Invisalign and braces can be expensive. On average, they cost between $3,000 and $8,000, making treatment out of reach for many people. Insurance also doesn’t cover these services unless you have orthodontic benefits (which is also pricey).
At-home clear aligners are an affordable alternative to traditional orthodontics with added convenience. They cost thousands less (under $2,000). Many brands offer flexible financing options such as monthly payment plans.
The first company, SmileDirectClub, was created in 2014. Some other well-known brands include Candid, Byte, ALIGNERCO, and NewSmile. Home aligner treatment is also expected to grow as ‘virtual care’ and telehealth services become more popular.4
Here at the top 5 reasons why we recommend Candid:
Traditional orthodontics requires frequent visits to the dentist/orthodontist. You have to set up an initial consultation and go back to get the braces fixed to your teeth.
Once the braces are placed, you’re required to visit the dental office every few weeks for adjustments. This one-on-one time can be inconvenient. It also adds up quickly, making treatment expensive.
Invisalign treatment is similar. Your aligners are made in batches, which means you have to visit a dentist every few weeks to get your next set. Like braces, these appointments can be inconvenient and costly.
At-home aligner treatment is monitored 100% remotely. You never have to visit an orthodontist throughout treatment. Instead, you’ll order an impression kit online (typically under $100), make the molds yourself, and send them back.
A custom treatment plan is made remotely by a licensed dental professional. After you approve the plan, all of the aligners will be shipped to you at once.
Some brands like Candid also offer remote monitoring through a mobile app. This eliminates the need to visit a dentist, making treatment much more affordable and convenient.
Note: Most at-home aligners only treat mild to moderate teeth misalignment cases. Treatment is also typically shorter, which is another reason why the aligners are cheaper. If you have more severe bite issues (like jaw misalignment), braces are the best option.
The aligners below are listed in order from best to least overall value:
Candid is not the cheapest home aligner available. But based on our research, they provide patients with the most value for their money.
Candid addresses function first and cosmetics second. The aligners move all of your teeth for safe and comprehensive results. This is known as full arch tooth movement. Treatment takes between 6-11 months.
Most other aligners just move your front teeth, meaning they don’t treat the bite as a whole. This results in quicker treatment times.
Candid is also the only at-home aligner company that works exclusively with orthodontists. This means you’ll receive high-quality care from an industry expert.
The aligners cost $1,895 (or $65/month). This is $750 more than ALIGNERCO (the cheapest aligner available). However, since Candid offers hands-on care, we believe they are worth the extra money.
Byte is our second pick for the best cheapest invisible aligner. They offer a 5-year Smile Protection Plan and a Lifetime Guarantee. If your smile moves out of alignment, they’ll help get it back at no additional cost.
Byte is also known for its fast treatment time (2-6 months). Every customer receives a HyperByte® with their aligners. This is a dental movement acceleration device that claims to cut treatment time in half.
* Before you buy: Although 'quick treatment' is convenient, NewMouth is concerned about the safety of straightening teeth too fast. We also recommend regular aligners overnight aligners. Learn why.
Byte has two aligner options to choose from:
We recommend Byte for minor cases of teeth misalignment. Severe cases require longer treatment.
NewSmile costs 75% less than braces. Treatment takes between 4 and 6 months, on average.
These aligners are cheaper than both Byte and Candid. However, we only recommend NewSmile for mild cases of teeth misalignment. The company is also newer and less established.
NewSmile has two aligner options to choose from:
One of the standout features of NewSmile is that you can set up a virtual video call with an Impression Specialist. They’ll walk you through the process to ensure you take them correctly.
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NewSmile aligners are also cut in a scalloped fashion to provide a discreet look. They claim this makes the aligners more comfortable and less visible.
ALIGNERCO is one of the cheapest at-home aligner brands. They offer two treatment options:
ALIGNERCO has two financing options if you can’t afford to pay instantly. The SmileFlex plan requires a soft credit check but no down payment. The SmileFlex Easy plan requires a down payment but no credit check.
The cost per month depends on whether you choose the regular or night aligners. We recommend the regular aligners for safety reasons.
ALIGNERCO also offers discounts regularly, dropping the prices even lower.
Note: Although the price point of ALIGNERCO is appealing, it’s not always best to go with the cheapest teeth aligners. If you are looking for comprehensive care and remote monitoring, ALIGNERCO is not right for you. If you have minor bite issues, this could be a good option.
Here are a few other clear aligner options:
Choose Candid if: you have mild to severe teeth misalignment and want comprehensive care (remote monitoring from a licensed orthodontist).
Choose Byte if: you have mild teeth misalignment and don’t need in-depth remote monitoring.
Based on our research and experience, Candid is the best home aligner overall. Treatment costs under $2,000. While more expensive than other brands, Candid has comprehensive remote monitoring/patient care (CandidMonitoring).
Every treatment case is also overseen by a licensed orthodontist. The same dental professional who creates your treatment plan will monitor your progress in the CandidApp.
You’ll use this app to take scans of your teeth (every two weeks) using the CandidScan box. The box connects to your phone and takes detailed images of tooth movement.
There are two ways to begin treatment with Candid: order an impression kit or visit a Candid Studio. During the studio visit, a trained professional will take 3D scans and x-rays of your teeth. With the impression kit, you have to take the physical molds yourself.
Byte, NewSmile, and ALIGNERCO do not have in-depth remote monitoring services. They also don’t offer in-person scans. The only way to begin treatment is with an impression kit.
(1) Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid.
(2) “How it Works.” SmileDirectClub.
(3) “How Does it Work?” SnapCorrect.
(4) “Clear Aligners Market Size, Share, Growth: Forecast, 2028.” Clear Aligners Market Size, Share, Growth | Forecast, 2028.
(5) Ke, Y., Zhu, Y., & Zhu, M. (2019, January 23). "A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies."
(6) Weir, T. “Clear Aligners in Orthodontic Treatment.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 14 Mar. 2017.
(7) “What to Expect with Invisalign® Treatment.” Invisalign.
(8) “How NewSmile Works,” NewSmile
(9) “Why Byte?,” Byte
(10) Candid, “Why Candid Doesn't Offer Night Wear Only Clear Aligners.”
(11) Verblio. “Is Teeth Straightening at Home Safe?” ALIGNERCO.
(12) Verblio, and Alignerco. “Teeth Straightening: Invisible Aligners.” ALIGNERCO.
(13) Jamie L. Somers - Global T&E Director October 18. “ClearCorrect - FAQs.” ClearCorrect Support.