A million-dollar smile is great and all, but what about getting one as an adult?
No one past their teen years wants to deal with the “brace face” life (or relive it if the effects of their braces have worn off).
Thankfully, home teeth aligners make it possible to straighten your teeth from the convenience of your house. No braces, no wires, no office visits. These clear aligners have become a popular alternative to braces. Why? They’re much cheaper than braces and Invisalign. They’re also much more convenient.
There are a few popular home teeth aligner companies on the market today, including Byte and EZ Smile. In this comparison review, we’ll help you decide which of these two services is the better option for your unique circumstances.
The Rundown: How Byte and EZ Smile Stack Up
Home teeth alignment is a fairly new industry. Even so, it’s important to consider each company’s respective track record.
In the grand scheme of things, both Byte and EZ Smile are relatively new companies. EZ Smile has established a decent name for themselves internationally, but in our opinion, Byte has a more impressive reputation. That’s largely due to the fact that they have a lot of positive reviews for their stateside service, and it’s fair to assume the quality in Australia will rival that.
Let’s take a look at how these providers compare:
|Customers served||200,000+||No published number, but enough customers to have a decent number of reviews|
|Claim to fame||Shortest treatment lengths in the industry||Making treatment accessible thanks to scan locations and flexible financing|
|No food restrictions?||✓||✓|
|No office visits?||✓||✓|
|Personalized customer service?||✓|
|Price Tag?||All-day treatment: $2,749 |
|Financing Available?||100% approval for in-house financing, BytePay||A huge variety of options, starting at weekly payments of $38|
|Treatment Length?||All-day treatment: 4 months |
At-Night: 5 months
|Start-Up Process?||At-home impression kit; simply make your molds and mail them back to Byte with a prepaid shipping label||Impression kit or Smile Scan at a retail location|
Intrigued? That’s just the flyby! Let’s dig into the differences between EZ Smile and Byte in more detail.
When you’re first learning about clear aligners, it’s likely they all look identical to you. And that’s only natural! After all, there are plenty of similarities in the designs from provider to provider. For instance, all clear aligners we review are made from BPA free, medical grade plastic. Aside from their core similarities, there are some ways that each company’s aligners vary.
There are two main ways to trim an aligner: straight across, or scalloped to match the gumline. There are pros and cons to each design. The straight cut overlaps with the gums, which allows it to exert more force. Though more powerful, this overlap also makes these aligners a little more noticeable. Scalloped cut aligners are a little more discreet; just not quite as powerful. It’s a tradeoff either way, but we prefer the straight cut because of its strength.
Some providers make their aligners from the clearest plastic possible. Others opt to use a plastic with a slightly frosted appearance. You’d think the clearer the plastic, the more invisible, right? However, that’s actually not the case with aligners. Our teeth have a matte surface, so clear shiny plastic tends to be a little more noticeable.
Let’s take a peek at the design choices each of these providers have made with their aligners:
|Manufacturer||Dentsply Sirona||Doesn’t disclose|
|Materials||BPA free, PETG plastic (basically a modified, more affordable polyurethane) |
At-Night aligners are made of a thicker, more durable plastic than their all-day aligners
|BPA free, medical grade plastic|
|Aligner Cut||Straight cut||Scalloped|
|Aligner Transparency||Clear, shiny plastic||Clear, shiny plastic|
Byte partners with Dentsply Sirona, a respected dental supplier, for their manufacturing. Byte prioritizes force by using straight cut aligners. We appreciate that their nighttime only aligners are made with thicker, more durable materials. In a sense, a stronger nighttime aligner helps make up for less daily wear time. Not to mention it can withstand overnight teeth grinding.
EZ Smile doesn’t disclose who makes their aligners. We hope they decide to share that information eventually, since it can help people have a higher confidence in their product. That said, judging from their reviews it seems like you can count on your aligners to be high quality.
Both providers use clear, shiny plastic for their aligner trays. Though more noticeable than frosted plastic, plenty of people like having a little added shine in their smiles. Appearance is subjective, so choose the aligner that makes the most sense for you.
Just because these treatments happen remotely doesn’t mean you’ll be left high and dry to fend for yourself. Both of these providers keep an eye on your progress through photos updates you’ll submit throughout treatment. Most remote providers take a similar approach, but the sophistication and frequency of these check-ins varies quite a bit from company to company.
|Frequency of check-ins||Every 3-4 weeks||Once, midway through treatment|
|Photos sent via||Patient portal||EZ Smile account|
|Treatment Length||All-day treatment: 4 months |
At-Night treatment: 5 months
|Customer Support||Available via phone, email and social media||Available via phone, email, webchat, and social media|
Byte’s treatment has a bit more oversight, due to the frequency of their photo check-ins. You’ll have eyes on your treatment every 3-4 weeks with Byte; instead of only once like you would with EZ Smile.
