Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on September 27, 2022

Teeth Straightening Kit

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What are Teeth Straightening Kits?

Clear aligners are a discreet and removable alternative to traditional metal braces. The trays are made of BPA-free plastic and are virtually invisible when in your mouth. 

Invisalign is the most well-known brand of aligners, but treatment can be expensive and inconvenient for many people. Fortunately, other teeth-straightening options have become available in recent years.

Teeth straightening kits (home impressions) allow you to begin the orthodontic treatment process from the comfort of home. This is referred to as at-home aligner treatment. These treatments are less expensive, more convenient, and easier to access than traditional aligners like Invisalign.

Popular aligner brands that offer teeth straightening kits include:

Dental Aligners Group 7 scaled

How Do Teeth Straightening Kits Work?

Here's how the teeth straightening kit process works:

  1. The first step of at-home aligner treatment is to take a candidacy quiz online.
  2. If you're a candidate, ordering an impression kit is next. These kits are delivered straight to your door, eliminating the need to visit an orthodontist for an in-person scan.
  3. Once you receive the kit, you'll take impressions of your teeth and send them back.
  4. From here, an orthodontist will make a digital 3D model of your teeth. This interactive model shows your teeth straightening progress from start to finish.
  5. All of the aligners will be sent to your home address at once. You’ll change the trays out every 1 to 2 weeks. The aligners should be worn for 22+ hours a day.
  6. The number of aligners you need depends on how misaligned your teeth are and the length of treatment.
  7. Some brands require remote check-ins every two weeks (via an app) to ensure your teeth are moving correctly.

A dental technician will also create a 3D model of your teeth based on the impressions you send in. This digital graphic will show how your smile changes from week to week. Here is an example of what it might look like:

Who is a Candidate for At-Home Teeth Straightening?

Not everyone is a candidate for at-home clear aligners because they can only fix:

  • Minorly to moderately crowded teeth — when some or all of your teeth overlap
  • Gapped teeth — one gap or multiple gaps between the teeth
  • Other minor to moderate spacing or bite issues

There are four reasons for ineligibility, including if you have:

  • Severely misaligned teeth
  • Untreated jaw discrepancies that require in-office orthodontic treatment (e.g., braces)
  • Gum disease or untreated cavities
  • A permanent retainer (must be removed before treatment)
  • Existing dental restorations such as implants, bridges, or partial dentures

Our Top Recommendations

The Best Invisible Aligners:

Other Brands:

In-Office vs. At-Home Aligners

In-office aligners, such as Invisalign and ClearCorrect, require you to visit an orthodontist or dentist for an initial scan and routine check-ups. Treatment is more expensive and comprehensive. The entire treatment can cost up to $8,000, with the average price at $5,500.

At-home aligners, also called mail-in aligners or direct-to-consumer aligners, do not require in-office visits with an orthodontist. You'll begin treatment with a teeth straightening kit (some brands also offer in-person consultations). These aligners are more convenient and less expensive than in-office options. 

At-home aligners typically cost under $2,100 (these are best for fixing very minor tooth discrepancies).

Braces vs. At-Home Aligners

Traditional metal braces consist of small brackets that are fixed to your teeth. Each bracket is connected by a wire, which attaches to the brackets with rubber bands. Braces move your teeth into the correct position by applying pressure over time.

Braces can fix multiple dental and facial problems at once. They also tend to produce better results than other treatments like Invisalign. 

In most cases, metal braces are necessary in cases of moderate to severe teeth and jaw misalignment. For example, braces are likely the safest and most effective option if you have an overbite, underbite, open bite, or crossbite. 

Here are the main differences:

  1. Aligners are removable and convenient. This means you can naturally eat, drink, brush, and floss. Although convenient, if removing the aligner trays for eating or drinking anything apart from water seems inconvenient, this treatment may not be for you.
  2. At-home aligners can only treat minor to moderate teeth misalignment cases. Severe cases typically require braces and possibly other orthodontic devices like headgear (for children).
  3. The success of aligners depends almost entirely on the wearer. If you do not wear your aligners for the right amount of time each day, they will not work correctly. Braces eliminate this risk because they are not removable.

