Ever wished you could straighten your teeth without office visits?
Luckily, you can skip the dentist: at-home clear aligners deliver a million-dollar smile from the comfort of your own home. These clear aligners aren’t just convenient, either; for many people, they’re also much faster and cheaper than braces.
Byte is one of many clear aligner services available in Australia. And quite frankly, they’re our favorite. But is Byte right for you? In this review, we’ll give you the full scoop on Byte: the good, the bad, and how to know if they’re right for your smile.
How Does Byte Work?
Byte is simple to use: they ship you an impression kit. Then, you take molds of your teeth and send them back so Byte can design and ship custom aligners to kick off your treatment. Thanks to Byte’s proprietary HyperByte device, some treatments can wrap up in just 4 months. Here’s a fly-by of what to expect when using Byte:
- Step 1: You order an impression kit from Byte and “Impress Yourself.” Using their kit, you’ll create molds of your teeth and send them back to Byte; shipping is easy thanks to a prepaid shipping label.
- Step 2: Byte analyzes the mold you’ve created to develop a treatment plan that’s unique to you.
- Step 3: Pay for your treatment all in one go, or sign up for BytePay and pay as you go.
- Step 4: You wear the custom aligners sent to you by Byte and gradually make your way to a straighter smile.
What Sets Byte Apart?
Byte is just one of several companies on the teledentistry scene, which is still relatively new (the “oldest” company was founded in 2014). If the name Byte isn’t too familiar to you, don’t be alarmed. They got started in the U.S. in 2018, and they didn’t head to Australia until 2020.
But even in the short time they’ve been in the Australian market, they have established a fantastic reputation for themselves. And it’s easy to see why: Byte has the shortest treatment lengths, nighttime only treatment, a generous lifetime guarantee, and much more.
In your treatment bundle, Byte includes their HyperByte device. The HyperByte releases gentle, high frequency vibrations, which help loosen your tooth’s ligaments to ensure a more comfortable aligner fit and potentially shorter treatment lengths. While wearing your aligners, just bite down lightly on the HyperByte for 5-10 minutes a day. That’s all there is to it!
Byte is the only at-home clear aligner provider to include a device like this in your treatment bundle—but that doesn’t mean it’s a new fangled technology. The HyperByte is a HFV (high frequency vibration) device, and devices like it have been safely used in orthodontics for over a decade. If you’re curious about HFV devices, you can learn more here.
Honestly, there aren’t a ton of negatives to Byte’s treatment offerings. The primary downside is that Byte only works for mild to moderate cosmetic cases, but that’s true of any at-home aligner provider.
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You’re going to be logging a lot of hours in your clear aligners, so of course, you want to make sure that the trays you’re wearing all day are safe and effective. Let’s take a closer look at how Byte’s clear aligners are made.
Byte’s aligners are made from BPA-free, PETG plastics. PETG is essentially a modified, more affordable version of polyurethane plastic. Byte’s aligners are on the thinner side, which gives them a low profile; but this does mean that they are potentially more prone to breakage.
Byte’s At-Night aligners are made from a thicker, more premium plastic than their all-day aligners. These durable nighttime only aligners can withstand more wear and overnight teeth grinding.
Among aligner providers, there are two main ways to cut the top of your aligners: straight across, or scalloped to match the gumline.
Byte’s aligners are cut straight across. This helps them exert more force because your gums act as an anchor. Scalloped aligners are slightly more discreet, but they aren’t as powerful. It’s a bit of a tradeoff, but we tend to think the straight across cut is the way to go.
Since Byte’s all-day aligners are thin, they have a lower profile than some of their competition. These aligners are discreet not only in appearance; but also in the way they affect your speech. Regardless of which clear aligners you have, your tongue usually needs a few days to get used to the foreign object, it’s suddenly beside all day. But with Byte, it may take less time for your speech to return to normal; since their aligners are slim.
Byte’s aligners are a bit shiny. Other aligner providers (like Invisalign and Smile Direct Club) use aligners with a slightly frosted appearance. These matte aligners tend to have a more natural look since the surface of our teeth is porous—not shiny.
