No one likes to go to the dentist. Frankly, it’s a hassle: you have to set up an appointment and endure the annoyance of the dentist’s office. Then they give you a referral to the orthodontist, making you repeat the process. All. Over. Again. Is a straight smile worth all the trouble?
Luckily, there’s an alternative: you can get a million-dollar smile from the comfort of your own home with home clear aligners. Using a home clear alignment system, you can ditch the dentist and straighten your teeth on your own. Home clear aligners aren’t just convenient, either. For many people, they’re also much faster and cheaper than braces.
Byte is just one of the many clear aligner companies on the market. And quite frankly, they’re one of our favorites. 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 you.
Smile Tip: According to our research, Byte provides a better customer experience than any other clear aligner service.
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How Does Byte Work?
Byte is relatively simple: 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. For some people, treatment can last 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.
That’s pretty much all there is to it! Byte’s process is pretty straightforward; from start to finish.
What Sets Byte Apart?
Byte is just one of several companies in the teledentistry scene, which is still a relatively new industry (the “oldest” company started in just 2014). Byte got started in 2018, so if you’re wondering whether they’re “too good to be true,” you’re not alone.
In the few years they’ve been on the market, Byte has already served thousands of customers. And there’s a lot to love about them! Byte has the industry’s shortest treatment times, a flexible nighttime only treatment option (Byte At-Night), and thousands of positive third-party reviews. In a short time, they’ve proven themselves as an excellent resource for teeth-straightening.
In your treatment bundle, Byte includes their proprietary device: the HyperByte. 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. Just put in your aligners, and bite down lightly on the HyperByte for 5-10 minutes a day, and you’ll vibrate your way to a new smile.
Byte is the only at-home clear aligner provider to offer this kind of therapy. But that doesn’t mean it’s sketchy. The HyperByte is a HFV (high frequency vibration) device, which is a technology that’s been safely used in orthodontics for over a decade. If you’re curious about HFV devices, you can learn more here.
Byte uses the technology Invisalign created—they’ve just adapted it for remote treatments. These aligners apply pressure to your teeth to gradually move them into a straighter smile. But what are these aligners made of? Let’s take a closer look.
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, since the overlap with your gums provides a bit of 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 in their effect on your speech, too. 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 have a bit of a shine to them. Other aligner providers (like Invisalign and Candid) offer 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 shine on their smiles! Appearance is subjective, so choose the aligners that work best for your style.
Each Byte customer gets their own personal Byte advisor. This advisor checks in periodically to ensure your journey to a straight smile is going well. No other home aligner company provides this level of personalized care.
Byte keeps their customers at the center of all they do, and it shines through in their customer support. For example, if you opt into text messaging, a Byte representative will reach out through each step of the process: impressions, ordering your treatment plan, wearing your aligners, and so on.
But if you ever need to initiate contact, you’ll find it’s pretty easy to get in contact through phone, email, and even social media. A phone call is the fastest method—you can call them from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (PST). Social media and email queries take a bit longer, though—you may wait up to 24 hours for a response.
To help the Byte team keep an eye on your progress, you’ll submit photo updates 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 out of the way so that you can take clear photos of your teeth.
Byte knows that it’s not always easy to remember everything on your to-do list, so they’ll remind you to send in your photos via a green banner on your treatment portal.
Byte has the shortest treatment times 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.
In stark contrast, traditional in-office options like Invisalign and braces can take 18-24 months to complete. On top of that, you’d have to attend in-person appointments every 4-8 weeks of treatment. Accommodating a dozen or so appointments is no easy task for any busy adult.
Instead of packing your calendar with trips to the orthodontist, with Byte you can simply send in photo updates every 3-4 weeks, and wrap up treatment in as little as four months.
Bang For Your Buck
One of the main draws to at-home clear aligners is the price tag. We know Byte is way more affordable than in-office options; but exactly how much savings are we talking about? Let’s take a look at the nitty-gritty details of the cost of treatment with Byte.
An impression kit gets the ball rolling with your Byte treatment. The $95 kit is non-refundable unless it turns out you’re not a candidate for treatment. That said, the impression kit includes a customized treatment plan at no extra cost. And sometimes you can catch it on sale for as low as $19.95.