Teens and older adults with minor to moderate misalignment are typically the best candidates for aligners. Talk with your orthodontist about braces if you're younger than 12 and have severely misaligned teeth.

Why Trust Our Review of Teeth Straightening Kits?

1. Industry Experts

NewMouth is a leading and trusted online resource for dental information, including orthodontics, at-home teeth straightening, primary dental care, procedure costs, and more. We have been researching and writing about clear aligners for over 3 years as at-home options became more popular.

We have a dedicated team of medical writers, expert researchers, licensed dental professionals, and medical reviewers who create and oversee every piece of content published on our site. Our goal is to provide credible, accurate, and up-to-date content that is free and accessible to everyone looking for dental care. 

2. Extensive Research and Testing

To determine the best teeth straightening kits on the market, our team:

  • Spent months researching the most popular brands (and continue to analyze trends as they change) 
  • Sorted through thousands of customer reviews on multiple websites 
  • Talked to dozens of industry experts, including CEOs of a few aligner companies, licensed orthodontists, licensed dentists, and more 
  • Read hundreds of research papers on the safety, effectiveness, and concerns of clear aligners 
  • Spent hundreds of hours comparing at-home aligners and in-office aligners (like Invisalign) to ensure we recommend the proper treatment for different needs 
  • Three writers tested every teeth straightening kit recommended in this article
  • One of our writers successfully went through the entire treatment process with Candid aligners (see the before and after)

3. Comprehensive Review Process

After extensive research and product testing, this article also underwent an intensive review process:

  1. The article was reviewed and fact-checked by two in-house editors 
  2. One of our in-house dentists reviewed the article for accuracy 
  3. The article is updated and reviewed again every month to ensure pricing, product details, and other specs are up-to-date

Top 5 Teeth Straightening Kits

Byte®: Editor's Choice

byte starter kit
NewMouth / Alyssa Hill

Byte® is a popular at-home aligner brand. They work with orthodontists and dentists. Byte stands out in the at-home aligner industry for having fast treatment times (typically 4 to 6 months). This is made possible with the HyperByte — Byte’s very own HFV device that’s included in every treatment plan. This dental movement acceleration device should be used for 5 to 10 minutes a day.

HFV stands for high-frequency vibrations. It uses soft micro pulses that transmit through the roots of teeth to the surrounding bone. Byte claims that, due to these vibrations, daily use of the HyperByte can shorten treatment time. 

Byte has two clear aligners options: All-Day Aligners ($1,999) and At-Night Aligners ($2,399). With the payment plan, you can pay $249 to $299 up-front and $70/month to $84/month for 32 months. The teeth straightening kit costs an additional $95.

Unlike Invisalign, treatment with Byte is totally remote. To begin, simply order an at-home impression kit from their website.

Pros

  • Affordable payment plans are available
  • Treatment is completely remote  
  • Quick treatment time, which is made possible with the HyperByte, a dental movement acceleration device (read our concerns about this device)
  • Treats most minor to moderate teeth alignment issues
  • Every treatment plan is approved and overseen by a licensed dentist
  • A customized treatment is created using Byte's advanced SmileScience system
  • Byte aligners are more affordable than in-office options
  • A personal customer service advisor is assigned to every patient
  • A lifetime guarantee is available if your teeth shift after treatment
  • An aligner-safe whitening foam (BrightByte) is included with every purchase
  • Refund on impression kit if you aren’t a candidate

Cons

  • Treatment can be less predictable without in-office visits
  • No scientific proof pointing to the safety of night aligners or moving teeth quickly
  • Can only treat minor to moderate cases of teeth misalignment (we don't recommend them if you have more severe teeth misalignment)
  • No in-depth remote monitoring
Byte

byte®

Convenient treatment

Byte's All-Day Aligners are worn for 22+ hours a day and can straighten teeth in as little as 4 months. The At-Night Aligners straighten your teeth while you sleep.

