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 WonderSmile. 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 WonderSmile Stack Up
Home teeth alignment is a fairly new industry. Even so, it’s important to consider each company’s respective track record.
Byte and WonderSmile are both pretty new, but so is the clear aligner industry. Honestly, both companies have done a pretty good job establishing an impressive reputation in a short amount of time. That said, Byte has a more substantial base of customer reviews, which makes it easier to tell the good from the bad (and there’s not much bad).
|Claim to fame||Shortest treatment lengths in the industry||Flexible treatment options, with both nighttime only and single arch treatment|
|No food restrictions?||✓||✓|
|No office visits?||✓||✓|
|Personalized customer service?||✓|
|Price Tag?||All-day treatment: $2,749 |
|All-day treatment: $2,900 |
|Financing Available?||100% approval for in-house financing, BytePay||Fee-free financing available pending a credit check|
|Treatment Length?||All-day treatment: 4 months |
At-Night: 5 months
|All-day treatment: 6 months |
NightClear: 9 months
|Start-Up Process?||At-home impression kit||At-home impression kit or an in-person scan|
Intrigued? That’s just the flyby! Let’s dig into the differences between WonderSmile and Byte in more detail.
When you’re first familiarizing yourself with the clear aligner industry, the clear aligners themselves can seem pretty interchangeable. And while it’s true that there are core similarities across all providers (medical grade, BPA free plastic, for one), there are some differences worth noting, too.
There are two main ways to trim an aligner: straight across, or scalloped to match the gumline. Each design has its pros and cons. The straight cut overlaps with the gums, so it is able to exert more force. However, its overlap makes it a little more noticeable. Scalloped aligners offer a low profile look, they just aren’t quite as powerful. It’s a tradeoff either way, but we prefer the straight cut because of its effectiveness.
Some providers make their aligners from ultra clear plastic, while others use plastic with a slightly frosted appearance. Most people assume that the clearer their aligner tray, the more invisible the aligner. However, our teeth have a naturally porous surface, so a clear, shiny aligner tends to reflect the light and stand out more than a frosted, matte aligner.
Let’s take a look at the aligner designs of Byte and WonderSmile, to see what you can expect:
|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 plastic; NightClear aligners are made from a stronger, more durable resin than all-day aligners|
|Aligner Cut||Straight cut||Straight cut|
|Aligner Transparency||Clear, shiny plastic||Clear, shiny plastic|
Byte has their aligners manufactured by Dentsply Sirona, a respected dental supplier. You can trust that your Byte aligners are high quality and effective.
We wish that WonderSmile disclosed who manufactured their aligners, but for now they’re keeping that information private. Because of this, it’s difficult to truly judge the quality of their aligners. However, we’ve been able to see from their online reviews that the majority of their customers find their aligners to be high quality.
One thing that stands out about both Byte and WonderSmile is their decision to make their nighttime only aligners more durable than their all-day option. There are a few notable advantages to stronger nighttime only aligners.
Naturally, nighttime only treatment gives your teeth more hours a day out of their aligners; which can lead to teeth shifting out of place. A thicker, more durable nighttime only tray can help make up for this lost time. Additionally, thicker nighttime aligners can withstand more wear and tear. So if you’re prone to overnight teeth grinding, these thicker trays may be a good option for you.
Looks-wise, Byte and WonderSmile have made the same choices across the board. They’ve both prioritized force with straight cut trays, and use clear, shiny plastic. Though frosted plastic leads to a more low profile treatment, it’s true that plenty of customers like the extra shine these trays give their smiles. Appearance is subjective—all you need to worry about is choosing the aligners that work for you.
Just because your treatment occurs remotely doesn’t mean you’ll be left high and dry. Both Byte and WonderSmile keep an eye on your progress through photos you’ll send throughout your treatment. Though their approaches to treatment oversight are similar, there are a few differences worth mentioning as well.
|Frequency of check-ins||Every 3-4 weeks||Month 1, 3, 6, and 12 of treatment|
|Photos sent via||Patient portal||WonderSmile app|
|Treatment Length||All-day treatment: 4 months|
At-Night treatment: 5 months
|All-day treatment: 6 months |
NightClear: 9 months
|Customer Support||Available via phone, email and social media||Available via phone, email, and chat; 7 days a week|
If you’re unsure how to capture clear progress photos of your treatment, don’t worry—both Byte and WonderSmile include a cheek retractor in your aligner bundle. This tool helps scoot your cheeks out of the way so you can easily capture quality images of your smile. From there, you simply upload the photos to your Byte patient portal, or to the WonderSmile app.