All-day Byte aligners cost $1,895, and their Byte At-Night aligners cost $2,295. These aligner packages include everything you’ll need to straighten your teeth without ever needing an in-person appointment.
Your aligner kit comes with all the aligners you’ll need, the HyperByte system, and a free month of Byte’s whitening treatment. Sold seperately the HyperByte costs $699, so getting one for free in your treatment bundle is a major plus.
Keep in mind that Byte At-Night is their premium service, which is why it’s priced a bit higher.
Byte Protection Plan may make your treatment more expensive, but we think it’s a pretty worthy investment. At $649 for all-day treatment and $779 for Byte-At-Night, this protection plan offers free replacements for lost or broken aligners, as well as five years of post-treatment retainers.
Your first container of BrightByte whitening is included free with your treatment bundle, but if you’d like to stick with the habit once you’ve run out, then you can buy a replacement bottle for $30. Byte offers savings when you bulk buy their whitening—the per bottle cost is $20 when you purchase 6 bottles.
You can also buy an extraction tool for $10, which helps remove your aligners gently and easily.
Byte approves everyone for financing for both of their treatment options. When you use their financing plans to pay for your treatment, you’re also opting in for their Byte Protection Plan ($649-$779).
For their all-day $1,895 treatment, you’ll make a downpayment of $249, and then pay $82/month for 32 months. This brings your total to $2,873. For their nighttime only $2,295 treatment, you’ll make a downpayment of $299, and then pay $99/month for 32 months. This brings your total to $3,467.
We love that Byte has financing for all of their customers, regardless of credit score. Their fees are a little high though, so you’ll save a pretty significant amount of cash if you can pay for treatment outright.
Byte works hand-in-hand with many insurance companies, but not all insurance providers cover orthodontic treatment. If you’re curious about your coverage, Byte will run a free check for you; just send them the details on your insurance card and they’ll get to the bottom of it.
The best way to preserve your newfound smile is to wear post-treatment retainers. Retainers are durable, but they’re not all powerful; you’ll need to replace them about every 6 months. Byte includes your first set in your treatment bundle for free, so you won’t need to worry about this expense for a little while.
If you opted to purchase Byte’s Protection Plan (or you paid for treatment with financing), then you’ll get a new set of retainers shipped to you every 6 months post-treatment. If you didn’t buy Byte’s Protection Plan, then you can purchase your set of retainers every 6 months for $129.
Which treatment plan is right for me? At-home clear aligners are way 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 (unless you manage to get 10 hours of sleep a night, in which case; congrats!).
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 may be a great fit for you!
Of course the quality and cost of your treatment are important, but so is how you’re treated throughout the process. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from the customer experience when you choose Byte.
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. What are other customers saying about Byte?
It’s important to account for both the good and the bad. So, here are a few of the things customers like about Byte:
- Easy to use the impression kit
- Noticeable results within a matter of weeks
- Excellent customer support thanks to personal Byte advisors
But there are a couple drawbacks, too:
- Mix-ups can occur with dental insurance billing
- Monthly financing adds a substantial amount to the treatment cost
On the whole, it seems that Byte is a pretty safe bet when it comes to customer satisfaction. Regardless of how you contact Byte, customers rave about their support service, even mentioning their customer service agent by name. There’s always the potential for something to go wrong, but in all the cases we’ve seen, Byte’s customer support team is always able to find a solution.
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.
That being said, it’s usually just a bit of soreness; nothing that some over the counter medicine can’t fix. 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.
Luckily, your Byte treatment comes with the HyperByte. With its gentle pulsing, the HyperByte can help your aligners fit better, and 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 as pain-free as possible.
Ordering anything online can feel like a leap of faith; that’s 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.
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.
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 (by purchasing it outright or paying for treatment with BytePay) 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, wear your most recent set of aligners to keep your teeth from moving out of alignment.
Bottom line: Byte aims to provide a great experience for their customers. If you have any issues, you can trust that Byte’s US-based customer support team won’t leave you hanging.