Limited Time Sale: 70% off Impression Kit, $100 off Aligners + Free BrightByte Whitening Treatment.

SmileDirectClub: Best In-Person Scans

smile direct club e1598562602831

SmileDirectClub (SDC) is a 6-year-old company that offers home teeth straightening for 60 percent less than braces.

SDC works with licensed doctors, dentists, and orthodontists to ensure each treatment case runs smoothly and effectively. You will track your progress remotely with a dentist or orthodontist from home comfort during treatment.

SmileDirectClub aligners cost $2,050 (no credit check required). You can get a free 3D scan at a SmileShop or buy a $59 teeth straightening starter kit.

With the payment plan, you’ll pay $250 up-front and $89/month. After treatment, you’ll buy a custom retainer for $100 to keep your teeth straight.

Pros

  • Two ways to begin treatment: in-person at a SmileShop or online with an at-home impression kit
  • Large network of dentists around the U.S., making it easy to find one near you
  • Affordable financing options and payment plans with no credit checks
  • A Lifetime Smile Guarantee that covers your smile for life (if you follow the retainer schedule)
  • Insurance may be accepted, depending on your plan
  • Free whitening treatment included with every purchase
  • Convenient treatment monitoring (100% remote)
  • Refund on impression kit if you aren’t a candidate

Cons

  • Treatment can be less predictable without in-office visits
  • Treatment can be overseen by a dentist or orthodontist (less predictable)
  • Customer service can be hard-to-reach 
  • Remote monitoring services are limited (not in-depth like in-office options)
  • Not the best option for fixing moderate to severe bite problems (we recommend them for mild cases only)
  • Night aligner option available (learn the risks)
SmileDirectClub

SmileDirectClub

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: Budget Option

NewSmile Fast Track

NewSmile is one of the most affordable at-home aligners, but they are also one of the newest companies.

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. 

Once you receive the impression kit, you should 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.

NewSmile’s Fast Track Aligners are worn for 22+ hours a day. They should only be removed for cleaning, eating, and brushing. Treatment takes between 4 and 6 months, sometimes up to a year. They cost $1,495.

NewSmile’s Night Aligners require less daily wear time (10+ hours a day). They cost $1,595.

Pros

  • Affordable aligner alternative (thousands less than braces or Invisalign)
  • Most discreet at-home aligner with scalloped edges (to prevent gum irritation) 
  • NewSmile App to track progress throughout treatment
  • Video call available with an ‘impression specialist’
  • BPA-free, latex-free, and FDA-approved 
  • Free whitening foam is included with every purchase
  • Free set of retainers
  • Refund on impression kit if you aren’t a candidate

Cons

  • It is not always best to go with the cheapest option (treatment is more hands-off after you approve the plan)
  • Newer at-home aligner company; not many reviews
  • Treatment can be overseen by a dentist or orthodontist (less predictable)
  • Treatment can be less predictable without in-office visits
  • The aligners can be uncomfortable, especially at first
  • Daily upkeep can be time-consuming and inconvenient 
  • No in-depth remote monitoring
NewSmile

NewSmile

Budget option

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: Another Budget Option

alignerco

ALIGNERCO offers the cheapest invisible aligners on the market.

Treatment starts at $895 (or $81/month for 12 months with the payment plan). Other clear aligner competitors are more expensive ($1,800 to $2,300).

While more affordable, they are also a newer company with fewer reviews than byte and Candid. They also do not work directly with orthodontists and dentists, which can affect the quality of care.

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.

They will create a customized treatment plan and send the aligner trays straight to your door.

