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Best Invisible Braces (Aligners) To Try At Home
Updated on January 10, 2023
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Best Invisible Braces (Aligners) To Try At Home
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Clear aligners are a great way to straighten your teeth. They are discreet and barely visible when worn, which is why they’re often referred to as invisible braces.

Currently, companies like Candid and ALIGNERCO offer them. It’s only a matter of finding the best invisible braces brands that match your budget and goals.

Best Invisible Braces (Aligners) To Try At Home 2

Everything We Recommend

  • Best Overall Clear Aligner Candid Co.
  • Best Affordable Clear Aligner ALIGNERCO
  • Best Clear Aligner for Cheap Monthly Payments NewSmile
  • Fastest Clear Aligner Treatment Byte
  • Most Accessible for In-Person Scans SmileDirectClub

What Are Invisible Braces?

Invisible braces go by many names. They are also called clear aligners, teeth aligners, invisible aligners, and clear braces — just to name a few.

Despite their name, invisible braces are not like traditional metal braces. They do not have wires, metal brackets, or elastic bands that get in the way when you’re eating or talking.

Instead, they are made of clear and removable plastic trays that fit snugly into your mouth. In turn, they are more convenient and comfortable for daily wear. 

They straighten teeth by moving them in a specific direction. 

You can choose from in-office and at-home aligners. While both are essentially the same, their treatment process is slightly different.

In-office aligners

Some dentists and orthodontists offer in-office clear aligners at dental clinics. You have to set up an appointment before you can begin this treatment.

We recommend seeing an orthodontist for your in-office treatment. They specialize in diagnosing and treating misaligned teeth. 

While dentists can provide the same treatment, they don't have the expertise and additional training that orthodontists have.

Your doctor will conduct an interview and perform a complete dental assessment to see if you’re eligible for treatment. This includes taking x-rays, photos, and impressions of your teeth.

The best in-office clear aligners we recommend are:

  1. Invisalign
  2. ClearCorrect

The dental professional will then design your customized treatment plan. As soon as you approve it, they will have your invisible braces made by your preferred brand.

Custom aligners are sent to your doctor when they’re ready. Dentist or orthodontist visits are needed to complete treatment.

This allows them to keep track of your tooth movement and the fit of your aligners. Your doctor decides when it’s time to switch to a new aligner.

At-home aligners

At-home aligners are available online and delivered to your door. Unlike in-office aligners, this process requires minimal supervision from a dental professional.

The best at-home clear aligners we recommend are:

  1. Candid
  3. NewSmile
  4. Byte
  5. SmileDirectClub

Most at-home aligner brands check your eligibility through online surveys and at-home impressions. You can order an at-home kit and take impressions at home.

Other companies have studios that you can visit for in-person consultations. At the studio, a specialist will take your dental and medical history, along with photos of your teeth.

The aligner company — through its network of doctors, dentists, and orthodontists — will review your dental records to see if you qualify for treatment.

If you do, they will create a personalized treatment plan that is unique to your condition.

After approving your treatment, they will make your custom aligners and send them all at once to your home. You can choose from two types of aligners:

  • Daytime aligners — worn throughout most of the day
  • Night aligners — worn in the evening during sleep

You can change aligners on your own every 1-2 weeks or as directed by your treatment plan.

Some aligner brands like SmileDirectClub and NewSmile have downloadable apps. You can use them to track your progress, contact customer service, and get reminders to switch aligners.

Candid is the only company that works exclusively with orthodontists to provide in-depth monitoring through an app.

The assigned orthodontist will use your teeth scans (taken every two weeks) to monitor your treatment. Using the same app, they will inform you of the next steps.

Keep in mind: Candid’s remote monitoring is more comprehensive than most invisible braces companies. But they shouldn't replace visits to an orthodontist’s office.

How Do Invisible Braces Work?

The teeth straightening process involves several clear aligners. Each tray is designed to shift teeth gradually into place. You have to wear invisible braces and change aligners every few weeks to straighten your teeth.

Treatment time can take 3 to 18 months if you use in-office aligners and 3 to 12 months with at-home clear aligners. It depends on the brand of your teeth aligners, the severity of your dental condition, and the type of treatment.

