If you’ve ever counted down the days and hours until a special event — a wedding, graduation, or even a dream vacation — then you know how hard it can be to play the waiting game.
A lot of people think they have to invest a lot of time when it comes to straightening their teeth too. Fortunately, at-home aligners have drastically reduced the wait time for a transformed smile. The average at-home treatment is just 6 months!
Byte, however, wraps up your treatment even sooner. Thanks to their HyperByte technology, most customers will spend just 4 months wearing their aligners. How? The HyperByte is a device that boosts your aligner treatment; using gentle pulses, it helps shift your teeth towards their new positions. Byte says this not only shortens your treatment but also reduces discomfort.
If a short treatment is what you’re after, then Byte is the at-home aligner for you, hands down. But speed isn’t the only factor to consider: there’s treatment quality, price, wear requirements, and so much more. And there are several alternatives to Byte, each with its own advantages.
In this guide, we’ll cover the top 3 alternatives to Byte and see how they stack up.
Candid | #1
Candid got their start as a premium at-home clear aligner provider. However, they’ve made a recent switch to “CandidPro,” a hybrid at-home/in-office treatment model that offers the flexibility of fully remote options, with the hands-on attention of a local dentist.
Here are some of the key differences to keep in mind:
- Treatment Length: Candid’s treatment lengths average between 6-9 months, which is right in line with most at-home aligner companies. Byte’s daytime treatment wraps up much sooner, in just 4 months. Their nighttime treatment usually lasts 5 months. However, Candid’s CandidMonitoring program makes it possible to speed up your treatment too, as long as the Candid team or your dentist gives the go-ahead to move on to your next aligner sooner than anticipated.
- Price & Financing: Byte and Candid have very different price points. Byte charges $1,895 for their all-day aligners, and $2,295 for their nighttime only treatment option. But Byte offers flexible financing to make treatment more accessible. Byte doesn’t require a credit check; as long as you make the $249 down payment, you’ll be enrolled in BytePay for $82 per month. There is no set price for Candid treatment. The price is determined by the dentist overseeing your care, but it will be at least $3,500 – though it can cost more. Financing is usually available, but the terms will vary from office to office.
- Ease of Getting Started: In order to build your treatment plan, your provider needs to see your teeth. With Byte, you’ll complete an at-home impression kit. Some people struggle with the impressions, but Byte offers free video call “impression sessions” to help simplify the process as much as possible. With Candid, you’ll schedule an in-person consultation with a local partnered Candid dentist. There your dentist will determine if you’re a good candidate for treatment, take intraoral scans, photos, and X-rays, and answer any questions you may have. The in-person care means Candid is only an option for those that live near one of Candid’s 200+ partnered dentists.
- Wear Requirements: Traditional daytime treatment requires that you wear your aligners for 22 hours each day to keep your progress on track. That’s true for both Candid and Byte’s daytime aligners. 22 hours of wear can be a hassle for some busy adults. To alleviate that hassle, Byte offers nighttime aligners as an alternative. If you use nighttime aligners, you’ll wear them for just 10 hours per night instead.
Candid is a premium aligner option balancing in-person care with sophisticated remote monitoring. That said, we do prefer Byte for their mix of efficiency, value, and great customer satisfaction across the board.
AlignerCo | #2
For a lot of people, the biggest obstacle to getting orthodontic treatment is cost. Braces and Invisalign are pricey. Thankfully, at-home aligners are cheaper; AlignerCo is the cheapest of them all. Byte is a fair value, but they are several hundred dollars more expensive than AlignerCo.
Price isn’t the only difference between AlignerCo and Byte, however. Here are a few key differences to keep in mind:
- Price: Byte’s sticker price is $1,895 ($2,295 for nighttime treatment), and that’s fairly consistent from day to day. Every once in a while, you can score a discount, but those are unusual. With AlignerCo, you’ll hardly need sales; their base price is just $1,145 ($1,345 for nighttime treatment). Both companies also offer financing, too, so you don’t have to pay it all up front if you don’t want to. AlignerCo offers two methods: one with and one without a credit check. Byte only offers one financing method, but the approval rate is 100%.
- Treatment Length: AlignerCo may be significantly cheaper than Byte, but they can’t compete with Byte’s short treatment times. AlignerCo’s average treatment length ranges from 6 to 11 months. That’s much longer than Byte’s 4-month average.
- Lifetime Guarantees: Both AlignerCo and Byte want you to be satisfied with your treatment, but AlignerCo doesn’t have a traditional policy or satisfaction guarantee. Byte, however, has their Byte-For-Life policy. Essentially, if your teeth shift after treatment — no matter how long it’s been — Byte will send you additional aligners to get your smile back to perfection.
Byte is our top pick for at-home aligner companies. However, which option is right for you depends on your personal preferences and needs. For instance, if you’re very eager to get your new smile, you should go for Byte. But if your budget is tight, AlignerCo may be the better choice. Thankfully, we give a thumbs-up to both companies, so you’ll get top-notch treatment with either.