Byte has more frequent treatment oversight than WonderSmile, but we like that WonderSmile uses a streamlined app for their treatment updates.
If you need anything outside of your regular check-ins, you can reach out to customer support. Thanks to dedicated personal representatives, Byte truly shines in the customer service department. If you’re in a rush, call them—that’s the best way to get a speedy response. Customer service is one of the categories where WonderSmile really excels. In their online reviews, customers frequently thank their support reps by name.
When it comes to treatment lengths, it’s hard to compete with Byte. WonderSmile isn’t a slow treatment (they’re right at the industry average), but Byte’s HyperByte device blows the competition out of the water. This device uses tiny, rapid vibrations to gently move your teeth to their final destination faster than the competition. It’s an integral part of Byte’s daytime and nighttime treatment regimens.
Bang For Your Buck
One of the main draws to remote treatments are their comparative affordability to in-office options like braces and Invisalign. But when it’s all said and done, how much will these convenient treatments set you back? In this section, we’ll dig into the nitty gritty pricing details for Byte and WonderSmile.
|Startup Costs||$95 impression kit||Free in-person scan or a $99 impression kit|
|Aligner Kit||All-day treatment: $2,749 |
|All-day treatment: $2,900 |
|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
|Financing||All-day: $53/fortnight for 24 months (plus account fees) |
At-Night: $66/fortnight for 24 months (plus account fees)
|All-day: 20% downpayment, then payments as low as $89/fortnight |
NightClear: 20% downpayment, then payments as low as $93/fortnight
|Post-Treatment||First set of retainers is free, then $189/set afterwards||Aftercare retainers are $99/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 WonderSmile, maintain retail locations that make the impression kit more convenient.
Byte’s impression 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.
If WonderSmile’s retail locations are convenient, you can schedule a free scan to kickstart your treatment. Otherwise, you can order their at-home impression kit for $99. If you end up buying WonderSmile’s aligners, they’ll deduct the cost of the impression kit from your treatment bundle. So in a way, the impression kit is free too.
Once you complete your impressions or scans, Byte or WonderSmile 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 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 at no extra charge (a $1,521 value). In our opinion, it’s a great way to protect your smile in both the short and long term.
WonderSmile’s base price falls in the middle of the road; it’s not the cheapest, and it’s not the most expensive. They don’t throw in a ton of extras. Basically, you’ll get all of the aligners you need. The most notable price perk of WonderSmile is their single-arch treatment: qualifying customers who only need the top or bottom teeth treated will get $500 off their aligner kit. This isn’t an extremely common occurrence, but it’s worth noting for eligible customers.
Can’t pay all at once? Thankfully, both services offer financing.
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, the fortnightly payments jump to $66.
A big perk to WonderPay is that you won’t spend anything extra for financing; you’ll just spread the payments out. First, you’ll need to pay a 20% downpayment. For example, for daytime treatment, that would be $580. After that, you’ll pay the remaining balance in installments determined by a credit check.
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. WonderSmile doesn’t include free whitening in your treatment bundle, but you can purchase their kit separately for $149.
On the surface, Byte and WonderSmile have pretty comparable prices. But in our opinion, Byte gives you a lot more bang for your buck. WonderSmile just gives you your aligners; Byte gives whitening, aligners, one set of post-treatment retainers, and the HyperByte. That’s a lot of value.
Even though at-home clear aligner providers can deliver short treatment lengths, you’re still going to be working with the company you choose for a few months. It’s important to find a provider that takes great care of their patients. Let’s see what you can expect from Byte and WonderSmile.
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 WonderSmile.
|Top loves:||Excellent customer service; visible, quick results; fantastic lifetime guarantee||Friendly customer service; minimal discomfort; simple adjustment process|
|Top complaints:||Mix-ups with reimbursements for private insurance; financing can add a significant amount to the cost||Sometimes retainers break; mix-ups sometimes occur during account set-up|
Technically, both Byte and WonderSmile have a great online reputation. Sure, there are negatives here and there, but for the most part, they’re overwhelmingly positive. That said, we have a slightly higher degree of confidence in Byte’s total score simply because they have a lot more reviews, especially on 3rd-party websites. But either option has a great reputation.
As with any purchase, there’s always the nagging question: what if it doesn’t work out? Byte and WonderSmile both have very individualized approaches to treatment 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.