ALIGNERCO also sells NightOnly Clear Aligners. Wear time is 8 to 10 hours a day and the treatment duration is 8 to 12 months.

Pros

  • Treatment is more affordable than other at-home options (this is why we only recommend them for minor cases)
  • Affordable payment plans and frequent discounts are available
  • No credit check is required for the SmileFlex Easy financing plan
  • Free whitening treatment with every purchase
  • Impression kit refunds if you aren't a candidate or reject the treatment plan

Cons

  • Treatment can be less predictable without in-office visits
  • It is not always best to go with the cheapest option (treatment is more hands-off after you approve the plan)
  • Can only treat minor cases of misalignment
  • Customer service can be difficult to reach
  • No in-depth remote monitoring
AlignerCo

ALIGNERCO

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: Hybrid Option

candid starter kit
NewMouth / Alyssa Hill

Candid is a popular at-home aligner brand that has recently shifted its business focus, no longer offering at-home impression kits. It’s now a hybrid option for those who want some of the convenience of at-home teeth straightening without sacrificing the quality of care. 

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. 

The CandidPro provider then has a licensed orthodontist from Candid's team personally design your treatment plan. After that, your treatment progress is monitored remotely through CandidMonitoring™, the company’s telehealth platform (mobile app).

The same Candid orthodontist who creates your treatment plan will oversee your treatment from start to finish. Treatment takes between 4 and 12 months, depending on how severe your bite issues are. 

Candid aligners cost $3,300 on average, though the price may vary depending on your level of malocclusion, your state, and the provider you see. You also have no direct financial relationship with Candid — the CandidPro provider is also your health care provider.

Pros

  • In-depth scans are required every two weeks (via the CandidApp)
  • CandidPro locations are growing across the U.S. (where x-rays and 3D teeth scans are taken by trained dental professionals) 
  • Can treat most minor to severe cases of teeth misalignment
  • Customer safety is a top priority; candidates are carefully selected based on eligibility
  • Treatment takes longer than other brands (but this is to ensure patient safety - moving teeth too fast can result in bite issues)
  • Mostly remote treatment 
  • Might be more affordable than Invisalign 
  • Risk-free teeth scan 
  • No diet restrictions 
  • Every treatment plan is monitored by a licensed orthodontist
  • An established orthodontist, Dr. Hurst, oversees the product, vision, and safety of customers
  • Communicative customer service
  • Payment plans available

Cons

  • No guarantees for refinements (ask your provider)
  • No at-home impression kit option (if you prefer this)
  • More expensive than other fully remote at-home aligners
Candid

Candid

Comprehensive care

Candid offers the convenience of at-home teeth straightening with a higher level of care typical of in-office aligner brands like Invisalign.

Every treatment plan is overseen by a licensed orthodontist. Treatment is monitored with CandidMonitoring (via a mobile app).

Candid treatment costs $3,300 (on average, the price may change depending on various factors). 

Is a Teeth Straightening Kit Right for You?

As with any product, at-home aligners have advantages and disadvantages:

Pros of at-home aligners

  • They are more affordable than traditional braces, lingual braces, Invisalign, and ClearCorrect. Invisalign can cost up to $8,000, while most at-home aligners cost under $2,000. 
  • No in-office visits are necessary before, during, or after treatment. Check-ups are completed remotely. Some brands require bi-weekly, remote scans with a licensed orthodontist.
  • Treatment is typically faster than braces or Invisalign, between 6 and 12 months (only minor to moderate cases).
  • The aligners are discreet and removable. You don’t have to worry about having visible metal brackets and wires on your teeth throughout treatment.
  • Payment plans are available for those who don’t want to pay the total cost upfront. 

