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 alignment system, you can ditch the dentist and straighten your teeth on your own. Home aligners aren’t just convenient, either. For many people, they’re also much faster and cheaper than braces.
Invisalign doesn’t have a monopoly on clear aligners. In fact, there are a lot of different options for home teeth alignment systems. For example, Candid is one company that has recently joined the home alignment scene. But is Candid right for you? In this review, we’ll give you the full scoop on Candid and their home teeth aligner system.
Is Candid Legit?
There are several at-home clear aligner companies on the market now, and many of them are fairly new. However, Candid is one of the more established companies. They started out in 2017, but they grew quickly and they’ve served tens of thousands of happy customers in that short time.
Candid has several key partnerships, including Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and, more importantly, Smile Train. But on the treatment side of things, one of our favorite features Candid offers is their CandidMonitoring program. The primary drawback of home clear aligners is that you don’t get the same orthodontist oversight that you’d get with in-office methods like Invisalign or ClearCorrect. On the flipside, many people find the orthodontist appointments to be a hassle.
Candid, however, strikes a nice balance between the orthodontist oversight of in-person treatment and the convenience of at-home treatment. Here’s how it works: using your smartphone and a special imaging device (included in your treatment bundle), you’ll have virtual “appointments” with a Candid orthodontist. These happen every 10 days, ensuring that your treatment stays on track from step one to post-treatment retainers.
They Scored 4.5/5
- ✔ Fair Overall Value
- ✔ Good Customer Support
- ✔ Thousands of Positive Reviews
How Does Candid Work?
Treatment with Candid is relatively simple. First, you need to submit molds or scans of your teeth. You can do so by showing up at a Candid Studio (this option’s free) or by purchasing an impression kit. Regardless of which method you choose, Candid’s orthodontists will analyze your smile to determine if you’re a candidate. Then, they will create a 3D preview of your treatment. After you approve it, they’ll produce and ship every single aligner in your treatment plan. For most people, treatment lasts 6 months. Here’s a fly-by of what to expect when using Candid:
Here’s a fly-by of what to expect when using Candid:
Step 1: You provide impressions or teeth scans by ordering an impression kit or visiting a Candid Studio. If you opt for the impression kit, you’ll essentially create a mold of your teeth and send it back to Candid; shipping is easy thanks to a prepaid shipping box.
Step 2: Candid’s orthodontist team analyzes your scans and/or molds to create a 3D preview for you to review. If you like your proposed results, you can get started.
Step 3: Pay for your treatment all in one go, or sign up for one of Candid’s financing plans to pay as you go.
Step 4: Candid ships you all of your custom aligners at once. You wear them over the next several months and gradually make your way to a straighter smile.
Step 5: Use your smartphone to take remote scans of your teeth and follow any new instructions you receive from your orthodontist. Continue doing so until your treatment is complete!
Advantages & Disadvantages of Candid
Candid and other home clear aligner systems are all pretty convenient, but there are other perks, too. Here are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of using Candid to straighten your teeth:
✔ Candid is one of the most well-established aligner companies, and they’re still growing rapidly.
✔ With Candid Studios, starting treatment is both convenient and free. They maintain 20+ locations in cities across the U.S., and they’re expanding rapidly, so if there isn’t an office near you, there may be soon.
✔ Candid’s dental team consists solely of reputable, experienced orthodontists. They’re the only brand with a 100% guarantee that an orthodontist will oversee your case. Between that and their CandidMonitoring program, you’re pretty much guaranteed excellent treatment.
✔ Candid offers more extensive treatment oversight than other aligner companies. Since you’ll check in digitally on a regular basis, Candid is the closest at-home option you’ll get to the office visits of traditional treatment.
✖ Some customers complain that it’s difficult to get refinements for your treatment. With any company, that’s a trickier process, but Candid’s customers seem to struggle with it more than others.
✖ Candid is not the fastest option available, so if you’re in a hurry for your treatment, it might be worth looking into some alternatives.
✖ Candid’s CandidMonitoring ensures that your treatment is top-notch, but it does raise the price tag. If your budget is tight, you may want to consider some other options.
