You’ve got a vision of a new, dazzling smile, plus a plan for how to get it — but there might be a couple of obstacles in your way. Maybe it’s the cost, or the office visits, or even the length of treatment. At-home aligner companies are knocking these barriers down, making it easier for adults to straighten their teeth and love their smiles.
Two great options are NewSmile and Byte. Both deliver clear aligners directly to your home, letting you straighten your teeth quickly and affordably while skipping office visits. But which one is better for you? This comparison guide digs into all the details, positioning you to make the right decision for your smile.
Table of Contents
NewSmile and Byte are two very similar companies. They both are fully remote treatments with no retail locations in the U.S. and no required visits to the dentist. As a result, they can only make cosmetic dental corrections, closing small gaps and opening up mild crowding, all in the front six teeth.
After seeing the success of online clear aligner services like SmileDirectClub and Byte, NewSmile joined the party in early 2020. Founded in Vancouver, B.C., they operate in the United States and Canada, and they’ve already made a name for themselves with their low prices and quality products. They have a dedicated team of dentists and orthodontists who review photos of your teeth every two weeks throughout treatment, keeping you on track, and often delivering final results in 4–6 months.
Founded in 2018, Byte emerged from the world of high-profile cosmetic dentistry. Co-founder and Chief Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jon Marashi has a star-studded portfolio of A-list patients, but started Byte to bring his Hollywood-tested treatments to the mainstream. They’re making waves with their innovative technology, efficient treatment, and exemplary customer support, and they’ve quickly become one of the industry’s top competitors, taking the #1 spot in our home aligner rankings.
We know you have a lot of questions right now. And we’re pretty sure we know what’s at the top of the list: “Do they really work?” Effectiveness is the foundation of quality aligner treatment. Because they don’t incorporate attachments and in-person oversight, at-home systems can’t correct severe misalignments like Invisalign or ClearCorrect can. But if you’ve got a milder case, NewSmile and Byte can both enhance your smile.
- Can treat mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, and some bite issues, but cannot incorporate any attachments.
- Does not disclose who manufactures their aligners.
- Incorporates virtual check-ins through their mobile app every two weeks.
- Scallops aligners to match your gum line, decreasing their power.
- Can treat mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing, and some bite issues, but cannot incorporate any attachments.
- They’re backed by Dentsply Sirona, a widely respected dental manufacturer and Byte’s parent company.
- Recommends submitting photos of your teeth every two weeks, but only requires it if you have certain conditions.
- They cut their aligners straight across for more power.
What Can They Treat?
As at-home aligners, NewSmile and Byte are both limited in their scope of treatment. More significant shifts require in-person supervision and attachments, two things that are left out of remote orthodontic care.
NewSmile and Byte both correct mild-to-moderate cases of crowding and spacing in the front six (sometimes eight) front teeth. In limited cases, they can also correct bite issues in these teeth if they don’t involve the jaw. Anything more significant than this requires an in-office treatment like Invisalign or a hybrid treatment like Candid.
With any product, you want to know that the business behind it is reputable and uses safe materials — and this goes double when the product is something you wear on your teeth. NewSmile hasn’t revealed much about their manufacturer or materials, only that their plastic is BPA-free and phthalate-free.
Byte is owned by Dentsply Sirona, one of the largest dental supply manufacturers worldwide. This means over 120 years of experience get put to work for you when you choose Byte aligners. While they don’t specify the type of plastic they use, they do state that it is a special PETG material that’s thin, strong, and crack resistant.
Dental Network and Oversight
General dentists and orthodontists are both qualified to design and administer aligner treatment. The difference between them is in their post-dental school training: general dentists go straight into practice while orthodontists get an extra 2–3 years of training in dentofacial orthopedics. NewSmile and Byte both have an in-house treatment planning and supervision team of dentists and orthodontists. This means you benefit from both maximum expertise and a mix of perspectives.
Every two weeks, NewSmile requires that you upload photos and videos of your teeth via their mobile app so their team can review your progress and address any concerns. Byte recommends that you use their My Byte app to submit monthly photos, but they only require it if you have certain conditions. If you choose to complete all the check-ins, you’ll have consistent clinical oversight. If not, you won’t have any.
Companies can cut their aligners one of two ways: straight across at the top or scalloped to match the gum line. Scalloped cuts rely on the shape of the aligners and the strength of their plastic to move the teeth. Straight cuts do the same thing, plus leverage force from the gums, making them more effective. NewSmile opts for the scalloped cut, but Byte is all about efficiency and sticks with the straight cut.