Smile Direct Club | #3
When someone mentions at-home clear aligners, most people probably think of Smile Direct Club. And it’s no surprise why: they’re the industry’s biggest and most experienced company. To date, they’ve served more than 1.5 million customers. Smile Direct Club was actually the first to bring clear aligners directly to the consumer starting back in 2014.
Byte doesn’t have nearly the same reach as Smile Direct Club, but brand power isn’t everything. Here are a few of the key differences between Byte and Smile Direct Club:
- Overall Value: Byte and Smile Direct Club’s prices are pretty similar: $1,895 and $2,050 respectively. But what’s more important than the sticker price is what your money gets you. With Smile Direct Club, you’ll get all the aligners you need to perfect your smile, plus one round of whitening. Byte, on the other hand, throws in several extras. You’ll get a bottle of BrightByte to whiten your teeth, your first set of post-treatment retainers (normally $99), and their HyperByte device in this bundle. Bought separately, these extras would run you close to $900, so Byte truly offers a lot of bang for your buck.
- Treatment Length: Smile Direct Club and Byte both offer daytime and nighttime options, and the speeds for both types are different. For daytime treatment, Smile Direct Club lasts 6 months while Byte only takes 4. If you choose nighttime-only treatment, however, it’ll take a bit longer: 10 months for Smile Direct Club and 5 for Byte.
- Ease of Getting Started: Typically, to start your aligner treatment, you’ll need to take impressions of your teeth. Those impressions allow your chosen company to determine if you’re a good candidate and create your treatment plan. Both Byte and Smile Direct Club offer impression kits to create those molds. But some people find this step a little tricky. To remedy impression kit woes, Smile Direct Club maintains 300+ SmileShops nationwide. If you visit a shop, they’ll take free images of your teeth to take the place of an impression kit.
Smile Direct Club may have a lot more brand power than Byte, but in this case, we prefer the little guy. Byte leverages top-tier treatment with unrivaled efficiency and good value.
Which Byte Alternative Should You Choose?
Every aligner company on this list is worth a look, so if you’re drawn to one of their offerings, go for it! You’ll receive treatment quickly and make your way to the smile of your dreams.
Honestly, we don’t think you need an alternative to Byte. They’re our favorite home aligner company. That said, if you want to look into other options, we’d recommend Candid. They’re our second pick. Their hybrid model offers a ‘best of both worlds’ treatment, as long as you’re comfortable with a higher price tag.
Why is having straight teeth important?
If your alignment issues are cosmetic, straightening your teeth is a matter of personal preference. However, if crowding and other issues make dental hygiene difficult or cause your teeth to come together incorrectly, it can negatively impact your health.
How do clear aligners correct smiles?
Aligners come in a set, with each aligner being shaped slightly differently than the one before. These changes in shape place force on the teeth, steadily moving them into place.
Who is a candidate for at-home clear aligner treatment?
Most anyone with mild to moderate issues with crowding or spacing. Typically, this means gaps of under 3mm and crowding that does not include overlapping.
How does wisdom tooth removal impact treatment?
If you have not had your wisdom teeth removed or they haven’t erupted, you need to speak with your general dentist prior to treatment. If you recently had surgery to remove them, wait at least six weeks before starting your treatment, though up to three months would be safer. Be certain to get clearance from your dentist before starting any orthodontic treatment after wisdom teeth removal.
Are there conditions that can prevent me from getting treatment with at-home clear aligners?
There are certain situations that make treatment more difficult and tend to require in-office supervision rather than mail-order aligners. If you have gum disease, tooth decay, bone loss, or certain restorative dentistry, you may not be suited to at-home teeth straightening. Additionally, missing teeth, depending on how many and their placement, could make online aligners a bad choice. The company should let you know when you complete the impressions.
Is at-night treatment the same as all-day teeth straightening?
No, there are key differences. Here is what you should keep in mind:
- Not all at-home aligner companies offer nighttime-only treatment.
- With those that do, treatment tends to take a bit longer than with all-day wear.
- Most companies use the same aligners for day and night wear, with the exception of Byte.
- When you choose nighttime treatment, the aligners must remain in for 10 continuous hours; you cannot take them out to eat and drink.
- Because the teeth have less time to become used to the aligners, people often experience more discomfort with nighttime treatment than all-day aligners.
Is it better to take my own impressions or get a scan?
Not all companies offer 3D oral scans, so this may not be an option for you. If it is, know that neither is inherently better. Scans are more likely to be accurate on the first try, but impressions let you do it all at home.
Will my treatment be designed and evaluated by a licensed dentist or orthodontist?
This depends on the company you work with. Most will have a mixed team of general dentists and orthodontists who create treatment plans and monitor progress (if progress monitoring is offered). However, there are some companies that also allow trained technicians to complete this work.
Are there any office visits with at-home tooth alignment?
None are required (excluding Candid), but we do suggest that you see your general dentist before starting treatment. Additionally, you should continue to get your twice-a-year cleanings and checkups while in treatment.
What do I need to do to keep my smile looking great after finishing treatment?
As with any form of teeth straightening, you will need to wear retainers. We also suggest that you focus on regular dental checkups and at-home oral health care to best position yourself for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.