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 teeth 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 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.
Through this charitable partnership, Candid has made it their mission to give underprivileged children around the world smiles they can be proud of. For every aligner kit purchased, Candid donates $25 to Smile Train. Their 2019 goal was to provide more than 1,000 cleft palate surgeries worldwide.
One of Candid’s most intriguing features is their Remote Monitoring. A few companies use orthodontists to create your treatment plan, including Candid. But Candid takes it a step further; an orthodontist will personally oversee your treatment, too. You’ll send in images of your teeth periodically, and your orthodontist will modify or maintain your treatment as needed.
However, home teeth aligners like Candid’s aren’t right for everyone. Some extreme cases are best served in-person by the orthodontist. With Candid, there’s no risk, though. You can drop in at a Candid Studio and get a free scan. Not near a studio? You can try out an impression kit at home. If it turns out that you’re not a candidate, Candid will refund you—no worries, no commitments.
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:
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 financing through a third-party company called Affirm and 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 teeth 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. Pair that team with their ClearCorrect-manufactured aligners, and you’ve got an effective, reliable treatment plan.
✔ 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.
✖ Unlike some competitors, Candid requires a credit approval for their financing. Their financing partner is Affirm, a well-known financing group.
✖ 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 Remote Monitoring 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:
- How straight or crooked your smile is before treatment
- How long you wear your retainer 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.
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?
Here are a few of the things customers like about Candid:
- After the first two weeks, users have to use their aligners at night only
- 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 a shipping issue 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 financing, but it’s through a third-party company called Affirm. These payment plans require credit approval, so if your score isn’t great, you may need to save up. But if you do enroll in financing, you can pay as you go for as low as $99 per month (provided you make the $399 down payment).
Your APR will depend on the total amount you pay per month. But you’ll work out those exact details once you’re approved by Affirm.
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.
We recommend that if you have any questions about your treatment, you contact your personal orthodontist as they’re best equipped to handle your case. Questions about shipments, refunds, or financing should go to customer support.
Regardless of how you contact Candid—or who you contact—you’ll receive prompt, courteous service that is truly smile-worthy.
2 Top Candid Alternatives
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 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.
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 Remote Monitoring 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 the fact that their financing requires a credit check. Some of Candid’s competitors don’t pose this challenge, so if you fear that your credit score might make treatment unattainable (i.e, you don’t have nearly $2,500 stashed under a pillow), Byte or AlignerCo might be better options.
All told, Candid is a great option. They’re our second favorite service (behind byte). Candid costs more than some other options, but their Remote Monitoring more than justifies the cost. The orthodontist oversight gives you near-instant access to your orthodontist. Plus, Candid supports a good cause, and in the process, you get a straighter, brighter smile. That’s a win-win situation.
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. Check out our overview page for the most up-to-date Candid discounts.
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.
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.
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 Remote Monitoring. 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 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 does not treat anyone younger than 16. In addition, you must have lost all of your baby teeth. Anyone younger than 18 must get parental consent before starting with Candid.
A related note: you should also 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 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. From then on—when you start your second set of aligners—you can wear them for just eight 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 afterwards. 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.