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Top 10 Best Invisible Braces & Aligners (2022) - Straighten Your Teeth at Home

Nicky Lowney
Best Invisible Braces & Aligners

If you think that having a straight, beautiful smile requires a year or two of braces, think again. In the past, your only choice for straighter teeth was to spend a year or two in expensive, inconvenient, and sometimes painful braces. You’d have to contend with a mouth full of metal, avoid certain foods, and visit the orthodontist every month or two to get your wires tightened.

These days, there are easier ways to achieve that perfect smile. Teeth straightening kits are a high-tech and effective alternative to braces that are delivered directly to your door. These “invisible braces”—also known as teeth aligners—move your teeth into their optimal position, often in less than half the time of traditional braces. You can remove them to eat and brush your teeth, and most brands replace orthodontist office visits with virtual telehealth appointments.

If you are a candidate for treatment with teeth aligners, going through a direct-to-consumer company can also save you money compared to visiting the orthodontist. Braces and aligners sold through an orthodontist’s office are marked up to the consumer, while companies that sell direct to the consumer skip the middleman and the markup.

When it comes to choosing a brand of invisible aligners, you have choices in how to get started, methods of checking in with doctors, and what kind of extras are included in your kit. 

In this article, we highlight the top brands of invisible braces. We also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about aligners, and how to determine if they are a good choice for you.

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Best Invisible Braces

  • 1
    SmileDirectClub

    SmileDirectClub

    exceptional
    9.9
    • Starting price$2,050 ($89/month financing)
    • Treatment duration4-6 months on average
    • Accepts insuranceYes

    SmileDirectClub aligners are created using a 3D scan taken at one of their SmileShops or an impression you take at home. Their doctors will review your information, create a personalized plan, and meet with you several times during your treatment. They are accessible via chat, video, email, and phone.

    The company creates a set of soft, medium and firm teeth aligners to gradually move your teeth into their optimal places. You choose from two schedules: 22 hours/day or 10 hours/night. The 22-hour plan takes 4-6 months on average, and the 10-hour plan takes about 10 months to complete. Many dental insurance plans cover part of this treatment, and SmileDirectClub offers a choice between monthly installments or a one-time payment.

    Pros
    • In-person 3D scans are quick and easy
    • Whitening gel included with purchase
    • Thousands of partner dentist offices available
    Cons
    • Not appropriate for severe orthodontic issues
    • Must pay for retainers every 6 months for aligner touch-ups
  • 2
    Byte
    excellent
    9.1
    • Starting price$1,895 ($82/month financing)
    • Treatment duration3-4 months on average
    • Accepts insuranceYes

    Like many other invisible aligner options on the market, Byte aligners are made of soft, BPA-free plastic. You can wear them either all day or just at night, depending on how fast you want results. But what's unique about Byte is the HyperByte, an FDA-cleared medical device that sends high frequency vibrations through your teeth to the roots and surrounding bone.

    The HyperByte is included in your treatment plan, and the company recommends using it for five minutes per day during the course of treatment. The device helps position your teeth aligners and may speed up your overall treatment timeline to as little as two months.

    Pros
    • HyperByte vibration device included
    • Results in as little as two months
    • 200+ licensed dental professionals in network
    Cons
    • Retainers costs over $100/year
    • Not available for severe bite issues
  • 3
    Candid
    good
    8.4
    • Starting price$3000-$5000 (varies by office)
    • Treatment duration6 months on average
    • Accepts insuranceYes (varies by office)

    Candid was originally launched as an at-home aligner system, like Byte and SmileDirectClub. However, they have switched to an office-based system, where you begin with a local office and check in with them virtually. Each office sets their own price and insurance coverage terms.

    On the Candid website, you can take a quiz to see if you may be a candidate for their aligners and find a local office. The office will coordinate your scans and design your treatment. You’ll receive your aligners in the mail, along with a scanning tool to share your progress with your doctor virtually. Treatment times average six months, and you’ll need to wear a retainer to maintain your results.

    Pros
    • Orthodontist-managed treatment
    • Virtual treatment updates available
    • Aligners delivered to you after initial in-office visit
    Cons
    • Must work with a local office
    • More expensive than other aligner options
  • 4
    ALIGNERCO
    good
    8.3
    • Starting price$895 ($81/month)
    • Treatment duration4-6 months on average
    • Accepts insuranceNo

    AlignerCo aligners are made from ultra-clear BPA-free biodegradable plastic. Their treatment system is the lowest-priced option on the market, starting at $895 if paid upfront. Their business model is a completely remote one, so you’ll take an impression at home and mail it to them.