Still curious about Candid? Check out our in-depth review below.
Candid: Treatment Efficiency
Everyone will have a slightly different experience with Candid. That’s because everyone’s smile is different. Your total treatment time depends on a couple of factors:
- The severity of your teeth crowding or spacing
- How long you wear your aligners each day
Candid may not be the fastest option on the market, but they are extremely reliable and effective. That’s due in part to their dedicated team of orthodontists. Plus, by checking in regularly with your orthodontist, you may be able to jump to your next aligner sooner than you otherwise could. If your teeth respond well to treatment, then there’s a good chance you can speed up your treatment a bit without risking safety. But please remember: you should never move onto the next aligner without the go-ahead from your orthodontist.
Beyond that, Candid uses aligners that are cut across the gumline. Some other aligners are cut to match the “scallops” in your gums. Those aligners may be less visible, but the straight-cut ones used by Candid are more effective. By “holding on” to your gums as well as your teeth, the aligners have an anchor, so to speak. That means they can exert more force, and in turn, move your teeth faster.
Candid Customer Reviews
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 customer reviews. What are other customers saying about Candid?
It’s important to account for both the good and the bad. So, here are a few of the things customers like about Candid:
- Excellent, knowledgeable service at Candid Studio locations
- Results looked just as good as traditional braces
- Easy to use the impression system and aligners
But there are a few drawbacks, too:
- Emails can border on spam
- Discomfort, especially for the first three days
- Email links don’t work well with Firefox
- Kits occasionally go missing
Candid is a reputable alignment system; of all the companies we’ve reviewed, we rank them at #3. Overall, their customers are happy. Of course, things do occasionally go wrong, from shipping errors to emails. But that’s not a make-or-break issue (after all, even the retail giant Amazon has shipping issues now and then!).
Discomfort is also part of the alignment process; you’ll encounter it with any treatment plan—even braces. And provided you wear your aligners as prescribed, your discomfort should be pretty minimal. All told, Candid’s positives outweigh their negatives.
Candid Prices and Features
Candid is more affordable than braces, but there is still cost involved. Let’s talk about the impact Candid will have on your wallet. Note that all these prices are full prices. You may find sales that reduce this cost.
- Impression kit, $95: If you can’t visit a Candid Studio, you’ll have to buy an impression kit to get the ball rolling. If you’re not a candidate for treatment, Candid will refund the cost of the kit. We’ve seen this kit on sale for $35, so you might not always have to pay full price. Once your kit is done, orthodontists will review your case and create a customized treatment plan for you.
- Total cost of treatment, $2,400: Once you approve your treatment plan, Candid will ship your full set of custom aligners. This system includes all you’ll need to straighten your teeth without stepping foot in the orthodontist’s office.
Does $2,400 sound overwhelming? Candid offers rather flexible financing options. They’ve partnered with both Allegro and Affirm, so you can pick the financing option that works best for you. If you opt for Affirm, you’ll need to pass a credit check. But if you do, you can get financing with $0 down and APR. That said, your exact financing terms will depend on your personal credit score and desired payment period.
Allegro still requires a credit check, but it’s much more forgiving than Affirm’s, with 99% of customers accepted. If you go with Allegro’s financing route, you’ll make a $299 downpayment. After that, you’ll make 36 monthly payments of $79 (a touch more if you buy Zoom Whitening, too). It’s that simple.
Candid Customer Support
Candid sets the industry standard when it comes to customer support responsiveness. Their customer service reps are helpful and efficient. In fact, Candid’s schedule for support is quite wide: every day from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. That’s right: every day.
You can contact Candid by phone, email, chat, and even on social media. The traditional methods are the fastest, but social media queries usually get a response within 24 hours, which is still pretty quick. One thing customers don’t always understand is that you don’t interact directly with your orthodontist. Yes, your case gets reviewed on a regular basis, but you don’t have the opportunity for a direct Q&A with your orthodontist. You’ll talk with a support representative instead. In general, though, we’ve found that Candid provides prompt, courteous service across the board.