Invisible braces can move your front teeth or your full arch.

Social 6 Treatment

The Social 6 are the six most visible teeth on your upper or lower arch. Sometimes, it can mean both and total to 12 teeth — known as the Social 12.

Social 6 braces move your "social" teeth. They're a quick and effective way to fix cosmetic issues such as crooked teeth.

However, social 6 treatment can ruin your bite. The bite is how your top and bottom teeth come together when the jaw is closed. The front teeth may also slide back into their previous position.

Full Arch Treatment

The full arch refers to teeth on your upper and lower jaw. It includes your front teeth, side teeth (cuspids and premolars), and molars.

A full arch treatment can perform complex tooth movements and adjust all of your teeth. It works in the same way as traditional braces.

This orthodontic treatment not only gives you straight teeth. It also corrects bite issues like an overbite, underbite, crossbite, and open bite.

Candid aligners are the only at-home option that moves all teeth. They can work just as well as in-office teeth alignment, except you don’t have to see a dentist or orthodontist.

What Can Invisible Aligners Treat?

Invisible braces treat a wide range of dental malocclusions. Malocclusion is a medical term for misaligned or crooked teeth. Signs of malocclusion include crowded teeth (overlapping) and gapped teeth (spacing).

There are three types of malocclusions:

  • Class 1 malocclusion — normal bite or upper teeth that slightly overlap the bottom teeth
  • Class 2 malocclusion — overbite or upper teeth that severely overlap the bottom teeth
  • Class 3 malocclusion — underbite and crossbite or lower teeth that severely overlap the upper teeth

At-home teeth aligners can fix class 1 malocclusion or mild to moderate overlaps and gaps between teeth. However, they may not treat problems with bite.

In-office clear aligners like Invisalign treat severe cases of teeth misalignment, such as class 2 and class 3 malocclusions. Candid is the only at-home invisible braces company that can do something similar.

According to Candid, they can treat severe teeth misalignment. Case studies show they can improve your bite. However, they can't correct severe bite problems and crooked teeth caused by a misaligned jaw.1,2

It's best that you see a dentist or orthodontist before you buy invisible aligners online.

Best Invisible Braces for At-Home Teeth Straightening

At-home teeth aligners are more convenient and affordable. Below are the five best invisible braces companies that offer them:

Candid — Best Invisible Braces Overall

  • Cost: $3,300 on average (depends on your provider and their location)
  • Monthly payment  plan: Starts at $65 per month for 36 months with a $399 down payment
  • Average treatment time: 6 to 12 months
Why Candid aligners are our top pick

1.  Candid only works with orthodontists

Other invisible braces companies have a dental team that consists of doctors, dentists, and orthodontists. Candid sets itself apart by working exclusively with orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience.

Dentists and orthodontists may be both dental professionals. However, orthodontists specialize in teeth misalignment, whereas dentists are only concerned with your oral health.

While dentists can be trained to provide orthodontic treatment like metal braces, they lack the training that orthodontists must have before they can practice.

2. Candid provides comprehensive remote monitoring

The same orthodontist that creates your treatment plan will keep track of your progress and guide you on the next steps. Candid is the only aligner company that provides true in-depth monitoring via an app.

3. Candid invisible aligners straighten your whole bite

Other aligner companies usually offer social 6 braces for at-home teeth straightening. These are clear aligners that move the social 6 or your front-most teeth.

Social 6 treatment can address cosmetic problems, but it can also ruin your bite. Without ample room on the sides and back of your mouth, the front teeth eventually get pushed back to their original place.

Candid’s invisible braces perform full arch tooth movements just like Invisalign. By moving all teeth, they can improve the aesthetics and function of your whole bite.

Dr. Lynn Hurst, Co-Founder and Chief Orthodontist at Candid, says this also ensures lasting results.

4. Candid does not offer night-only invisible braces

Candid only offers daytime aligners because they're proven to be safe and effective. Dr. Hurst says night-only aligners can expose your teeth to inconsistent force loads and lead to poor outcomes.

“When you’re not wearing them [nighttime aligners], the contact between your top and bottom arches can cause your teeth to shift back into their original position," says Dr. Hurst.