Depending on your preferences, less oversight could be a positive or a negative trait in a clear aligner provider. These simple photo updates are already way lower maintenance than the frequent in-person appointments required by traditional options. But if you’re someone who wants your treatment to take up as little time as possible, then EZ Smile’s approach may be more your speed.
However, if you’re someone who likes the reassurance that comes from more frequent treatment oversight, then Byte comes out on top here, no question.
If you need anything outside of these regular check-ins, you can reach out to customer support.
Thanks to dedicated personal representatives, Byte truly shines in the customer service department. Their team is available through all the traditional channels, but if you’re in a rush, call them—we’ve found that’s the best way to get a speedy response.
EZ Smile also does a great job with customer service. You’ll get prompt support, particularly during their 9-5 business hours. But if you’re in a rush for answers, phone is the quickest route.
You’re in good hands if you need to contact either EZ Smile or Byte. We hope they keep up the good work.
EZ Smile isn’t a slow treatment method, but to be honest, it’s hard to compete with Byte’s treatment lengths. They blow the competition out of the water thanks to their HyperByte device. This device uses tiny, rapid vibrations to gently move your teeth to their final destination. It’s an integral part of both Byte’s daytime and nighttime treatment regimens. By using the HyperByte, you can cut your treatment time nearly in half.
Bang For Your Buck
Most people want a million dollar smile without having to dish out such a high price tag. We know at-home treatments are more affordable than traditional in-office options, but how much can you expect to pay from beginning to end? In this section, we’ll dig into all the nitty gritty pricing details from Byte and EZ Smile.
|Startup Costs||$95 impression kit||$99 impression kit or scan|
|Aligner Kit||All-day treatment: $2,749 |
|Add-Ons||Byte Protection Plan: All-day coverage, $899; At-Night coverage $999 |
Whitening: first bottle free, then $49/bottle or $39/bottle when you buy a pack of 6
|Shine foam: $29.95 |
Whitening pens: $39.95
|Financing||All-day: $53/fortnight for 24 months (plus account fees) |
At-Night: $66/fortnight for 24 months (plus account fees)
|Wide variety of financing options, both with and without credit checks; their plans start as low as $38/week|
|Post-Treatment||First set of retainers are free, then $189/set afterwards||First set of retainers are free, then $149/set|
With any home aligner company, you’ll kick off your treatment by taking impressions of your teeth. Most companies require you to use an at-home impression kit. However, a few companies, including EZ Smile, maintain retail locations that make the impression kit more convenient.
Byte’s $95 kit includes everything you need to take your impressions at home, including trays, putty, and, of course, a prepaid shipping label. If $95 gives you sticker shock, keep in mind that Byte sometimes runs sales on the kit. For example, as we’re writing this guide, Byte is running a sale for $47.50 off the kit.
One of the biggest perks to EZ Smile is that they maintain retail locations where you can get a scan taken or you can order an impression kit. It’s your choice, both options are $99. A lot of customers find it’s much easier to get a scan, though. And with EZ Smile, if you buy aligners, you’ll get $100 off your treatment bundle. So in a way, this step is free.
Once you complete your impressions or scans, Byte or EZ Smile will create your personalized treatment plan. This includes all of the aligners you’ll need to shift your smile from meh to wow.
Byte creates a nice blend of value and affordability with their kit. You’ll get everything you need to straighten your teeth and keep them that way, including the HyperByte device and one set of post-treatment retainers. Bought separately, the HyperByte costs a whopping $999, so you get a lot of value for your money.
With Byte, you have the option to enroll in their in-house offering called Byte Protection Plan. Here’s how it works: For $899 ($999 for At-Night treatment), Byte will replace any lost or broken aligners (a $2,000 value) for free during your treatment. Plus, you’ll get 5 years’ worth of retainers after treatment ends (a $1,521 value). In our opinion, the Byte Protection Plan is a great way to protect your smile in both the short and long term.
EZ Smile is the second most affordable kit on the market, and their $2,149 price tag offers a great value. You’ll get all the aligners you need to treat your smile and one set of free post-treatment retainers. These will cost you $99 after the first set.
Can’t pay all at once? Thankfully, both services offer financing. And as long as you pay the down payment, there’s a 100% approval rate.
Bytepay automatically approves every customer for financing. When you select BytePay at checkout, you’ll agree to a $52 account set-up fee and an $8 monthly account maintenance fee. Then, you’ll pay fortnightly payments of $53 for 24 months. If you opt for Byte At-Night, your fortnightly payments will be $66.
