Candid Clear Aligners (Braces)

Alyssa Hill
Written by
Alyssa Hill
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Evidence Based
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Candid Aligners: Do They Work?

Candid Co. is a company that sells clear aligners, also called invisible aligners. They are a transparent and removable alternative to traditional braces. On average, Candid aligners straighten teeth in about six months but can take up to 11 months. 

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Candid aligners are stain-resistant, durable, and BPA- and phthalate-free. They also include a gentle teeth whitening foam that can be used throughout the day and each night.

Depending on the type of teeth misalignment (malocclusion) you have, Candid aligners can treat the following conditions:

  • Crowded Teeth — when some or all of your teeth overlap
  • Gapped Teeth (Diastema) — when a person has a gap or multiple gaps between their teeth
PROS OF CANDID ALIGNERS
  • Remote impressions  
  • Affordable, payment plans available
  • Treatment takes about six months, compared to 16 to 24 for braces
  • A free online assessment must be taken to determine candidacy 
  • Remote treatment from a highly qualified orthodontist 
  • Support is available seven days a week
CONS OF CANDID ALIGNERS
  • More difficult to get approved for treatment
  • Higher risk for complications than in-office orthodontic treatment
  • The aligners can be uncomfortable
  • A lisp can develop when the aligners are in your mouth

Are Candid Aligners Safe?

Yes, Candid aligners are safe. Candid Co. only works with highly qualified orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. Orthodontists also have to complete 2 to 3 years of tooth movement residency after dental school. 

Also, the same doctor who designs your treatment plan will track your teeth straightening progress. This ensures your teeth are moving correctly and safely. 


Clear aligners are an effective and cost-effective treatment for crowded teeth, gapped teeth, and some cases of overbites and underbites. Learn about how they work, popular brands, and costs.


Keep in mind that direct-to-consumer clear aligner treatment is monitored remotely. There is a slightly higher risk for complications to occur. Orthodontic treatment is less predictable without in-person office visits. However, when monitored closely by an experienced orthodontist, remote invisible aligner treatment is safe and effective.

How Candid Works 

There are three steps in the Candid aligners process:

1. Remote Starter Kit or Visit a Candid Studio

You can either order an impression kit online or get a free, in-person scan at a “Candid Studio.”

You do not have to visit an in-person orthodontist to receive a Candid treatment plan. 

candid starter kit

After receiving the aligner kit, you will take your teeth' impressions in the comfort of your own home using the trays and putty provided. Then, you will send the impressions back to your orthodontist, where they will create a customized Candid treatment plan just for you. 

Not everyone is eligible for Candid aligner treatment. There are four main reasons for ineligibility, including:

  • You have severely misaligned teeth or jaw discrepancies that need to be fixed with in-office orthodontic treatment 
  • You have cavities, gum disease, or other oral conditions that need to be treated first
  • You have a permanent retainer 
  • You have dental implants, a dental bridge, or partial dentures

All Candid Studios are temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can only order impression kits online for the time being. 

How to Take Impressions of Your Teeth

After you receive the impression kit in the mail, make sure you follow the directions carefully. The process is relatively simple and takes about one to two hours. It consists of the following steps:

1. Open the Candid starter kit box and remove all of the items. There are 3 steps total.

candid kit

2. Read the card labeled '1' for detailed instructions on how to access the tutorial videos.

candid step 2

3. The online portal is very thorough and provides step-by-step instructions. You'll need to submit photos using the provided smile stretcher before taking your impressions.

candid portal 2 1

4. After you take the photos, you'll receive directions on how to take the teeth impressions. The tutorial videos are detailed and short. It is essential to watch these videos.

candid portal 3 2

5. Once the putty is molded (follow the instructions carefully), you'll place each tray in your mouth for 3 1/2 minutes. There are 5 impressions total (three top and two bottoms).

candid impressions 1

6. After you take the photos and impressions, you'll send the impressions back using the pre-paid package provided by Candid. You'll want to do this within three days of receiving the kit.

candid impressions

2. Aligner Treatment Process

An orthodontist will review your photos and impressions to ensure everything looks accurate. If approved, you will receive a treatment plan within 2 to 3 weeks after the studio visit or remote impressions.