She explains that night aligners involve a cycle of moving teeth for 10 hours and exposing them to counter-forces after. Unfortunately, it hasn't been proven to be effective or healthy.3

5. Candid has an extensive screening process

Qualifying for invisible braces treatment is not that easy with Candid.4 It enables the company to provide safer treatments.

First, you need to be at least 13 years old and no longer have deciduous or baby teeth. Teenagers aged 13 to 17 are also required to visit a nearby Candid Studio for teeth scans.5

While this is optional for everyone else, a 30-minute appointment with a studio specialist allows Candid to assess your eligibility for their treatment more accurately.

You should have also seen a dentist or orthodontist in the last 12 months. If you have cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease, they need to be addressed by your doctor before you can qualify for Candid treatment.1

6. More affordable pricing

As of October 2021, Candid reduced their teeth aligners’ cost to $1,895. It may not be the most affordable option. But considering all of its advantages, it is the only at-home clear aligner that gives you value for your money.

Candid Pros
  • Offers monthly payment plans with or without a down payment
  • Kit includes free teeth whitening, chewies, and after-treatment retainers
  • Can treat most cases of mild to severe teeth misalignment
  • Provides safer treatments than its competitors
  • Has 40 studios in the U.S. that you can visit for consultations
  • Excellent customer service
  • Candid Guarantee covers free treatments if you’re unsatisfied
Candid Cons
  • Does not issue refunds for their invisible aligners
  • Requires credit checks if you opt for flexible payment
  • Monthly payments last 36 months
  • Remote monitoring cannot replace in-office visits to your dentist

ALIGNERCO — Best Affordable Clear Aligner

  • Cost: $1,145
  • Monthly payment plan: Starts at $85 per month for 12 months with zero down payment
  • Average treatment time: 8 to 12 months
Why choose ALIGNERCO invisible braces

ALIGNERCO has the cheapest at-home clear aligners. They also have the most flexible payment plans. 

They give you the option to pay monthly for up to 12 months. And you can decide whether or not you will make a down payment.

They have a longer treatment time than most of their competitors, which lessens the risk that you will encounter problems when wearing clear aligners. 

ALIGNERCO’s shortest average treatment time is 8 months. According to studies, the fastest you can safely straighten teeth is 6 months.6 

Moving teeth too fast with invisible braces poses risks to your dental health. It can damage your teeth, gums, and surrounding bone tissue. 

Fast tooth movement can also cause bite problems.7

  • Kit includes free teeth whitening, chewies, and post-treatment retainers
  • Accepts health insurance coverage
  • Provides refunds for impression kit if you do not qualify for treatment
  • Can only treat mild to moderately crooked teeth
  • Nighttime clear aligners are not proven safe and effective
  • Only has one (1) physical location in New York
  • Does not have a smartphone app
  • No in-depth remote monitoring
  • Customer service can be difficult to reach

NewSmile — Best Clear Aligner for Cheap Monthly Payments

  • Cost: $1,395 to $1,809
  • Monthly payment plan: Starts at $58 per month for 36 months
  • Average treatment time: 4 to 6 months
Why choose NewSmile invisible braces

NewSmile’s teeth aligners cost a bit more than ALIGNERCO. But if you want cheaper monthly payments with no down payment, they are your best choice.

Their invisible braces cost $58 per month for daytime treatment. The nighttime invisible aligners cost $61 per month. Compared to other brands, it’s one of the most budget-friendly options.

Other companies merely provide printed instructions with their impression kit. Meanwhile, NewSmile is also the only company that can guide you through the impression process..

When you buy their at-home impression kit, you get a free one-on-one video call with an Impression Specialist. They’ll teach you how to use your impression kit so you can take accurate molds of your teeth.

NewSmile has the most comfortable invisible braces with a “scalloped” design. This shape allows them to sit comfortably along your gum line. 

They also have an app that lets you track your progress and monitor your treatment. You can also get in touch with their customer support with this platform. 