    Their orthodontists will review your impression and—if they determine that their product will work for you—they will design a set of teeth aligners to be delivered to you. You can choose a 20-22 hour wearing schedule (with results in 4-6 months), or nighttime aligners for 8-10 hours per night (with results in 6-8 months).

    Pros
    • Lowest price on the market
    • Fully remote treatment
    • Prompt customer support via chat
    Cons
    • Does not accept insurance
    • Impression kit not free if you aren’t a match
  • 5
    NewSmile

    NewSmile

    very good
    8.7
    • Starting price$1,395 ($83/month)
    • Treatment duration4-6 months on average
    • Accepts insuranceNo (may be able to apply for reimbursement)

    NewSmile offers a competitive option for at-home invisible aligners. Their aligners are cut below the gums, so you don’t feel any discomfort from the plastic touching your gums. To get started, you’ll need to order their package, which includes their at-home impressions kit, your treatment preview, a set of teeth aligners, retainers, and tooth whitening gel. As with other companies, you can choose an all-day or a longer nighttime-only wearing plan. 

    NewSmile does not accept insurance as a form of payment, but you may be able to apply to your dental insurance company for reimbursement, depending on your plan. You can also pay using FSA/HSA accounts.

    Pros
    • Competitive pricing
    • Fully remote treatment
    • Whitening and initial set of retainers included
    Cons
    • No option for in-person 3D scans
    • Only available in the US and Canada
  • 6
    Strayt
    very good
    8.8
    • Starting price$1,400 ($69/month)
    • Treatment duration4-8 month (6 months on average)
    • Accepts insuranceNo (may be able to apply for reimbursement)

    Strayt offers many of the same features as other at-home aligner options: BPA-free plastic teeth aligners, tooth whitening, orthodontist-directed care, and full-day or nighttime-only schedules. However, with a price that matches other companies, Strayt includes StraytVIBES, a light and vibration device. A five minute high-frequency vibration stimulates tooth movement while a red light eases tenderness.

    Afterwards, a ten minute blue light cycle works to boost whitening effects. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of an at-home impression, you can get a 3D scan in one of their offices for the same price. You cannot use dental insurance to pay for your Strayt system, but you may be able to apply for reimbursement, depending on your plan benefits.

    Pros
    • Includes light and vibration device
    • Night aligners same price as daytime plan
    • In-person scan for same price as at-home impression kit
    Cons
    • Does not accept dental insurance
    • Only available in contiguous US states
Breaking Down our Top10 Choices: Which is Best For Your Needs:
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SmileDirectClub-Best for in-person consultations
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Byte-Best for science-based tech
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Candid-Best for invisible aligners
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ALIGNERCO-Best for smaller budgets
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NewSmile-Ultra clear comfortable aligners
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Strayt-Price-match guarantees
Compare the Best Clear Braces
1
SmileDirectClub
2
Byte
3
Candid
4
ALIGNERCO
5
NewSmile
6
Strayt
Reviews100 reviews76 reviews93 reviewsWrite Review60 reviews12 reviews
Starting price
$2,050 ($89/month financing)
$1,895 ($82/month financing)
$3000-$5000 (varies by office)
$895 ($81/month)
$1,395 ($83/month)
$1,400 ($69/month)
Treatment duration
4-6 months on average
3-4 months on average
6 months on average
4-6 months on average
4-6 months on average
4-8 month (6 months on average)
At-home fitting
Optional
Accepts insurance
Yes (varies by office)
No (may be able to apply for reimbursement)
No (may be able to apply for reimbursement)
Money-back guarantee
Lifetime
Lifetime
Frequently Asked Questions
Do clear aligners cost more than traditional metal braces?
-
+
No, clear teeth aligners cost less, on average, than traditional metal braces. Metal braces can range from $5-6,000, while most brands of clear aligners cost less than $2,000.
Do invisible braces actually work?
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Yes, invisible braces do work. Because they are based on computer-aided design, they can move teeth more efficiently than traditional bracket-and-wire braces systems. They are useful for most common types of dental corrections but are not effective for severe orthodontic conditions.
Are invisible braces painful?
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In many ways, teeth aligners are more comfortable than metal braces. However, you may experience some mild pain and discomfort with aligners, particularly within the first week as your teeth are getting used to them.

Methodology - How We Rate Invisible Braces