The treatment plan includes your first set of clear aligners, cleaning instructions, daily upkeep, and how to schedule remote appointments with your orthodontist. 

Your orthodontist will track your progress through phone scans you take every few weeks. For added convenience, you can set up these appointments around your daily schedule. 

How Long Does Candid Take to Straighten Teeth?

Candid sends all of your aligners at the beginning of treatment. You must wear the aligners for 22 hours a day. Every new set of aligners slowly moves your teeth into the correct position. Multiple aligners are used because a single aligner only moves your teeth about 1 mm at a time.  

In 11 months or less, you will have a new smile and straighter teeth!

Candid offers teledentistry checkups with a qualified orthodontist. They also have a support team available to address any questions or concerns you may have before, during, and after treatment. 

3. Post-Treatment & Retainers

After treatment is complete, you will receive a custom-made retainer that ensures your teeth stay in their new position.

The retainers are made for comfortable overnight wear, effectively maintain your new smile, and include a complimentary whitening foam and carrying case.

candid retainers


Candid vs. Competitors

Unlike other direct-to-consumer aligner companies, Candid Co. only works with highly qualified orthodontists, rather than general dentists. General dentists can also provide orthodontic treatment, but orthodontists are tooth straightening experts. Working exclusively with orthodontists provides patients with higher quality care.

Candid is a more expensive at-home aligner brand. However, they provide excellent remote monitoring and care to every patient. For example, throughout your treatment experience, you'll have access to a personal assistant via text message 7 days a week. You can message this person with any questions or concerns you may have.

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.

Candid vs. SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub is the most well-known remote aligner company. The aligners cost $1950 (for both the normal aligners and night aligners). Candid aligners are pricier but the treatment is more hands-on. Also, Smile Direct works with doctors, dentists, and orthodontists. Candid only works with licensed and experienced orthodontists (teeth straightening experts).

The average treatment time for Smile Direct is 4 to 6 months, while Candid typically takes between 6 and 12 months.

Candid vs. ALIGNERCO

ALIGNERCO is the most affordable at-home aligner on the market ($1,145 vs. $2,400 for Candid). Although cost-effective, ALIGNERCO treatment typically takes longer than Candid. The average treatment time is between 8 and 12 months vs. 6 to 12 months for Candid.


Want a straighter smile? Read our reviews of the top clear aligners of 2021


ALIGNERCO and Candid do not provide a night aligner option.

Candid vs. Byte

Candid is the most expensive at-home aligner brand ($2,400). However, they have excellent customer service and a detailed onboarding process. Byte also has responsive customer service, but the onboarding process is not as detailed. Candid treatment takes much longer than Byte, but treatment is more intensive.

CandidByteALIGNERCOSmileDirectClub
Best Remote MonitoringQuickest TreatmentBest Budget AlignerFirst-Ever Remote Aligner
Cost$2,400$1,895 to $2,245$1,145$1,950
Treatment Length6 to 12 months3 to 6 months8 to 12 months4 to 6 months
Payment Plan
Nighttime Aligner
In-Office Consultation Option
Ortho-Directed
RemoteMonitoring
Free Retainer
Premium Whitening Treatment
LifetimeGuarantee
Accepts HSA/FSA

What People Are Saying About Candid

The NewMouth team compiled reviews about Candid Co from four websites. We found over 3,000 customer reviews in total. Most of the reviews are positive, while a small percentage of them are negative or somewhere in the middle.

Most of the positive reviews about Candid revolve around ease of use and overall value for the money.

I went with Candid because A, it was was cheaper, and B, the reviews were really high. Plus the ease of the shipping made it an easier pick for me. The process was easy and efficient. You just order online, do the molds then they send it to you.

- ConsumerAffairs reviewer

I’ve always been bothered by the gap in my front teeth. After 6 short months, it’s gone!

- Candid reviewer

Most of the negative reviews about Candid pertain to the refund policy and customer service.

Candid was the first one I saw and when I went through them, the process was good. It was easy but I had a problem at the end with my braces that never was resolved.