Is Candid right for you? After all, treating your smile is a big decision. You keep it for life! So, you may want to consider some alternatives to Candid. Here are some options to keep in mind:
Byte is the absolute fastest treatment system on the market. Thanks to their HyperByte device, Byte promises to correct most smiles within three to four months of treatment. They offer both nighttime and full-day wear schedules, too.
Need something more budget-friendly than Candid? Check out AlignerCo. With a sticker price of just $1,145, AlignerCo is the most affordable method on the market. Thankfully, they don’t sacrifice quality for their low prices, either. They also offer both daytime and nighttime treatment.
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 200 office locations across the country, so it’s a lot easier to skip the impression kit and have 3D scans taken of your teeth instead.
SnapCorrect isn’t the most affordable option in the entire industry, but they are cheaper than Candid. And they have an intriguing perk: all of their customers receive free whitening for life.
Should You Use Candid?
Candid has a lot of positives, but that doesn’t mean that they’re right for everyone. Let’s talk about when you should use Candid and when you should steer clear.
✔ When to use Candid:
Candid can treat most mild and moderate cases of crowding and spacing, even if you’ve had braces before. And if you’re looking for a company that is customer-centric, then Candid is a great choice. Their CandidMonitoring program keeps your treatment on track to your unique needs. Candid is not a one-size-fits-all company in that regard.
One other note: don’t let their Candid Studios confuse you; you’re still able to get treatment even if you’re far from the nearest office. You aren’t required to step foot in the office to get aligners. That’s just an option for extra convenience. If you are near a Candid Studio, pay them a visit. You’ll save a little time, hassle, and money in the meantime.
✖ When NOT to use Candid:
If you have a bite issue like overbite or a severe case of crowding or spacing, then you’re probably not a good candidate for any home alignment system—Candid or otherwise. Candid’s biggest drawback is their higher price point. They’ve abated this drawback somewhat by updating their financing offerings, though. In the past, they only had financing through Affirm, making them inaccessible to customers with mediocre credit scores. Their partnership with Allegro improves that a lot, but if you’re looking for more affordability, AlignerCo or Byte might be better options.
All told, Candid is a great option. We have other top picks (namely Byte and AlignerCo), but Candid is an all-around good service with an admirable social impact. They might cost more than some other options, but in our opinion, the CandidMonitoring program helps justify that cost.
They Scored 4.5/5
- ✔ Fair Overall Value
- ✔ Good Customer Support
- ✔ Thousands of Positive Reviews
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Candid ever offer discounts?
Candid is already a lot cheaper than traditional braces, and occasionally, that price tag gets even smaller. We’ve seen them run a few promotions throughout the year. Sales and coupons aren’t everyday occurrences, but it is possible to get a deal. For example, around New Year’s, Candid offered $400 off aligners. That’s not a super common sale, though; they’re usually a bit smaller, in the $100-$200 range.
What if I’m not happy with the outcome?
In the home aligner industry, refunds aren’t standard practice. Candid follows the norm here and does not offer many refunds. Simply put, the only guaranteed refund from Candid occurs if their orthodontists determine that you’re not a good candidate for treatment. If so, you’ll receive a refund for the impression kit.
If, however, you’re disappointed with how your smile is progressing halfway through, then you won’t be able to get a refund. However, you can work with your orthodontist to tweak your treatment and get your smile back on track. Whether or not you’re charged for those refinements largely depends on your compliance to your prescribed wear schedule and keeping your previous aligners (don’t forget to do that!).
Does Candid offer nighttime-only treatment?
With Candid, daytime wear is your only option until you reach your post-treatment retainers. Basically, whenever you’re not eating or drinking, you should be wearing your aligners. Once you reach the end of your treatment, you’ll wear your post-treatment retainers for 22 hours for the first two weeks. After those two weeks, you should be good to wear them at night only. If you’re interested in nighttime treatment, check out Byte, AlignerCo, or Smile Direct.
Do I need an X-ray before Candid treatment?
No X-rays necessary! The impression kit or a scan at a Candid Studio is all you need to get started. Both methods measure 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. Bite issues can cause your teeth to shift after treatment, undoing all of your hard work.