That being said, some people like having a little extra gleam in their grin! Appearance is subjective, so choose the aligners that work best for your style.
Your Byte treatment takes place from the comfort of your own home, but that doesn’t mean you’re just left to your own devices. Each Byte customer is assigned their own personal Byte advisor. This advisor checks in throughout your treatment to ensure everything is going according to plan. No other home aligner company provides this level of personalized care.
If you encounter any issues during your treatment, you’ll need to reach out to Byte’s customer support team. Byte knows happy clients are their bread and butter, and it shows in their customer support.
For example, if you opt in for text messaging, a Byte representative will reach out through each step of the process: impressions, ordering your treatment kit, wearing your aligners, and so on. But you’ll also find it’s pretty easy to get in contact by phone, email, and even social media. Social media and email take a bit longer—you may wait up to 24 hours for a response.
Regardless of how you contact Byte, customers rave about their support, even mentioning their customer service agent by name.
To help the Byte team keep an eye on your treatment, you’ll submit progress photos to your patient portal every 3-4 weeks. If you’re wondering how to capture quality photos for these updates—don’t worry, Byte has you covered. In your treatment bundle, you’ll receive a cheek retractor. This aptly named tool moves your pesky cheeks aside so that you can take clear photos of your teeth.
It’s not always easy to remember everything on your to-do list, so Byte will remind you to send in these photos via a green banner on your treatment portal.
Traditional in-office options like Invisalign and braces can take 18-24 months to complete. On top of that, these treatments require in-person appointments every 4-8 weeks of treatment. Accommodating a dozen or so appointments is no easy task for any busy adult.
In stark contrast (thanks to the HyperByte device), Byte has the shortest treatment lengths in the industry. Your treatment could wrap up in as little as 4 months for all-day treatment, and as soon as 5 months for Byte At-Night treatment. With simple photo updates every few weeks, this treatment can easily fit into a busy schedule.
Bang For Your Buck
You’ve probably noticed that at-home clear aligners are way more affordable than in-office options, but how much savings are we talking about here? Let’s take a closer look at how much your treatment will cost when you choose Byte.
Byte’s $95 impression kit gets the ball rolling with your treatment. You’ll complete the impressions at-home and ship it to Byte with a prepaid shipping label. If it turns out you’re not a candidate for treatment, Byte will refund you the cost. Keep an eye out for sales, we’ve seen it discounted from time to time.
Your aligner kit will run you $2,749 for all-day treatment, and $3,399 for Byte At-Night. Your treatment system includes everything you’ll need to straighten your teeth without visiting the orthodontist’s office. You get all the aligners in your treatment, the HyperByte system (which is $999 when bought separately), a bottle of whitening foam, and a set of post-treatment retainers.
Byte throws in a bottle of whitening in your aligner package, but if you run out you can purchase more for $49. The per bottle price goes down the more you buy, so if you love the stuff you can opt for the 6 pack, which brings the cost to $39/bottle.
For an additional $899 (or $999 for Byte At-Night), you can opt into the Byte Protection Plan (BPP). This plan includes free replacements for any lost or broken aligners throughout your treatment, and 5 years worth of free retainers (a $1,690 value). If you can pay a little more upfront, this Protection Plan will ensure your smile for less in the long-term.
Don’t have $2,749 stuffed in your sock drawer? No problem. Byte’s in-house financing option BytePay offers payment plans with 100% approval. Each treatment plan (all-day aligners or Byte At-Night) has two different payment plan options. The main difference between these plans is whether or not you buy the Byte Protection Plan.
For all-day treatment, if you opt in for the Byte Protection Plan, you’ll make fortnightly payments of $57 for 30 months (in addition for a $40 account set up fee and a $8/month account keeping fee). This brings your total to $3,928. If you don’t get BPP, you’ll make fortnightly payments of $53 for 24 months (plus the same administrative fees), which brings your total to $2,981.