WonderSmile’s guarantee is similar to Byte’s: they’ll correct your smile at no extra cost if your teeth shift back out of alignment. The only difference? This guarantee only lasts for one year after treatment—instead of indefinitely.
To be eligible for this guarantee, you must wear your aligners and post-treatment retainers compliantly. Additionally, this guarantee only applies to the teeth originally treated by WonderSmile. Implants, bridges, or similar dental procedures may void the guarantee.
What if I break an aligner?
If you break an aligner, reach out to your provider right away. Depending where you are in your treatment plan, your provider may recommend that you move on to your next aligner, or they’ll send you a replacement.
If you’re enrolled in the Byte Protection Plan, any lost or broken aligners will be replaced for free. Otherwise, you can buy a replacement outright ($179 for all-day aligners, $199 for At-Night aligners).
If WonderSmile determines you need a replacement, you can purchase one for $50.
While you wait for your replacement to be manufactured and mailed to you, be sure to wear your most recent set of aligners so that your teeth don’t shift out of position too much.
In some cases, you may reach the end of your treatment plan but still need a bit more movement. If that happens, you’ll need refinements (extra aligners). Some providers charge extra for refinements, but luckily Byte and WonderSmile include them for free.
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 send you complimentary refinements to achieve the results you’re looking for.
Similarly, if you followed your WonderSmile treatment guidelines and submitted photos when requested, WonderSmile will cover the cost of your refinements.
A generous refinements policy can provide some peace of mind during treatment, since your results are essentially guaranteed.
Teeth alignment is never going to be totally free of discomfort. That just comes with the territory; even traditional options like braces and Invisalign have their fair share of aches and pains.
The most discomfort typically happens when you switch to a new set of aligners, since these will have a snugger fit than your previous set. The soreness usually only lasts a day or two.
This is where Byte’s HyperByte device really saves the day. With daily use, the HyperByte will loosen your teeth’s ligaments to aid in faster tooth shifts. The HyperByte helps your new aligners fit better; faster. Byte’s third party reviews are full of customers crediting the HyperByte for a relatively comfortable aligner wear experience.
Which Is the Best Home Aligner for You?
When it all comes down to it, Byte and WonderSmile 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. WonderSmile is a great service, but Byte just takes our overall top pick. We love their lifetime guarantee, their treatment efficiency, and their excellent customer service.
Choose Byte if:
You want to perfect your smile ASAP with top-quality customer service. Byte has the shortest treatment lengths on the market and they offer personalized customer support.
Choose WonderSmile if:
You want an easy start-up process, or you think you might be a good candidate for single-arch treatment and you’d like to save $500.
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 off their aligners and impression kits. They also have a year-round discount for students, teachers, and military. Meanwhile, WonderSmile will occasionally offer discounts for $100-$200 off their aligners, but you’ll need to subscribe to their email list.
Are Byte and WonderSmile legit?
Your mom warned you about things that sound too good to be true, right? Thankfully home aligner companies like Byte and WonderSmile 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 WonderSmile in a couple of different ways. They assign a personal care assistant to each customer. That said, WonderSmile 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 WonderSmile 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?
WonderSmile 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 WonderSmile. A third competitor, EZ Smile, offers the most flexible financing options on the market.
Is there an age requirement for using either Byte or WonderSmile?
With both Byte and WonderSmile, 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). Both Byte and WonderSmile will treat ages 12 and up. That said, minors must get parental consent prior to getting treatment.
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 will cost you $49. WonderSmile doesn’t include whitening for free in your treatment bundle, but you can purchase their whitening kit for $149.
Do Byte and WonderSmile 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 replacement aligners will be covered for free. Otherwise Byte will send you replacements for $179 for all-day, and $199 for At-Night. Usually, WonderSmile will recommend that you move on to your next aligner (or go back to the previous one) until you’re scheduled to move to the next step. If you’d still like (or need) a replacement, you’ll need to pay $50. With either provider, though, you should wear your previous aligner until a replacement arrives. That will keep your teeth from shifting too far back.
Can I drink coffee when using Byte or WonderSmile?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Aligners from Byte and WonderSmile 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 doesn’t really have any hidden costs since you get your first set of post-treatment retainers for free. Yes, you’ll have to purchase new ones occasionally, though; they wear out. Replacements will cost $189. WonderSmile also provides post-treatment retainers, but you’ll have to purchase every set—even the first. Each set costs $99.