NewSmile Pros
  • Kit includes free teeth whitening, chewies, and after-treatment retainers
  • BPA-free and latex-free teeth aligners
  • Gives refunds for impression kit if you are not a good candidate
NewSmile Cons
  • Only treats mild to moderate teeth misalignment
  • Does not straighten the full arch
  • No physical locations for in-person consultations
  • Has nighttime aligners, which are not proven safe and effective
  • The smartphone app does not provide in-depth remote monitoring
  • New company with limited reviews

Byte — Fastest At-Home Teeth Straightening

  • Cost: $1,999 to $2,399
  • Monthly payment plan: Starts at $70 per month for 36 months with up to $249 down payment
  • Average treatment time: 3 to 6 months
Why choose Byte invisible braces

If you have mildly crooked teeth, Byte’s clear aligners can do quick cosmetic fixes. 

The company is best known for its fast treatment time. Byte’s teeth straightening kit includes the HyperByte® device, which sends high-frequency vibrations (HFV) to promote movement. 

Byte claims that when used for 5 to 10 minutes while wearing clear aligners, it can reduce your discomfort and cut treatment time by half.8

Does HyperByte really work? No one knows for sure. While there’s some evidence that high-frequency acceleration (HFA) works, most studies show they have no effect on the length of treatment or the discomfort felt by patients.9,10

Also, keep in mind that fast treatments are not necessarily safer or more effective. This is especially true for Byte aligners which move your “social teeth” in as little as 4 months.

Moving teeth too fast and aligning the front teeth without moving the full arch both increase the risk for ineffective treatment. They can ruin your bite and lead to short-term results.

Our final verdict on Byte: We think it’s a good option if you need a quick solution for mild misalignment on your social 6 or social 12 teeth. Otherwise, there are safer invisible braces on our list with longer treatment times.

Byte Pros
  • Offers flexible payment methods with 100% approval
  • Kit includes free teeth whitening and after-treatment retainers
  • Excellent customer service
Byte Cons
  • Payment plans require a down payment
  • Only treats mild to moderately crooked teeth
  • No studios for in-person scans
  • Treatment results may not last
  • Does not straighten the full arch
  • No refunds for invisible aligners
  • Byte treatment might move your teeth too fast and pose risks
  • HFV technology which isn’t scientifically proven to work
  • Does not have a smartphone app

SmileDirectClub — Most Accessible for In-Person Scans

  • Cost: $2,050
  • Monthly payment plan: Starts at $89 per month for 26 months with up to $250 down payment
  • Average treatment time: 4 to 6 months
Why choose SmileDirectClub invisible braces

SmileDirectClub is the only brand that gives you time to adjust to your teeth aligners. Their proprietary Comfort Sense™ technology starts you off with soft plastic aligners and gradually shifts you to firm aligners.11

They are more accessible than other companies since they have the most physical locations in the United States You can visit one of their 50 Smile Shops for an in-person scan, to check if you’re eligible for at-home teeth straightening.

You can book your appointment online. And if you show up for your scheduled visit, you get a free Bright On™ light and teeth whitening pen.

SmileDirectClub Pros
  • Allows flexible payments with 100% approval
  • Smile Shops provide free teeth whitening
  • Excellent customer service
  • The mobile app tracks your progress and reminds you to change aligners
  • SmileDirectClub Guarantee has a 30-day refund policy if you’re not satisfied
SmileDirectClub Cons
  • Most expensive at-home invisible braces 
  • Payment plans require a down payment
  • Only fixes mild to moderate cases of teeth misalignment
  • Customer service is not that responsive
  • Teeth whitening and post-treatment retainers are not included in the kit
  • Does not issue refunds for clear teeth aligners

Best In-Office Clear Aligners for Straighter Teeth

In-office treatments are more reliable options for teeth straightening. Unlike at-home teeth straightening, a dentist or orthodontist supervises your treatment process.

Below are the best teeth aligners offered in some dental offices:

Invisalign — Most Trusted Invisible Braces

  • Cost: $3,400 to $87,100
  • Monthly payment plan: Starts at $50 per month for 36 months with $250 down payment
  • Average treatment time: 12 to 18 months
Why choose Invisalign treatment

Invisalign® is the most well-known brand of teeth aligners. They use a proprietary material called SmartTrack® which ensures better-fitting clear aligners and more accurate tooth movement.12

The company provides different treatments based on how mild or severe your condition is. The length of treatment and number of invisible braces varies per individual:

  • Invisalign Express — includes up to 10 aligners for minor spacing and crowded teeth
  • Invisalign Lite — includes up to 14 teeth aligners that treat mild malocclusion
  • Invisalign Full — provides unlimited clear aligners for mild to severe malocclusion

Does Invisalign work? It does. But is it worth the money? It depends on your condition.