For Byte At-Night, if you opt in for BPP you’ll make fortnightly payments of $68 for 30 months (plus the administration fees we mentioned earlier) which bring your total to $4,678. If you decide against BPP, you’ll make fortnightly payments of $65 for 24 months (plus administrative fees) bringing your total to $4,631.
Of course you’ll save money by buying treatment outright, but it’s nice to know that Byte has your back with payment plan options.
Medicare classifies at-home clear aligner treatment as “cosmetic,” so it won’t contribute to the cost of your treatment. If you have additional orthodontic benefits, you might get some reimbursement. Coverage varies from one provider to the next., so be sure to check with yours to learn what your options are.
The best way to keep your smile in its new position is to wear aftercare retainers. When your treatment first wraps up you’ll need to wear these full time. After a few weeks you’ll get the go ahead from Byte to switch to overnight wear; which you’ll continue indefinitely. Lucky for you, Byte includes your first set of aftercare retainers for free in your treatment bundle. These retainers are durable, but they’re not everlasting; they’ll need to be replaced every six months or so.
You can buy these retainers outright for $189 per set. If you opted for the Byte Protection Plan, your retainers will be covered for 5 years.
Which treatment plan is right for me?
At-home clear aligners are far more convenient than traditional treatment options, but they still require some maintenance. You’ll need to remove them at mealtimes, then brush your teeth and clean your aligners before replacing them. If your days are already stuffed to the gills, even minor upkeep like this could be difficult to squeeze in.
With nighttime only treatments, you won’t have to think about your treatment until the evening. Just carry on with your day like normal, then pop in your aligners a few hours before you go to sleep, use the HyperByte for 10 minutes, and dream your way to a new smile!
Once Byte reviews your impressions, they’ll be able to let you know which treatment options are available to you. Though clear aligners can treat mild to moderate cases, nighttime only options are best suited for conditions on the milder side. So if you’ve got a packed schedule and some minor crowding/spacing, then nighttime only treatment could be a great fit for you.
There’s a lot to think about when choosing a clear aligner provider. Of course it’s important to consider price and quality, but it’s also important to consider how your provider treats their customers. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when you choose Byte for your clear aligner treatment.
Buying anything on the internet is convenient, but sometimes it’s hard to trust. In the “old days,” you could just ask your family and neighbors for their recommendations. Now, word of mouth often gets replaced with online reviews. So, what are other customers saying about Byte?
Overall, customers are thrilled with the Byte experience. Here are a few things customers like about Byte:
- Easy to use impression kit and aligners.
- Noticeable results within a matter of weeks.
- Fantastic lifetime guarantee.
- Excellent customer service.
But there are a few drawbacks:
- Mix-ups can occur with insurance reimbursements (not covered by Medicare, but some people with additional orthodontic benefits can get help with the cost).
- Monthly financing can add a substantial amount to the treatment cost
There just aren’t a ton of negatives to Byte. It’s easy to use, crazy fast, and you’ll get prompt customer service. Insurance mix-ups can be frustrating across any industry, so that’s not a make-or-break factor for us. Basically, Byte’s positives far outweigh the negatives.
Let’s be clear: moving your teeth from one location to another is never going to be a total picnic. This is true of all orthodontia—even traditional options like braces and Invisalign involve some aches and pains.
This typically happens within the first few days of switching to a new aligner; which makes sense, since the new aligner should be a bit tighter than the last. That being said, it’s usually just a bit of soreness; and an over the counter pain reliever usually does the trick just fine.
Luckily, your Byte treatment comes with the HyperByte. With its gentle pulsing, the HyperByte can help your aligners fit better sooner, which helps relieve some of the soreness. These aren’t just empty words, either—Byte’s reviews are full of customers crediting the HyperByte for making their treatment process way more comfortable.
Ordering anything online can feel like a risk; which is why we appreciate when providers have policies that protect your purchase. Byte offers plenty of peace of mind with their Byte For Life Guarantee. Here’s how it works: if your teeth ever shift out of place post-treatment (even years later), Byte will correct your smile for free. All you need to do is stay up on your retainer wear and replacements, and Byte will take care of the rest.