EZ Smile has so many financing options that it would get tedious for us to list them all here. They have financing plans with and without credit checks, and there are payment plans to fit any timetable and budget. Their plans start as low as $38 per week.
Your first bottle of BrightByte is included in your aligner kit for free. It’s safe to use during your treatment; in fact, it doubles as a cleanser for your aligners and a breath freshener. If you run out, you can buy a replacement bottle for $49.
EZ Smile doesn’t include any whitening for free, but you can purchase a three pack of their whitening pens for $39.95. EZ Smile also sells Shine Foam for $29.95, which acts as an aligner cleaner and breath freshener.
On the surface, it might seem like Byte is far more expensive than EZ Smile. But they throw in so many extras that we think they’re still a great value. That said, if you need a specific financing plan, EZ Smile will give you much greater flexibility.
We all know to seek out low prices and high quality; but when it comes to choosing a clear aligner provider, it’s also important to choose a company that treats their customers well. After all, you’ll be working with your provider for a few months at minimum—you’ll want to choose a company that puts their customers first.
For many shoppers, customer reviews can make or break purchase decisions. If you’re one of those shoppers, we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the legwork for you to see what customers across the web are saying about Byte and EZ Smile.
|Top loves:||xcellent customer service; visible, quick results; fantastic lifetime guarantee||Discreet; minimal discomfort; retail experience is excellent; cost-effective|
|Top complaints:||Mix-ups with reimbursements for private insurance; financing can add a significant amount to the cost||Teeth feel odd during treatment; sometimes one arch doesn’t respond as well|
If you look at the sheer number of reviews, Byte comes out with a win in this category. But honestly, both of these companies have a great online reputation. Sure, teeth might feel different during treatment. But that will happen with any company; it’s part of treatment, really. And insurance mix-ups happen. In our opinion, the negatives for both are far, far outweighed by all their positives.
As with any purchase, there’s always the nagging question: what if it doesn’t work out? Byte and EZ Smile both have very individualized approaches for refunds and satisfaction guarantees.
Strictly speaking, Byte has only one refund policy: their impression kit. If you’re not a candidate for treatment, you’ll be refunded for the impression kit. However, Byte stands by their product with their “Byte for Life” guarantee.
This guarantee is essentially a lifetime warranty. If your teeth ever shift after treatment, even years down the road, Byte will send you new aligners to correct it. To hold up your end of the bargain, be sure to stay up to date on wearing and replacing your aftercare retainers.
EZ Smile has one of the best satisfaction guarantees in the industry. Here’s how it works: if at any time during your first 90 days of treatment you decide that EZ Smile isn’t for you, they’ll refund your money (minus a $300 fee).
What if I break an aligner?
Accidents happen—if you lose or break an aligner, reach out to your provider right away. Depending on where you’re at in your treatment plan, you may be able to move onto the next set of aligners instead of waiting for a replacement.
If you’re enrolled in the Byte Protection Plan, any replacements you need will be covered for free. Otherwise, you’ll pay $179 for an all-day aligner replacement, and $199 for an At-Night replacement.
With EZ Smile, a replacement will take about 2 weeks to manufacture, and will only set you back $99.
With either provider, while you wait for a replacement be sure to wear your most recent set of aligners. This helps ensure your teeth don’t shift out of place too much.
In some cases, you may reach the end of your treatment plan and your teeth may still need a bit more adjustments. In that case, you’ll need refinements (extra aligners). Some providers charge extra for refinements, but thankfully Byte and EZ Smile have your back.
If you reach the end of your Byte treatment and you’re not satisfied, you can request a re-evaluation. As long as you’ve followed your prescribed treatment plan, Byte will provide you with free refinements to achieve the results you’re after.
If you reach the end of your EZ Smile treatment and your smile doesn’t look like what you were promised, EZ Smile will send you new aligners for free. That way, you’ll get back on track before you know it! Just be sure to follow treatment guidelines and submit photos at the mid-treatment point to be eligible.
Just to be clear, teeth alignment is never going to be a totally painless process. It comes with the territory—even traditional treatments like braces and Invisalign come with their fair share of aches and pains.
When you switch to a new aligner there’s usually some soreness, since the aligner will have a snugger fit than the previous set. This usually fades after a day or two.
Here’s where Byte’s HyperByte device swoops in to save the day. With daily use, the HyperByte’s micropulses will loosen your teeth’s ligaments, allowing for faster tooth shifts and better fitting aligners. Byte’s reviews feature many customers crediting the HyperByte for minimizing any treatment discomfort they were experiencing.
Which is the Best Home Aligner for You?
When it all comes down to it, Byte and EZ Smile are both good options. But at the end of the day, you can only pick one.
If you want our honest opinion, we prefer Byte. EZ Smile is a great service, but Byte just takes our overall top pick. We love their lifetime guarantee, their treatment oversight, and their excellent customer service.