NewSmile and Byte both have their own treatment planning software, generating custom aligners based on the impressions you send in. Both also have mobile apps where you can get notifications on when to change aligner sets, record your aligner wear, and upload photos.
However, Byte goes a step further with their technology. First, their Smile Science software accounts for facial balance, not just tooth-to-tooth relationships. Second, their treatment package includes the HyperByte — a high-frequency vibration device. Preliminary studies suggest devices like this may reduce discomfort and even encourage faster dental shifts.
Effectiveness might be the single most important aligner quality, but price comes in a close second. After all, effectiveness won’t get you far if you can’t afford treatment. NewSmile and Byte are both much more affordable than their in-office counterparts, and NewSmile offers some of the lowest prices available, even among other at-home treatments.
- $1,595 sticker price ($1,695 for their Night Aligners).
- Impression kits cost $49 (unless you pay for your aligners up front).
- They include one set of aftercare retainers for free.
- The sticker price also includes whitening products.
- One financing plan available, and it requires a credit check.
- $1,999 sticker price (or $2,399 for Byte At-Night).
- Impression kits cost $95.
- They include one set of aftercare retainers in the cost of treatment.
- They also include free whitening with treatment.
- Byte’s in-house financing plan requires a down payment and soft credit check.
We might as well start with the most important detail: sticker price! NewSmile and Byte have two different prices depending on if you want to use all-day or nighttime-only aligners. NewSmile’s all-day option costs $1,595 while their night system is $1,695. Compare this to Byte’s all-day aligners, which are $1,999, and Byte-At-Night, which goes for $2,399. Choosing NewSmile over Byte means you’ll save a lot right off the bat — but sticker price isn’t the only factor that determines affordability.
While the sticker price tells you what you will need to pay for treatment, it doesn’t cover everything you’ll get. The aligners are obviously a given, and most companies include at least one bonus item. Both NewSmile and Byte include multiple freebies that help increase the value of their treatment.
NewSmile gives you a free teeth whitening kit and your first set of retainers. Byte goes a little further; you get teeth whitening, one set of premium retainers, and their HyperByte device. This last item retails for $699, so it closes the value gap between the two companies — at least when comparing their all-day systems.
What About Insurance?
At-home aligners are still fairly new, and some insurance companies still refuse to cover them. However, others will. If you have dental insurance with orthodontic coverage, it doesn’t hurt to contact your provider to ask if they cover NewSmile or Byte. If they offer coverage, you may need to pay for treatment yourself, then apply for reimbursement.
Don’t forget about FSA and HSA accounts. If you have one, ask your account administrator if you can apply the funds to remote clear aligner therapy.
NewSmile and Byte both offer financing for those who can’t quite swing the cost of treatment outright. NewSmile has a single financing plan: no down payment, starts at 0% interest, and you pay $58 a month ($61 for nighttime aligners) for 36 months.
Byte’s in-house financing plan requires a $249 down payment and soft credit check, and you’ll pay $70/month for 36 months for all-day treatment. Byte At-Night is slightly more expensive — a $299 down payment followed by 36 monthly payments of $84.
After any orthodontic treatment, you’ll need to wear retainers for the rest of your life to keep your teeth from shifting back — first all day long, then just overnight. Both companies make clear retainers you’ll need to replace around twice per year. As we mentioned, both include one set for free, and after that Byte charges $129 for every replacement, while SmileDirectClub charges $149.
However, the Byte Protection Plan provides five years’ worth of retainers 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. NewSmile doesn’t have a comparable plan.
Lower prices are often the biggest draw for remote aligners, but the other big advantage they have over traditional treatment is their convenience. Without office visits, they leave your schedule way more open. But convenience goes beyond dentist visits, and even though all at-home services are less time-consuming than in-person care, Byte goes further than their peers to give each customer a smooth, streamlined treatment.
- They don’t have any in-person locations in the U.S. at the moment.
- NewSmile says their treatment usually takes 4–6 months (or 8–10 months for Night Aligners).
- Takes 7–8 weeks to design, produce, and ship your aligners.
- Night Aligners only require ten consecutive hours of daily wear.
- Ordering an impression kit online is the only way to get started.
- Byte says their average treatment plan length is 4–5 months for standard treatment and 5–6 months for Byte At-Night.
- Takes around four weeks to produce and ship your aligners.
- Offers a nighttime-only option (Byte At-Night) that only requires ten hours of wear per day.
