A great smile can open up a lot of opportunities for you. Your dental health also says a lot about your hygiene. While you are okay just the way you are, no one will blame you if you want to work on getting a better smile. After all, a good first impression always starts with a smile.
Thankfully, because of technological advancements in the field of dentistry, we now have more options than before when it comes to straightening your teeth. One of these innovations that are popular these days is invisible braces.
Invisible braces (also known as clear aligners and teeth aligners) are a non-invasive orthodontic treatment that can help straighten your teeth. They are made out of clear plastic and are barely noticeable. Because of this, they are definitely more pleasing to look at compared to traditional braces.
Another advantage invisible braces have over traditional braces is the fact that they are removable. Metal braces are not only obvious but they are permanently lodged on your teeth. The only way you can adjust them is to go to the dental office.
Due to the demand for clear aligner treatment plans, numerous invisible braces companies have joined the industry and offer their own teeth straightening treatments through clear aligners. But how will you determine which brand is the best fit for you?
In this article, we round up the top invisible braces companies and brands in the market when it comes to invisible braces, and weighed in several factors that help determine each one’s strengths and weaknesses to help you make an informed decision.
So here are the top invisible braces in the market, in no particular order:
Who is it for
People who want to work with orthodontists exclusively and want to ensure that they get professional results.
Office visits are not required with Candid. You will be monitored remotely by an orthodontist from start to finish. You will be sent an interactive 3D preview of your teeth and the expected progress until the end results once you are approved for treatment. You will have to approve this treatment plan before Candid will start making your customized invisible braces.
Your Candid clear aligners kit will come with all the aligner trays you need throughout the treatment, a premium teeth whitening product, and a device that you will be using with your phone for home invisible braces remote monitoring. Their teeth whitening product is actually well-known to be effective.
Candid only offers daytime invisible braces.
You have to wear Candid invisible braces for 20 to 22 hours each day. Candid has an average treatment duration of 6 to 11 months, depending on the progress of your teeth.
The Candid starter kit costs $95. You will get a full refund for the impression kit if you do not qualify. You can also check if there is a Candid studio in your location so you do not have to shell out money for an impression kit. You can do a 3D scan of your teeth there for free.
If you qualify for Candid invisible braces, you can choose to pay a one time price of $2400. A monthly installment is also available where you can pay as low as $99 per month ($399 down payment).
The last set of teeth aligners in your kit is actually a retainer. If you order new ones, they will cost $99.
Candid accept HSA and FSA. You can also consult your insurance company if they can cover the treatment to lower your out-of-pocket expense for the teeth aligners.
Candid has a great referral program. if you can refer new customers (someone who does not have an account already with Candid), your friends will get the starter kit for free and have $250 off on their invisible braces.
In exchange for your referral, you will get an Amazon gift card worth $100 once your friends get their aligners. You can claim a maximum of five Amazon gift cards. Make sure your friends use your referral code so you can get your reward.
See our full Candid review here.
Pros and cons
- Candid works only with licensed orthodontists so you are assured of a higher standard of care.
- Candid uses advanced technology for remote monitoring.
- Candid Co treatment duration is longer compared to other companies.
Who is it for
People who want a shot treatment time to straighten their teeth.
Byte offers invisible braces that you can handle at home. State-licensed orthodontists or dentists will be doing your home monitoring. You have the option to choose between day and night invisible braces for your teeth.
Byte will also give you a free BrightByte bottle when they send to you your aligner trays. BrightByte is their 3-in-1 solution that you can use to whiten your teeth, freshen your breath, and clean your aligners.
When your treatment is over, Byte will be giving your first set of customized retainers for free.
If you choose the Byte all-day aligners, you have to wear them for 22 hours per day. The average treatment time is 3 to 4 months.
If you choose the Byte at-night aligners, you have to wear them for at least 10 continuous hours at night. The average treatment time is five to six months.
The impression kit will cost $95 (full refund if you do not qualify).
The Byte all-day aligners are worth $1895 if you choose to pay for one time. You can also choose an affordable monthly installment that you can pay as low as $83 per month ($349 down payment).
For the Byte at-night invisible braces, they are worth $2295. The monthly installment plan can be as low as $99 per month ($499 down payment).
Byte also accepts HSA, FSA, CareCredit, and Splitit. You can also check with your insurance provider if they can cover the treatment. Byte also offers discounts for military and student discounts.