Choose Byte if:
You want to perfect your smile ASAP with top-quality customer service. Byte’s treatment lengths are the shortest in the industry, they offer personalized customer support, and comprehensive treatment guarantees.
Choose EZ Smile if:
You want the easiest start-up process in Australia, or you want the practicality of choosing a company that will give you the most flexible financing options possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does either home aligner kit offer discounts?
Technically, both services offer discounts. For example, while we’re writing this guide, Byte is running a sale for more than $100 of their aligners and impression kits, and EZ Smile is running a deal on their impression kit. But none of these deals last forever; if you see a good deal while looking at their website, you should jump on it.
The only year-round discount you’ll find is Byte’s discount for students, teachers, and the military.
Are Byte and EZ Smile legit?
Your mom warned you about things that sound too good to be true, right? Thankfully home aligner companies like Byte and EZ Smile aren’t. These companies leverage a competitive product with competitive prices. But they don’t sacrifice quality to do it. How? They don’t have the overhead costs of a physical office like a traditional orthodontist’s office, so they can invest those savings in measures that ensure treatment quality.
Which home aligner is more customer-focused?
Byte is a bit more customer-centric than EZ Smile in a couple of different ways. They assign a personal care assistant to each customer. That said, EZ Smile does a really good job caring for their customers, so we have no real complaints.
How exactly do at-home clear aligners work?
They’re nearly invisible, but they’re not magical. Technically speaking, at-home clear aligners use roughly the same technology that Invisalign uses. This starts with your impressions or scans; a dental professional analyzes those impressions to design a series of clear trays that gently and gradually move your teeth to their final destination.
How do Byte and EZ Smile compare to Invisalign?
They’re distant cousins, really. Invisalign pioneered the clear aligner alternative to traditional braces. However, Invisalign adds one aspect to the aligners: devices affixed to your teeth to secure the aligners. Those devices have to be attached in-office by a qualified orthodontist. Home aligners don’t use those, allowing you to complete your entire treatment at home.
How do these home aligners compare to Smile Direct and SmilePath?
EZ Smile and Byte are pretty similar to both Smile Direct and SmilePath, although these competitors have their own perks. SmilePath is the most affordable option on the market. Smile Direct has a much bigger customer base (especially in the U.S.) than both Byte and EZ Smile.
Is there an age requirement for using either Byte or EZ Smile?
With both Byte and EZ Smile, you must have all permanent teeth present to begin treatment (you don’t want to dump thousands into teeth that will just fall out, anyway). Byte requires patients to be at least 12; EZ Smile starts treatment at ages 16 and up.
Does either service give free whitening treatment?
Byte includes one free bottle of their whitening treatment with your aligners, and you can use it simultaneously with the aligner treatment. A replacement bottle costs $49. EZ Smile doesn’t include whitening for free, but they do sell whitening pens for $39.95.
Do Byte and EZ Smile have aggressive upsells?
Thankfully, no. Byte gives you a mild one by giving you one set of their whitening treatment for free. But since there’s no obligation to buy a replacement bottle once yours runs out, it’s not a true upsell.
How do I know if at-home aligners are right for me?
Many people are good candidates for at-home treatment. In general, the only people who should automatically steer clear of at-home aligners are people with significant bite issues. If a condition like overbite or underbite is the cause of your teeth’s misalignment, then clear aligners likely won’t be able to permanently correct your issue.
Individuals with implants may still be able to get treatment. To know for sure, you’ll need to take an impression kit with either service. They’ll let you know for sure if you are a candidate or not. If you are not a candidate, you’ll get a refund for the price of the impression kit.
Will either of these home aligners make me talk less funny?
Most people take a few days to adjust to the feeling of aligners—after all, there’s a foreign object in your mouth—but very few experience long-lasting issues. The average observer can’t detect that you’re wearing aligners, even while talking.
If I lose my aligners during or after treatment, do I have to pay for new ones?
If you’re enrolled in the Byte Protection Plan, any lost or broken aligner will be replaced for free. Otherwise, Byte’s replacements are $179 for all-day aligners, and $199 for At-Night aligners. EZ Smile will send you a replacement for $99. With either, though, you should wear your previous aligner to keep your teeth from shifting too far back.
Can I drink coffee when using Byte or EZ Smile?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from Byte and EZ Smile are fairly stain-resistant, but you should generally avoid eating or drinking colored liquids and foods while wearing your aligners. Water is a safe bet, though.
Are there any hidden costs?
Byte and EZ Smile don’t really have any hidden costs. What you see is what you get. Both companies give you a set of post-treatment retainers for free. You will need to purchase additional ones occasionally, though, since they wear out over time.