Clear aligner treatment always starts with dental images — either physical ones made with putty or digital scans taken during an in-person appointment. Some at-home aligner companies have retail locations where you can get professional teeth scans, but NewSmile and Byte both require you to make molds of your teeth at home using trays and putty. Using an impression kit might let you do everything from home, but some customers have a hard time making perfect molds of their teeth. We suggest you watch some video tutorials before you take yours.
Byte’s impression kit costs $95, although we’ve seen it on sale for as low as $29.95. NewSmile’s kit costs $49, but they’ll include it if you purchase the full treatment up front.
How Long Does Treatment Take?
One of the most significant aspects to consider is the length of your treatment. In-office aligners typically take 12–24 months — that’s a long time! At-home options are faster, though they treat less complex cases, which naturally shortens their average treatment time.
NewSmile claims their all-day treatment takes 4–6 months on average , while their nighttime-only plan lasts 8–10. On the other hand, Byte says their average treatment plan length is 4–5 months for their standard plan, and 5–6 months for Byte At-Night.
This all depends on the severity of your condition. More complex misalignments simply take longer to correct, so if you need to make significant corrections, your treatment might even fall outside those ranges — or you might need to go with an in-office option.
So, you’ve mailed in your impressions and the company says you’re a candidate for treatment. Great! But you won’t find your aligners on your doorstep the next day. In fact, NewSmile takes about 7–8 weeks to produce and ship your aligners, which is slightly longer than many other companies, including in-office options like Invisalign. Byte moves faster, delivering your aligners around four weeks after you submit your impressions and approve your aligner plan.
What About Nighttime-Only Treatment?
Clear aligners are more convenient than braces, but there are still some aspects that can get annoying, like taking them out to eat and drink (besides plain water), then cleaning your teeth and the aligners before putting them back in.
Nighttime treatment lets you skip this ritual. You’ll put the aligners in after your last meal — after brushing and flossing — and keep them in for at least ten hours. Not all companies offer this form of treatment, but NewSmile and Byte both do.
There are many reasons to love clear aligner therapy, but adults originally flocked to them because of their appearance. Practically invisible when worn, they were a revolution for patients who didn’t like the look of braces. But not all clear aligners look the same, and each person has different aesthetic preferences. So although Byte and NewSmile aligners look similar, you might find one more appealing than the other.
- Uses smooth, transparent, shiny plastic.
- Scallops aligners to match the gum line.
- They cannot incorporate attachments, preserving their low profile.
- Uses smooth, transparent, shiny plastic.
- Uses straight-cut aligners that slightly overlap your gums.
- They can’t incorporate attachments, so aligners stay clear and less noticeable.
There are many dental-grade plastics on the market, and each offers its own look. Textured, translucent, matte plastic is typically the least noticeable, while smooth, transparent, shiny plastic is usually the easiest to see. That’s because teeth are porous and naturally matte — so frosted, textured aligners mimic their appearance, while smooth aligners can look artificially shiny.
NewSmile and Byte both use smooth, shiny plastic, so their aligners might be easier to spot. However, some people prefer this look, since they think it gives them a gleaming smile.
NewSmile’s scalloped aligner cut lost points for effectiveness, but it gains points for appearance. Scalloped cuts hide the edge of the aligners in your gum line, making it harder to see. Byte’s straight cut is more noticeable, especially if a lot of your gums show when you smile. It’s up to you which is more important: power or looks?
In-office aligners use supplemental attachments to increase their strength and expand their scope of treatment. These require direct supervision, so at-home aligners can’t use them, helping them stay less detectable.
Patient Experience Comparison
The patient experience is a multi-faceted part of aligner treatment, so even though remote treatments don’t have one-on-one in-person interaction, there are still plenty of ways they can provide satisfactory support and customer care.
How you feel about your smile journey depends heavily on the customer support team and your provider’s policies. Both companies aim to deliver an amazing experience, but in our opinion, Byte provides one of the more personalized, supportive smile journeys you’ll find among at-home aligner companies.
NewSmile Patient Experience
Byte Patient Experience
- Offers support via phone and email. They will also respond to messages on social media.
- Requires photos/videos of your teeth for check-ins every two weeks.
- Will provide refinement aligners if your end results don’t match your treatment preview.
- Doesn’t have a lifetime warranty.
- Available via phone, email, webchat, and mobile app. Will also respond on social media.
- Recommends submitting photos of your teeth every month for oversight.
- Assigns each customer a “Byte advisor” for questions, concerns, etc.
- Will issue refinements for free if your smile doesn’t turn out as promised.
- Offers a lifetime warranty and will create new aligners if your teeth shift in the future.