Studies show that Invisalign corrects mild to moderate dental occlusions in non-extraction patients. These are cases of misalignment where patients are not required to remove certain teeth for treatment.13

Invisalign has also been shown to move, align, and derotate teeth effectively.13 Derotation is the process of placing an abnormally rotated tooth into normal alignment.

That being said, its results are not as predictable for cuspids and premolars, which are the teeth located between your front teeth and molars. 

Researchers also found that Invisalign has limits in expanding the arch and correcting bite problems and severe malocclusions.13

A systematic review of Invisalign further reveals that although accurate and effective, it still cannot produce the same results as fixed appliances like traditional dental braces.14 

However, a study published in 2020 suggests that the accuracy of Invisalign has improved.15 Invisalign also continues to enhance its system.

The aligner company now offers SmartForce® attachments, which make orthodontic tooth movements possible even without metal braces.16

We still think it’s the best invisible braces for in-office teeth straightening. But before you consider Invisalign, a dental professional should assess your teeth and make sure you’re qualified for treatment.

Invisalign Pros
  • Accepts dental insurance
  • Can treat some cases of severe misalignment
  • In-office visits better ensure a safe and effective treatment process
  • More convenient and more comfortable than traditional metal braces
Invisalign Cons
  • Most expensive aligner treatment
  • Payment plans require a down payment
  • Invisalign attachments are not discreet
  • Long treatment time that takes up to 18 months
  • Not as effective as traditional braces

ClearCorrect — Most Affordable In-Office Clear Braces

  • Cost: $2,500 to $5,500
  • Monthly payment plan: None
  • Average treatment time: 8 to 14 months
Why choose ClearCorrect invisible braces

ClearCorrect is a more affordable alternative to Invisalign. But you may have to see a dentist or orthodontist for an estimate of your treatment cost.

The total cost of treatment can vary depending on your treatment plan:

  • ClearCorrect Flex — you receive one aligner at a time
  • ClearCorrect Limited 6 — includes 6 invisible braces for minor teeth misalignment
  • ClearCorrect Limited 12 — includes 12 aligners for mild to moderate misalignment
  • ClearCorrect Unlimited — provides unlimited aligners until the issue is fully corrected

If we compare Invisalign vs. ClearCorrect, the latter has more comfortable and more discreet invisible aligners due to their thinner thermoplastic material.

Unfortunately, this may mean that ClearCorrect is less effective. The material used by Invisalign is meant to improve results.

ClearCorrect Pros
  • Treats mild to severe cases of teeth misalignment
  • In-office visits better ensure a safe and effective treatment process
  • More convenient than traditional metal braces
  • Aligners are more comfortable and more discreet than Invisalign
ClearCorrect Cons
  • Limited plans; pay per aligner or a flat rate per set of aligners 
  • There are no clinical studies that prove it is safe and effective

How to Choose the Best Teeth Aligners

You have to consider these factors when choosing a clear aligner:

  • Budget — if you can pay one-time or monthly or per aligner or per set of aligners
  • Lifestyle — how you spend time and if you can see dental professionals or not
  • Preferences — whether you value convenience or dental supervision more

However, your biggest consideration should be based on your dental condition. Remember to see a dentist who can assess your oral health.

They can check for problems that may prevent you from safely using aligners. If you have dental caries or gum disease, a dentist can take care of them before you undergo treatment.

You also have to consult a licensed orthodontist. They can check your teeth for malocclusions and bite issues and determine how mild or severe they are. 

Based on this assessment, your orthodontist will help you decide on your treatment options.

Updated on January 10, 2023
Cristine Santander
Cristine Santander
Content Contributor
Cristine Santander is a content writer for KnowYourDNA. She has a B.S. in Psychology and enjoys writing about health and wellness.
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