What if I break an aligner?
Accidents happen—if you break an aligner during your treatment, reach out to Byte right away. If you’re enrolled in Byte Protection Plan, then this replacement will be covered for free! If you aren’t in that program, your replacement aligner will cost just $59. While you’re waiting for your replacement aligner to arrive, be sure to wear your most recent set of trays to keep your teeth from moving out of alignment.
Sometimes teeth can be a bit more stubborn than your treatment plan accounted for, and you may need a few more aligners than expected. These extra aligners are called refinements, and some providers charge extra for them—but not Byte. If you’ve followed their treatment guidelines, you’ll receive all of the aligners required to deliver a great new smile.
Your smile is a big decision. You keep it for life! So, you’ll also want to consider all the alternatives that are available. Byte’s our favorite service, but we still want to mention some other options to consider:
Byte is many things, but “cheapest” isn’t one of them (though we think they’re a fair value). That honor goes to SmilePath. SmilePath prides themselves on being the most affordable mail-order clear aligner treatment—and their $1,899 sticker price proves it.
EZ Smile makes it simple to kick off your treatment thanks to their dental network across Australia. Intraoral scans are super easy (no messy impressions here). Plus, they have a fantastic 90-day money-back guarantee and a competitive sticker price.
There’s not a ton of flexibility with most aligner companies, but WonderSmile is an exception. With in-person scans and impressions, nighttime and daytime versions, and the option to treat just one dental arch, WonderSmile makes it easy to get treatment that works for you.
Smile Direct Club
If you want to work with the biggest brand in the home clear aligner industry, then look no further than SmileDirectClub. They also offer the flexibility of nighttime treatments and SmileShops where you can have scans taken instead of impressions.
Should You Use Byte?
Byte has a lot of positives, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right for everyone. Let’s talk about when you should use Byte and when you should steer clear.
✔ When to use Byte:
Byte can treat most mild to moderate cases, even if you’ve had braces before. If you’re in a hurry, Byte is the best option: their HyperByte device gives them a leg up on the competition.
✖ When NOT to use Byte:
If you have a complex issue like underbite or a severe case of crowding or spacing, then you’re probably not a good candidate for any home alignment system—Byte or otherwise. Also, if your budget is super tight, there are cheaper options.
All told, Byte is a great option. They’re honestly our favorite service. Sure, they’re pretty new to the industry, but they balance a relatively affordable fee with reliable, speedy treatment. Their guarantee to maintain your smile for life means they stand by their service, too.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Does Byte ever offer discounts?
Byte runs sales from time to time, especially around the holidays. So if you’re on their email list, you might receive special offers for deals on the impression kit or your aligners in your inbox. The only year-round discounts Byte offers are their student and military discounts. You have to email them to get in on those, though; contact [email protected] or [email protected] to get started.
What if I’m not happy with the outcome?
Byte is (largely) a non-refundable service. The only refund they offer is for their impression kit, which goes to individuals who aren’t good candidates for treatment.
However, Byte does promise that you’ll love your smile for life. If your teeth shift after finishing treatment, even years down the road and through no fault of your own, Byte will give you new aligners, free of charge.
Does Byte offer nighttime-only treatment?
Yes! If you use Byte’s nighttime-only treatment, Byte At-Night, then your treatment schedule will look a touch different. You’ll change your aligners less often and use the HyperByte twice as long each day. But you’ll only need to wear them 10 consecutive hours per day to see results. Rather than the 4 month treatment length, Byte At-Night takes closer to 5 months.
Do I need an X-ray before Byte treatment?
No X-ray required with Byte! The impression kit is all you need to get started, and it measures the spaces and orientation of your teeth.
How does Byte compare to EZ Smile, WonderSmile, SmilePath, and Smile Direct?