You should expect treatment to go smoothly, but it’s important to know you can get help, just in case. You can reach NewSmile or Byte by phone and email. Byte also provides a webchat feature and a designated point of contact in the form of a Byte advisor — a support representative assigned to your case, who you can contact throughout treatment. Plus, they let you contact their support team directly through the My Byte app. NewSmile’s app doesn’t have this function.
Both have solid operating hours, though Byte gives you a bigger window: NewSmile is available Monday–Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm PST and Sunday from 10:30 am to 3:30 pm PST, while you can reach Byte representatives from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm PST, seven days a week.
Quality of Assistance
We’ve reached out to both companies and received responsive, helpful support. We want to be transparent: we haven’t tried NewSmile or Byte aligners ourselves. But we do get our info from actual customers.
Overall, both companies’ customers are happy with their experiences. NewSmile is still building its base, so it doesn’t have many reviews yet. However, the ones we found lean positive and praise their results and customer support. Byte has many more testimonials, including plenty of videos on YouTube. Aside from a few complaints about delayed customer service responses and disappointing results, on the whole, customers seem to love Byte.
Refund & Warranty Policies
There is an industry-standard refund policy for at-home aligners: if you send in your impressions and they determine you aren’t a candidate, they refund you what you’ve already paid. Other than that, you won’t receive refunds from either company unless there’s a manufacturing defect in your aligners.
However, they’ll both work with you if you’re unhappy with your results. It’s rare, but sometimes teeth don’t move as planned. If you reach the end of your treatment and your smile doesn’t match your original treatment preview, NewSmile and Byte will create free refinement aligners to put the finishing touches on your teeth. To maintain eligibility for this guarantee, you need to wear your aligners as directed, complete all your virtual check-ins (for NewSmile), and use your HyperByte diligently (for Byte). Otherwise, you might have to pay extra for refinements.
Byte also has the Byte-for-Life guarantee. It states that if your teeth ever shift through no fault of your own, they’ll send you an impression kit and make you more aligners. To maintain eligibility for this guarantee, you need to purchase new retainers every six months and wear them as directed. NewSmile doesn’t have a comparable warranty.
Which Should You Choose?
Both NewSmile and Byte are great companies that deliver excellent results. Although you’ll love your smile either way, one is probably a better fit for you than the other.
Who Should Choose Byte?
Go with Byte if:
- You’re intrigued by their HyperByte and Smile Science technology.
- You want a lifetime warranty on your smile.
Who Should Choose NewSmile?
Go with NewSmile if:
- You want a low price, especially on nighttime treatment.
- You aren’t concerned with customer service availability.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I choose NewSmile or Byte?
It depends on your priorities. Both will deliver the same end results, but Byte can be more efficient for some customers, while NewSmile is less expensive.
How do I get started with NewSmile or Byte?
Go to their website and order an impression kit. For NewSmile, you can choose Fast Track to pay for everything at once or Preview First to get the impression kit by itself.
How much do NewSmile and Byte cost?
All-day aligners from NewSmile are $1,595 while their Night Aligners are $1,695. Byte’s all-day aligners are $1,999, and Byte-At-Night is $2,399.
What are NewSmile and Byte customers saying?
Overall, very good things. All treatments have occasional negative feedback, but both companies’ reviews lean positive, with many customers noting their excellent results and quality support.
How long do NewSmile and Byte take?
NewSmile takes 4–6 months for all-day treatment and 8–10 for nighttime treatment. Byte says the average length of their treatment plans is 4–5 months for all-day treatment and 5–6 months for Byte At-Night.
Can I wear my aligners only at night?
Yes, if your aligner provider has a dedicated nighttime-only plan. NewSmile and Byte both offer it, but not every company does.
What conditions can NewSmile and Byte treat?
Both treatments strictly make cosmetic alignment corrections. This means addressing mild-to-moderate crowding and spacing in the front six teeth.
What is the most effective clear aligner company?
In-office treatments like Invisalign, ClearCorrect, SureSmile, and 3M Clarity Aligners are all highly effective. Between them, 3M Clarity Aligners has a slight edge. They make their attachments differently, allowing orthodontists to place more than one per tooth, which allows for more complex movements.
What is the cheapest clear aligner company?
AlignerCo! They charge just $995, making them the most affordable aligner company currently operating in the United States.
Do clear aligners hurt?
They can cause some soreness with the first aligners and after each aligner change. This is the longest with the first set, lasting a few days. After that, when it returns, it’s usually just for a few hours.
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