodontists.
This is more than just a difference in titles. Orthodontists have 6 years of post-graduate training in the art of crafting smiles, meaning that Candid and byte are putting your treatment in the hands of a highly-specialized individual. General dental professionals are still qualified and talented, but when it comes to straightening teeth, orthodontists have an added level of expertise.
Candid goes a step further and gives you access to your orthodontist throughout the treatment process. With their Remote Monitoring system, you’ll use a special device to send intraoral images to your orthodontist every 7-10 days. This way, they can regularly evaluate your progress, and Candid claims that it can even decrease your treatment time by up to 30%.
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 that cover the gums, which can increase their effectiveness. Not all clear aligners cover 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 than those that cover the gums.
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. 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 orthodontists 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)
- Financing requires a credit check and a down payment
- $1,895 sticker price
- Includes aftercare retainers in the initial cost
- Impression kit is $95
- Financing requires a down payment but no credit check (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 of $2,400 while byte’s is only $1,895.
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 a 25-month financing plan (bytepay), which does not require a credit check, but does require a $249 down payment.
- Candid’s 6-24 months financing plans do require a credit check and often consist of a $399 down payment followed by payments as low as $99/month.
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 both services, 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
- 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
- Recently announced 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 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. Even better is the fact that Candid is rapidly expanding their physical presence and plans to open 50+ new studios by the end of 2019.
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, like Smilelove, 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 two companies offer it: byte and SmileDirectClub.
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 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
- Reasonably stain resistant
- Uses a smooth, translucent, shiny plastic
- 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.
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) every weekday, while you can reach Candid’s from 9am to 7pm (Eastern time) every day (including weekends). They’re also incredibly responsive on social media, replying to inquiries on social media platforms within 24 hours.
Note: Candid’s Remote Monitoring service puts you in contact with your assigned orthodontist once every couple of weeks, which allows them to address any issues as they arise. If anything comes up between check-ins, customer support is still available.
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 orthodontists 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 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 and 50+ more coming by the end of 2019. 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. They saw Candid’s admirable focus on quality care and began to use some of their strategies, like orthodontist-only networks. But byte added their own twists as well, implementing bold new technology like the HyperByte to decrease treatment time and increase convenience.
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 service, byte is our pick.
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 business formation 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 Candid if You Are:
Looking for straighter teeth on a budget, but unwilling to compromise on quality of care or support throughout the process.
Choose byte if You Are:
Hoping to complete your treatment ASAP, but still want an orthodontist’s oversight and a long-term customer satisfaction guarantee.