Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
Clear aligners are a virtually invisible and removable alternative to traditional braces.
The aligner trays are made of smooth, BPA-free plastic and are typically worn for 22 hours a day. They can be removed for eating, brushing/flossing your teeth, and other oral hygiene needs.
If you are looking for a discreet, quick, and convenient way to straighten your teeth, clear aligners are the ideal option.
Clear aligners cost anywhere between $1,200 and $8,000. The cost of clear aligners depends on the brand chosen, the length of treatment, and the type of aligner you choose (night vs. traditional).
At-home aligners, also called direct-to-consumer aligners, are cheaper than in-office aligners. Treatment is monitored remotely, which means you won’t visit an orthodontist for check-ups throughout treatment.
Popular at-home aligner brands include:
In-office aligners, such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect, require in-office impressions and check-ups. They are also capable of fixing more severe teeth misalignment (malocclusion) cases.
While convenient, at-home aligner treatment is not monitored as closely as in-office orthodontic treatment. Because of this, most at-home aligner companies only accept mild to moderate cases of teeth misalignment.
If you have more severe bite issues, Invisalign (a popular in-office aligner) is the safest choice.
|Invisalign®||$3,000-$8,000||Ask your provider||Up to $3,500|
|ClearCorrect||$2,500-$5,500||Depends on treatment||Up to $3,000|
|SmileDirect||$1,950||$89 / month||Up to $1,100|
|Candid||$3,300 (on average)||Ask your provider||Depends on provider|
|NewSmile||$1,245-$1,345||$83-$88 / month||Depends on provider|
|byte®||$1,895-$2,295||$82-$99 / month||Depends on provider|
|ALIGNERCO||$1,145-$1,345||$99 / month||Depends on provider|
|SnapCorrect||$1,749||$80 / month||Up to $1,100|
At-home aligners are the cheapest alternative to Invisalign and traditional metal braces.
Instead of visiting a dentist or orthodontist for in-person scans, you can order an impression kit online. The kit will get shipped directly to your home address.
From there, you will take the teeth impressions yourself and then send them back to the company.
If you are a candidate for treatment, they will mail you the aligners within a few weeks. Remote check-ups with a qualified professional will occur every few weeks as well.
Our order of aligner recommendations recently changed in 2022.
Byte is now our top recommendation for convenient, at-home teeth straightening. The aligners are affordable and don’t require any in-office visits. We recommend them if you have mild teeth misalignment.
Candid is our top recommendation for ‘hybrid’ aligner treatment. The aligners are pricier and you must visit a provider to begin treatment. We recommend them if you have mild to severe teeth misalignment. Treatment is more comprehensive.
Byte aligners are made of BPA-free polymer. They are also tear- and stain-resistant.
To begin treatment, you will order an impression kit online. After approval, you’ll receive the aligners in the mail within 3 weeks.
Not only will you receive all of your aligners at once, but the kit also includes a carrying case, BrightByte treatment (teeth whitening), a HyperByte (a tooth movement acceleration device), and a FREE medical-grade retainer.
Read our article comparing the positives and negatives of the HyperByte and similar vibration-based aligner therapies.
Byte All-Day Aligners cost $1,895, and the At-Night Aligners cost $2,295. There are also payment plans available ($249 to $299 down payment; $82 to $99 a month/32 months).
The nighttime aligners are worn for 10+ hours a day (while sleeping). The traditional aligners are worn for about 22 hours a day.
We do not recommend night aligners because there is no scientific proof that they are safe.
The impression kit costs an additional $95. You can take a byte candidacy quiz online before ordering it. If you are not a candidate for treatment, you’ll get a full refund on the kit.
The first retainer you receive after treatment (to keep your teeth straight) is included in the cost. Any additional retainers (if you lose or break one) will be an additional cost.
With daily HyperByte use, byte aligners may straighten your teeth faster (results vary).
Read our full review of byte here.
Byte's All-Day Aligners are worn for 22 hours a day and can straighten teeth in 4 months.
The At-Night Aligners straighten teeth while you sleep and can take up to 6 months.
Limited Time Sale: 70% off Impression Kit, $100 off Aligners + Free BrightByte Whitening Treatment.
SmileDirectClub is a 6-year-old company that offers at-home teeth-straightening for 60% less than braces.
The aligners are made of comfortable, smooth, BPA-free plastic.
SmileDirectClub only accepts minor cases of teeth misalignment, and a dentist or orthodontist oversees each case.
SmileDirectClub aligners cost $1,950. You can also choose a payment plan, including a down payment of $250 and a monthly payment of $89/24 months.
You can get a free 3D scan at a SmileShop or buy a mail-in starter kit for $59. If a dentist determines you’re not a good candidate, the cost of your impression kit is fully refundable.
The retainer also costs an additional $99. You should order a new set every six months to keep them fresh.
Smile Direct aligners straighten teeth in about six months but can take up to a year.
Read our full review of SmileDirectClub here.
The biggest aligner company
SmileDirectClub is the largest, longest-standing clear aligner manufacturer. With hundreds of physical locations, you can choose an in-person consultation or order a mail-in impression kit.
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.
Unlike most at-home aligner brands, NewSmile aligners do not touch your gums.
They are trimmed to comfortably sit along your gum line in a ‘scalloped fashion.’ Not only does this design cause less irritation, but it also makes the trays less visible.
NewSmile’s Fast Track Aligners are worn for 22+ hours a day. They cost $1,245.
The Night Aligners require less daily wear time (10+ hours a day). They cost $1,345.