Byte is not the cheapest service (that honor goes to SmilePath), nor is it the most experienced service on the market (Smile Direct Club). But they do blend a great value with exceptional customer service. Their biggest merit is their treatment speed; thanks to their HyperByte system, some treatments wrap up in just 4 months. That’s really short compared to Smile Direct Club’s 6 months and the 18-month average for braces.
Is Byte better than braces and Invisalign?
It all depends on what you mean by “better.” Braces, Invisalign, and Byte will all get the job done and leave you with an impressive grin. The real questions are how fast does treatment go, and how much are you willing to spend? Of those three options, Byte has the shortest treatment lengths, and the lowest price tag.
Is Byte cheaper than braces or Invisalign?
Yes! Byte is cheaper than both traditional braces and Invisalign. Byte costs just $2,749 (or $3,399 for Byte At-Night). Invisalign can cost several thousand dollars more depending on the severity of your case. The same goes for braces.
Does Byte treatment last forever?
Occasionally, teeth will shift post-treatment. As you age (or during pregnancy), your teeth have a tendency to move. If that happens, Byte promises to help. Their unrivaled Byte-for-Life guarantee ensures your smile for life. Just let them know that your smile has changed and they’ll provide you with new aligners free of charge.
Does Byte offer teeth whitening services?
Yes! Byte includes BrightByte with every new customer kit. If you ever run out, you can buy a new bottle for $49 each. Buy a 6-bottle supply to get a unit price of $39 per bottle.
I’m in a rush – is Byte the fastest at-home treatment option available?
Byte prides themselves on their HyperByte system, which can halve treatment time for most users. That makes them the fastest treatment option on the market today.
Does Byte have a refund policy?
Byte does not offer refunds for their aligners or impression kits. The only exception to this: if you take impressions and turn out not to be a good candidate for treatment, they’ll refund the impression kit price along with anything you prepaid on your aligners. But if your smile doesn’t progress as expected, their orthodontists will work with you to get it back on track.
What happens if I mess up my impressions?
We’ll let Byte speak for themselves here: “If you send your impressions back and we can’t create an accurate set of aligners, we’ll contact you and send another impression kit.” Simple, right?
Does Byte have upsells?
Byte doesn’t have any hard upsells during their order process. They do have a soft one by including a free bottle of their whitening treatment, but that’s it. And since there’s no commitment to buy the whitener, it’s not really a true upsell.
Is there an age requirement for using Byte?
Byte treats anyone age 12 and up. However, they do need written parental consent to treat anyone younger than 18.
A related note: Byte recommends that you think about your wisdom teeth before getting alignment treatment. If you suspect you’ll need them removed, it’s in your best interest to take care of that first. Then your treatment will be more effective.
Will Byte make me talk funny?
With any home aligner system, you have a foreign object in your mouth. That’s unavoidable. So, your mouth might feel a bit funny, and you could have the slightest hint of a lisp. For most people, though, the aligners are minimally invasive and practically imperceptible to others.
How many hours a day should I wear my Byte aligners?
If you use traditional Byte treatment, you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day. If you opt for the nighttime version, you’ll only wear them for ten consecutive hours each day. You’ll have to use HyperByte for 10 minutes instead of the usual 5, though.
Can I drink coffee while using Byte?
With any aligners, you should not eat or drink anything except water with your aligners in. That said, you can remove them during meals and snacks, brush your teeth, replace the aligners, and repeat as needed.
What happens if I lose my aligners (or retainers)?
Byte doesn’t offer free replacements for lost aligners. However, you can get a replacement for $189. Byte also recommends that you wear your most recent aligner while waiting on the replacement.
Is Byte covered by insurance?
Byte isn’t covered by Medicare since it’s classified as a cosmetic treatment. If you have additional orthodontic benefits, you might get some reimbursement. Coverage varies from one provider to the next. Check with yours to learn what coverage applies to you.
How can I contact Byte’s customer support?
You can contact Byte through their social media channels, but for more traditional support, it’s best to contact them via phone at 1-800-298-3631. If you prefer email, you can reach them at [email protected]