How does Candid compare to SnapCorrect, Byte, AlignerCo, and Smile Direct?
Candid does a good job in almost all the categories we’ve evaluated. Byte is faster, Smile Direct Club has more locations, and AlignerCo is a lot cheaper, but where Candid truly shines is their CandidMonitoring. This program makes your treatment look as much like treatment at your local orthodontist’s office as possible. No other company better simulates in-office treatment.
Is Candid better than braces and Invisalign?
It all depends on what you mean by “better.” Braces, Invisalign, and Candid will all get the job done and leave you with an impressive grin. The real questions are: how quickly will it transform your smile? And how much are you willing to spend? Of all these options, Candid is the cheapest and quickest way to get treatment.
Is Candid cheaper than braces or Invisalign?
Yes! Candid is cheaper than both traditional braces and Invisalign. Before insurance, Candid costs roughly $2,495 (or just $2,400 if you visit a Candid Studio). Invisalign can cost several thousand dollars before insurance, and the same goes for braces. Ultimately, Candid usually costs thousands less.
Does Candid treatment last forever?
As you age (or for women, during pregnancy), your teeth may shift post-treatment. After you finish your aligner treatment, Candid will provide a retainer that you can continue wearing (at first for 22 hours per day, then just at night) to prevent your teeth from shifting back. This retainer is included in the initial cost of treatment. If you need further retainers in the future, you can purchase them for $99.
Does Candid offer teeth whitening services?
Yes! Candid includes their Premium Whitening Foam with every treatment system. That way, by the end of your treatment, your teeth will be both straighter and brighter.
I’m in a rush – is Candid the fastest at-home treatment option available?
Candid’s treatment speed is average. Most people will require six months of treatment, although some cases may take longer. If speed is the foremost concern for you, then we’d have to recommend Byte. They cut the typical treatment time down to three to four months thanks to their HyperByte device.
Does Candid have a refund policy?
Candid does not offer refunds for their aligners, just for their impression kits. And that’s only if the Candid orthodontists decide that you’re not a good candidate for treatment. Other than that, no refunds are available. However, Candid is committed to delivering excellent treatment, so if your smile doesn’t progress as expected, your orthodontist will work with you to make adjustments.
What happens if I mess up my impressions?
Candid does offer resources on how to take your impressions, but in the event that you mess them up, don’t panic. Candid will simply have you re-submit them. It’s important that you get accurate impressions so your aligners are a good match for your teeth.
Does Candid have upsells?
Candid 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 once you run out, it’s not really a true upsell.
Is there an age requirement for using Candid?
Candid traditionally treats adults, but in some cases, teens ages 13 to 17 will be able to get treatment. Teens must get an in-person scan at a Candid Studio. Adults can use either an in-person scan or an impression kit.
But no matter what age you are, you should think about your wisdom teeth before getting treatment. If you need them removed, it’s best to get that done before orthodontic treatment.
Will Candid 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 Candid aligners?
For the first two weeks, you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours a day. You may experience a little discomfort each time you switch aligners (or if you don’t wear them long enough), but that’s fairly normal.
Can I drink coffee while using Candid?
With Candid, you can wear your aligners while eating and drinking. However, Candid does recommend that you clean them off afterward. Even simpler? Take them off before eating or drinking and replace them when you’re done. Then you don’t run any risk of staining them at all.
What happens if I lose my aligners (or retainers)?
Candid does not replace lost aligners. Instead, they recommend that you wear the next aligner in your treatment plan. Just wear that aligner for the time remaining on the lost aligner and then for two more weeks.
Is Candid covered by insurance?
The short answer: it depends on your insurance provider. Candid does work with some insurance policies, but Candid recommends that you check with your insurance provider directly before purchasing. That way, you’ll know for sure if you can get reimbursed for your Candid treatment.
How can I contact Candid’s customer support?
You can contact Candid through their social media channels, but for more traditional support, it’s best to contact them via phone at 1-844-295-6915. You can also chat with them on their website.
Ready to Get Started?
Visit Candid.com to use the best at-home teeth aligner online or continue your research through our comparison guide.