Clear braces — also called clear aligners, invisible aligners, or invisible braces — are a clear and removable alternative to traditional braces. Braces consist of metal brackets and archwires, while clear aligners look similar to retainers and are made of thin, BPA-free plastic.
Depending on your treatment plan, you will replace each set of aligners every 1 to 2 weeks. You also have to wear the aligners for at least 22 hours a day. You’ll remove them before eating and cleaning. Invisible aligners work by moving your teeth in small increments. After 4 to 18 months, you will have straighter teeth and a more confident smile.
There are two different types of clear braces available, including in-office aligners and at-home aligners. In-office aligners include Invisalign and ClearCorrect. Byte, Candid, and ALIGNERCO are some popular examples of at-home clear aligners.
Depending on your needs and preference, you can either order clear aligners online or visit an orthodontist in person. Invisalign and ClearCorrect aligners can only be obtained by visiting an orthodontist for treatment. Invisalign treatment is monitored more closely than at-home clear aligner treatment.
At-home clear aligners are safe, effective, and cheaper than braces. Learn more about the most popular at-home clear aligner kits.
At-home aligners, such as Byte and Candid, allow you to buy impression kits online or at a studio. Unlike in-office aligners, treatment is monitored remotely. However, you are still overseen by a licensed orthodontist throughout the entire treatment process.
At-home aligners are only recommended for minor cases of teeth misalignment (malocclusion). Some examples include a few crooked teeth or small gaps between teeth. You will likely be denied treatment if you have moderately severe to severe teeth misalignment, such as an overbite or underbite.
Clear braces can cost anywhere between $1,700 and $8,000. Read below to compare costs of five top brands:
Invisalign is the most popular in-office clear aligner. Treatment is monitored in person by a licensed dentist or orthodontist. Invisalign is often the ideal solution for patients who have mild to moderate teeth misalignment.
However, more severe cases of misalignment may be treatable with Invisalign. It is essential to talk with your orthodontist to determine whether Invisalign or braces is the best option for you.
Invisalign costs between $3,000 and $8,000. Some dental insurance plans cover up to $3,500 of the cost of treatment. Payment plans are also available.
Candid only works with highly qualified orthodontists who are experts in the teeth straightening industry. No orthodontic office visits are required for teeth scans, x-rays, or check-ups. Like byte, Candid protects customer safety by only accepting cases they are confident will benefit from clear aligner treatment.
Candid is a more expensive at-home aligner brand. However, they provide excellent remote monitoring and care to every patient. You can message them with any questions or concerns you may have (and they respond quickly).
Candid requires you to upload photos in a personal, online portal before taking impressions. These photos must be approved by a licensed orthodontist before treatment begins. Step-by-step instructions and tutorial videos are also provided to make the process easier.
Best overall brand (editor's pick)
Candid aligners cost $2,400 (if paid in full). You can also choose a payment plan, which costs $99/month for 24 months after paying $399 up-front.
You can begin treatment in two ways:
NewSmile is one of the most affordable at-home aligners, but they are also one of the newest companies. They claim to make the most discreet and comfortable at-home aligner available.
NewSmile clear aligners are available in the U.S., Canada, and Hong Kong. You can order an impression kit directly from their website and should receive it within a week.
Once you receive the kit, you will get an email to book a time with an Impression Specialist. During this video call, they will walk you through the process to ensure accuracy. You can ask the specialist any questions during this call. NewSmile is the only brand of at-home aligners that offers this unique service.
Best budget option
NewSmile’s Fast Track Aligners are worn for 22+ hours a day. They cost $1,195.
The Night Aligners have the same benefits as normal aligners but require less daily wear time (10+ hours a day). They cost $1,295.
Use code NewMouthDeal for $100 off Aligners and code NewMouthKit for $20 off impression kit.
Byte only works with licensed and experienced dentists and orthodontists, ensuring you receive high-quality remote treatment. They also provide each patient with a HyperByte device, which can speed up the treatment for some patients.
NewMouth recommends at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. Find out if you're a candidate for clear aligners.
Byte also only accepts patients with minor cases of teeth misalignment. You also have to be a good candidate for teledentistry appointments.
Quickest treatment time
The “all-day” aligners cost $1,895. You can also choose a payment plan, which costs $83/month for 29 months after paying $324 up-front ($2,731 total).
The “at-night” aligners cost $2,295. The payment plan costs $99/month for 29 months with a $449 deposit ($3,320 total).
ALIGNERCO aligners are typically a great option if you are on a budget, only have minor teeth misalignment, and do not require intensive remote monitoring.
Keep in mind: Although the price point of ALIGNERCO is appealing, it’s not always the best idea to go with the cheapest option. For example, if you are looking for more hands-on care and remote monitoring, ALIGNERCO may not be the best option for you.
ALIGNERCO’s most popular treatment is the SmileAdvantage Clear Aligner. They cost $1,145.
ALIGNERCO also offers NightAdvantage Clear Aligners. They cost $1,345.
Invisalign and traditional metal braces cost about the same. Metal braces cost between $2,500 and $7,500, while ceramic braces cost between $4,000 and $8,000.
At-home clear braces are less expensive than Invisalign, ceramic braces, and metal braces treatment. Although they are more affordable, not everyone is a candidate for clear aligner treatment. For severe cases of teeth and/or jaw misalignment, braces are the most effective and safest option.
The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:
Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid.
Candid. “Candid Pricing.” Candid.
Byte. “Plans.” byte.
Ke, Y., Zhu, Y., & Zhu, M. (2019, January 23). A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies.
“Orthodontic Treatment Options.” American Association of Orthodontists.
Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.
Weir, T. “Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Mar. 2017.