- ConsumerAffairs reviewer

I am satisfied with my experience in terms of my teeth. They are whiter and straighter, so that’s awesome. But I am disappointed in the lack of customer service.

- ConsumerAffairs reviewer

What Does Candid Cost?

Candid aligner treatment costs $2,400, which covers your entire set of clear aligners and remote monitoring.

If you can’t afford to pay for treatment right away, Candid also offers a payment plan. You will pay $399 up-front, and then $99/24 months. A Candid retainer costs $99 and includes free shipping. 

Candid Clear Aligners
Overall
4.4
  • Overall Value
  • Customer Service
  • Affordability
  • Convenience
  • Treatment Time
  • Comfort

Summary

Candid only works with highly qualified orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. They have a detailed onboarding process and provide in-depth care and customer service.

Pros

  • Very responsive customer service (via text, 7 days a week)
  • In-depth onboarding process and remote monitoring
  • Orthodontist-prescribed and directed
  • Flexible payment plan
  • Premium whitening treatment
  • In-person and remote impressions available
  • Detailed treatment instructions (personal online portal, tutorial videos, step-by-step)

Cons

  • More expensive than other brands
  • No lifetime guarantee 
  • No night aligner option
  • Slightly higher risk for complications than braces and in-office aligners

Candid Co: Questions and Answers

Is remote treatment as effective as in-person orthodontic treatment?

Clear aligners have been around for over 20 years. With advancements in digital cameras, teledentistry, and 3D printing, creating an aligner treatment plan is more effective and safe than ever.

Can you eat with Candid aligners in?

Yes, you can eat and drink with Candid aligners. However, you should not drink hot liquids with the aligners in your mouth. Warm liquids are okay. It is also crucial to rinse the aligners off after eating to prevent bacteria buildup and discoloration. 

Are there other ways to pay for treatment? 

Candid offers a payment plan. They also accept FSA and HSA. Some insurance plans also reimburse patients for part of treatment, but this depends on your specific policy, and there are no guarantees. 

Does Candid offer a money-back guarantee?

Candid Co. does not offer a money-back guarantee for treatment. If your teeth do not match the 3D treatment plan you received initially, they may provide refinements. This means you will receive additional aligners at the end of treatment. 

Is Candid or Smile Direct better?

Candid and Smile Direct both offer direct-to-consumer clear aligners. However, both aligners also have studios where you can get impressions made in-person.

The main difference between Candid and Smile Direct is that Candid only works with licensed orthodontists. Smile Direct doesn’t work exclusively with orthodontists; they also work with dentists and doctors.

Is Invisalign better than Candid?

Invisalign is the most well-known clear aligner brand. Treatment is monitored in-person by a dentist or orthodontist, which means it is safer than at-home clear aligner treatment. Candid is considered effective but treatment is not monitored as closely since it is remote.

How much is Candid Co a month?

If you choose the payment plan, you will pay as low as $399 up-front and $99 for 24 months.

Does dental insurance cover Candid?

Some dental insurance policies cover orthodontic treatment for adults, which may include Candid aligners. While coverage varies greatly, many plans reimburse 50 percent of the treatment cost, with up to $1,000 reimbursed. You can pay as low as $950 out-of-pocket for Candid aligners if your insurance covers it.

If you have any other questions about Candid Co. aligners, visit their website for more detailed information. 

Resources

Candid. Straighten Your Teeth in an Average of 6 Months. www.candidco.com/.

Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid, www.candidco.com/why-candid.

Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid, www.candidco.com/products/starter-kit.

Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid, www.candidco.com/faq/p/treatment.

Ke, Yunyan, et al. “A Comparison of Treatment Effectiveness between Clear Aligner and Fixed Appliance Therapies.” BMC Oral Health, BioMed Central, 23 Jan. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343314/.

Proffit, William R., et al. Contemporary Orthodontics. Elsevier/Mosby, 2019.

Tamer, İpek, et al. “Orthodontic Treatment with Clear Aligners and The Scientific Reality Behind Their Marketing: A Literature Review.” Turkish Journal of Orthodontics, Turkish Orthodontic Society, 1 Dec. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7018497/.

Weir, T. “Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Mar. 2017, onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/adj.12480.

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