Best Byte Alternatives
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 wanted to mention some other options to consider:
Candid offers more treatment oversight than any of their competitors, due to their CandidMonitoring system. Your aligner package includes a special imaging device that helps you send in regular photo updates to the Candid clinical team throughout your treatment. This ensures your treatment goes off without a hitch and stays on track!
Byte is many things, but “cheapest” isn’t one of them (though we think they’re a fair value). That honor goes to AlignerCo. AlignerCo prides themselves on being the most affordable home aligner treatment—with a price tag of $1,145.
Smile Direct Club
With Smile Direct, you can take advantage of a nighttime treatment option to avoid wearing your aligners all day. They also have more than 300 SmileShop locations across the country, so it’s convenient to get started.
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 and moderate cases, even if you’ve had braces before. If you’re in a hurry, Byte is the best option: their treatments wrap up much sooner than their competitors.
When NOT to use Byte:
If you have a bite 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. If your budget is super tight, Byte is not the cheapest method (although we think they’re a great value).
All told, we think Byte is a reliable option for anyone looking to correct a mild-to-moderate case of misalignment in a timely manner. They offer high-quality, efficient treatment at an affordable price. Plus, with their lifetime guarantee, you can be sure you’ll keep your new smile for life.
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- ✔ Best Overall Value
- ✔ Excellent Customer Support
- ✔ Thousands of Positive Reviews
- – Compare Your Options
- – Find the Best for You
- – Get Special Discounts
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Byte ever offer discounts?
Byte runs a fair number of sales, especially around the holidays. You can also take advantage of our exclusive byte discount any time of the year. Their most common sales include a good deal on the impression kit (think $20-$30 for the kit) and $100-$200 off the aligners. But if you’re looking for a year-round discount program, Byte does have a Military Discount Program. All military service members get $150 off their treatment, and they have discount programs for students and first responders. If you’re on their email list, you might also receive special offers for aligner or impression kit deals in your inbox.
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, 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 HyperByte twice as long each day. But you’ll only need to wear them 10 hours per day to see results. Byte At-Night treatment can wrap up in as little as 5 months.
Do I need an X-ray before Byte treatment?
No X-ray needed with Byte! The impression kit is all you need to get started, and it measures the spaces and orientation of your teeth, not your bone structure. That’s assuming you have a relatively normal bone structure, though. If you suspect that your jaw is a slightly different shape or that you have a bad overbite or underbite, then you may want to get an X-ray to be sure.
How does Byte compare to Candid, AlignerCo, and Smile Direct?
Candid gets the win in the ‘treatment oversight’ department. Byte is not the cheapest service (that honor goes to AlignerCo), nor is it the most experienced service on the market (Smile Direct). But Byte does blend a great value with exceptional customer service. Their biggest merit is their short treatment lengths, with treatments lasting just 4 months in some cases thanks to their HyperByte system. That’s pretty short compared to Smile Direct’s 6 months average 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 all these options, Byte is the cheapest and quickest treatment.
Is Byte cheaper than braces or Invisalign?
Yes! Byte is cheaper than both traditional braces and Invisalign. Before insurance, Byte costs $1,895 (or $2,295 for Byte At-Night). Invisalign can cost several thousand dollars before insurance. The same goes for braces. Ultimately, Byte can cost thousands less.
Does Byte treatment last forever?
Occasionally, teeth will shift post-treatment. As you age (or during a pregnancy), 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 $30 each. Buy a 6-bottle supply to get a unit price of $20 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. The HyperByte is partially why Byte has the shortest treatment lengths on the market.
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 ages 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 the most 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 10 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, drink, replace them, and repeat as needed.
What happens if I lose my aligners (or retainers)?
If you’ve opted to purchase the Byte Protection Plan, any lost or broken aligners will be replaced for free. If you’re paying for treatment with BytePay, you’ll be enrolled in this plan automatically. If you don’t have Byte protection, you can get a replacement aligner for $59. Byte recommends that you wear your most recent aligner in the meantime while waiting on the replacement.
Is Byte covered by insurance?
Byte works hand-in-hand with many insurance companies, but not all insurance types cover orthodontic treatment. Curious? Byte will run a free coverage check for you; just send them the details on your insurance card.
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 1 866.708.1557 for voice calling or 310.340.1241 for text. If you’d rather email, you can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.