We do not recommend night aligners because there is no scientific proof that they are safe.
Read our full review of NewSmile here.
NewSmile aligners are trimmed along your gum line to provide a comfortable and less visible treatment experience.
They also offer live video chats with a specialist to ensure you make accurate impressions.
NewSmile aligners are more affordable than other brands. However, treatment is more hands-off after you approve the plan.
ALIGNERCO offers the cheapest invisible aligners on the market. While more affordable, they are also a newer company with fewer reviews than byte and SDC. They also do not work directly with orthodontists and dentists, which can affect the quality of care.
Treatment costs $1,145 (or $99 for 11 months with the payment plan). Other clear aligner competitors are more expensive ($1,800 to $2,300).
To begin the teeth straightening process, the first step is to order an impression kit online. These kits are just $39.99. After you receive the kit, you'll take a dental impression at home and send them back to ALIGNERCO.
ALIGNERCO also sells NightOnly Clear Aligners. Wear time is 8 to 10 hours a day and the treatment duration is 8 to 12 months.
Note: We do not recommend night aligners because there is no scientific proof that they are safe.
Read our full review of ALIGNERCO here.
Another budget option
ALIGNERCO is another brand that offers an affordable aligner experience. However, treatment is more hands-off after you approve the plan.
Candid aligners are made of BPA- and phthalate-free plastic called Zendura FLX. This material claims to offer more comfortable, lower-stress aligners.
These aligners also have higher impact strength and keep the teeth more stable than other at-home aligners.
To begin treatment with Candid, you’ll visit a qualified CandidPro provider (dentist or orthodontist) for an initial consultation and to have your bite digitally scanned or impressions taken.
You’ll also see them at the end of treatment to ensure your teeth are aligned correctly and you’re satisfied with the results.
Candid also works with highly qualified orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. These orthodontists design and monitor your treatment.
Candid accepts most minor to severe cases of teeth misalignment. A licensed orthodontist oversees every case through the CandidApp.
Candid aligner treatment costs on average $3,300. The price may vary depending on the state you live in and the severity of your bite misalignment.
If you can’t afford to pay this cost upfront, your CandidPro provider may offer a payment plan.
Candid aligners can straighten teeth in 4 to 12 months.
Read our full review of Candid here.
Every treatment plan is overseen by a qualified orthodontist with over 20 years of experience. Treatment is monitored in the CandidApp.
Candid treatment costs $3,300 (price may change depending on various factors).
State treatment by visiting a CandidPro provider:
NewSmile offers some of the cheapest aligners on the market ($1,145). However, it's not always best to go with the most affordable option.
Byte is the best at-home option overall. The aligners cost less than $2,300, and treatment is monitored 100% remotely. You can order an at-home impression kit to begin treatment. The remote monitoring process is also not very comprehensive (hence the cheaper price tag).
Candid is more expensive ($3,300 on average) but offers the most value for your money. They use a 'hybrid' aligner treatment model.
Candid works with licensed orthodontists who have at least 20 years of experience in the teeth straightening industry. Orthodontists have to complete 2 to 3 years of tooth movement residency after dental school. These experts design the treatment plans.
You also have to visit a qualified CandidPro provider to begin treatment. These are licensed dentists who will take digital scans and impressions of your teeth. You can't order an impression kit online, which can be inconvenient for some people.
The same orthodontist who designs your treatment plan will track your teeth straightening progress via remote monitoring (CandidMonitoring™). This ensures your teeth are moving correctly and safely.
In-office aligners provide closer treatment monitoring because they require regular in-office visits. You also have to set up an in-person appointment to get a teeth scan. Online starter kits are not provided.
In-office aligners are typically more expensive than at-home aligners, but they can fix more severe misalignment cases.
Invisalign is the most well-known and established clear aligner brand. Invisalign clear aligners are FDA-approved. They also do not contain any BPS, BPA, gluten, or latex.
Invisalign aligners are different from other aligners because they are made of a patented thermoplastic material, called SmartTrack®. They claim to be more comfortable and are easier to put on and remove.
These aligners can fix overbites, underbites, open bites, gapped/crooked teeth, and even misaligned baby teeth.
The average cost of Invisalign is between $3,000 and $8,000. The higher price is attributed to a longer treatment time. Also, Invisalign is often used to treat more complicated cases of teeth misalignment.
Each Invisalign treatment plan is unique. Talk with your dentist about monthly payment plans.
Invisalign requires in-person consultations that can cost $100 or more, depending on the type of work-up you require, including dental x-rays, images, and impressions.
Invisalign treatment takes between 12 and 18 months.
ClearCorrect is similar to Invisalign, except it is a younger company. After 12 years in business, ClearCorrect has helped hundreds of thousands of patients achieve new smiles. To begin treatment, you’ll visit a ClearCorrect qualified dentist for an in-person scan and treatment plan.
ClearCorrect costs between $2,500 and $5,500. The payment plan depends on the length of treatment and how many aligner trays you need. If you require additional refinement trays at the end of your treatment, this can also increase the cost.
ClearCorrect treatment takes between 12 and 18 months.
Most clear aligner brands offer payment plans, including SmileDirectClub, Candid, and byte. These payment plans include a down payment and monthly payments for about two years.
Invisalign and other in-office aligners also offer customized payment plans, depending on your treatment plan.
In some cases, dental insurance covers invisible aligners. Check with your provider and the clear aligner company of your choice for more details about insurance coverage.
You can use an HSA or FSA to pay for clear aligners, including at-home and in-office aligners.