Cons of at-home aligners

  • They only offer remote monitoring, making treatment less predictable without in-office visits. However, when monitored by an experienced orthodontist, remote aligner treatment is effective and safe.
  • Most at-home aligners can only treat minor to moderate cases, including slightly crowded/crooked and gapped teeth. Overbites, underbites, open bites, and similar forms of malocclusion may require more invasive orthodontic treatment.
  • Most at-home aligners do not require x-rays before the treatment plan is created. Before beginning treatment, you must visit your dentist to check for cavities and other problematic oral conditions.
  • At-home aligners are not endorsed by the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) because of the risks of tooth and root damage without the direct supervision of a dentist.
Byte Invisalign Braces
Cost All-Day Aligners:
$1,999
$3,000 to $8,000 $3,000 to $12,000
Treatment Time 4 to 6 months 12 to 18 months 12 to 24 months
Best For Mild misalignment, some moderate may qualify (take the candidacy quiz) Mild to severe misalignment, excluding skeletal issues Mild to severe misalignment, including skeletal issues (jaw)
Monitoring/Care 100% remote monitoring via an app In-person, every 6 to 8 weeks In-person, every 4 to 8 weeks

Teeth Straightening Kit — FAQs

Does an orthodontist oversee home teeth straightening treatment?

Candid works with licensed orthodontists, so your clear aligner treatment will be overseen exclusively by these professionals.

SmileDirectClub and other brands do not work solely with orthodontists; they also work with dentists and doctors. 

How often do I need to wear home teeth aligners? 

At-home teeth aligners must be worn for at least 22 hours a day. Night aligners only need to be worn for about 10 hours a day.

How long does home aligner treatment take? 

Home aligner treatment takes about six months (on average). Treatment can take longer if you don't wear your aligners as directed.

What happens after home aligner treatment is complete? 

After treatment is complete, you’ll get a custom retainer to keep your teeth straight. You'll receive instructions on how long to initially wear your retainers so your teeth don’t shift back. They should be replaced at least every year.

Are financing/payment plans available?

Most clear aligner companies offer payment plans and financing options. You’ll pay a couple of hundred dollars up-front and then make monthly payments for about two years. Some aligners are partially covered by insurance.

You can also use an HSA/FSA to pay for treatment. Check with the clear aligner company of your choice to determine the best financing option for your needs. 

What are the most affordable teeth straightening kits available?

ALIGNERCO offers the most affordable teeth straightening kit on the market. However, choosing the cheapest option is not always the best idea.

If you have very minor teeth misalignment, ALIGNERCO may work. But if you have moderate alignment issues, check out Byte or Candid.

Severe cases should opt for Invisalign or another comprehensive, in-office option like ClearCorrect or ceramic braces.

What’s Next?

The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here:

Learn about the different brands and what they offer.

13 Sources Cited
Last updated on September 27, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. Blue Ocean Publishing Group. The Million Dollar Smile, Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry. 2018.
  2. Candid. “Discover the Candid Difference.” Candid, www.candidco.com/why-candid.
  3. Candid. “Candid Starter Kit.” Candid, www.candidco.com/products/starter-kit.
  4. Candid. “Candid Clear Aligners.” Candid, www.candidco.com/faq/p/treatment.
  5. SmileDirectClub. “Insurance.” https://smiledirectclub.com/insurance/.
  6. SmileDirectClub. “Pricing.” https://smiledirectclub.com/pricing/.
  7. SmileDirectClub. “How Does Smile Direct Club Work.” https://smiledirectclub.com/how_it_works//.
  8. FAQs About Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byte.com/pages/faq.
  9. Hyperbyte: The Technology Behind Faster Invisible aligner results. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byte.com/pages/hyperbyte.
  10. Insurance Coverage for Our Invisible Aligners. (n.d.). Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.byte.com/pages/insurance.
  11. Ke, Y., Zhu, Y., & Zhu, M. (2019, January 23). A comparison of treatment effectiveness between clear aligner and fixed appliance therapies. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6343314/.
  12. 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.
  13. “What to Expect with Invisalign® Treatment.” Invisalign, https://www.invisalign.com/how-invisalign-works.
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