Byte will also offer you a Byte Protection Plan after your treatment. This will cover 5 years’ worth of customized retainers and coverage in case you lose your retainers. The Byte Protection Plan makes it stand out among other invisible braces companies.
If you were using the all-day aligner treatment, the Byte Protection Plan will be $649 and if you were using the at-night treatment, the Byte Protection Plan will be $779.
See our full Byte review here.
Pros and cons
- Free Brightbyte treatment that can be used to clean your aligners, whiten your teeth, and keep your breath fresh
- Comes with a lifetime guarantee wherein in case your teeth move out of alignment after the treatment, they will help you move it back in place for free.
- Even if you choose their monthly installment payment plan option for the invisible aligners, the deposit required can be steep for those who are working with a small budget.
Who is it for
People who have complex teeth straightening needs or those who need extra orthodontic care for their teeth.
If you know your dental situation has some complexity, Invisalign should be your go-to when it comes to invisible braces companies.
Invisalign does not offer remote monitoring – you will have to go to your orthodontist’s office regularly for monitoring and to get your clear aligners. So, unlike other invisible braces, your treatment will not start with an impression kit.
You will have to visit an orthodontist to see if you will qualify for Invisalign aligners. If you do, the orthodontist will map out a customized treatment plan for your case and will contact you if your teeth aligners have arrived in their office.
You will likely have to do face-to-face check-ups every two weeks to check on the progress of your tooth movement. It is important that you do not miss out on these check ups because you will not be able to move on to the next set of teeth aligners on your treatment plan without seeing your dentist or orthodontist.
After treatment, Invisalign will offer you custom-made Vivera retainers for you to keep your straighter and better smile.
You have to wear the Invisalign clear aligners for at least 20 hours and a maximum of 22 hours a day to get the desired results. The longer you wear the teeth aligners, the faster the results.
Invisalign patients have an average treatment duration of 12 to 18 months. If you have a mild case, your treatment time will be less than 12 months.
There is no general number for how much an Invisalign treatment would cost since the total would depend on your dental case. The more complex your case is, the more time your teeth needs to be treated and the higher the cost will be.
Invisalign is known to be quite expensive – the clear aligners sometimes cost more than traditional braces for those who need major movement for their teeth. However, they do guarantee that their treatment plans are effective through quality work.
This makes Invisalign still the top choice for those that need major changes in their teeth alignment without having to deal with traditional braces. To give you an idea, an Invisalign treatment can cost between $3000 and $7000.
You can use your FSA or HSA accounts to cover some of the costs. Since you are seeing an orthodontist regularly, your orthodontist may also arrange a monthly payment plan for your office visits that can help lower the cost. Another option is to check with your insurance provider if they can cover the teeth aligners.
See our full Invisalign review here.
Read our comparisons with Candid, Smile Direct, traditional braces and other Invisalign alternatives.
Pros and cons
- Invisalign is the leading and pioneering brand in the market, having been around since 1997.
- Invisalign teeth aligners can work on more complex cases of teeth alignment.
- Invisalign can be very expensive. They can cost more than what you spend on traditional braces.
Who is it for
People who are looking for quality invisible aligners for a reasonable rate.
When approved for treatment, SmileDirectClub will send you a set of invisible aligners. Each one of the aligners will make slight adjustments to the position of your teeth. The orthodontist or dentist assigned to you will notify you whether you should use the next set of aligners or not.
Smile Direct Club also offers exclusive benefits and discounts for teenagers such as video chats and aligner replacements. Parents will also be getting notifications on their teenager’s treatment.
SmileDirectClub offers daytime and nighttime aligners. No matter what type of invisible braces you get, you will receive a complimentary Bright On tube, which is the teeth whitening treatment of SmileDirectClub.
Treatment is done remotely and you will stay in touch with the dental team online. You can also reach out to them through phone, website chat, video chat, and email.
You have to wear the daytime aligners for 22 hours a day. And for nighttime aligners, you have to wear them for 10 continuous hours. Most patients can finish their Smile Direct Club treatment within four to six months.
The SmileDirectClub’s impression kit costs $59. The amount will be refunded if they find that you do not qualify for treatment. If you do not want to shell out money initially for the kit, you can check if there is a Smile Shop in your location and visit them to have your teeth impressions done for free.
The Smile Direct Club treatment will cost you a one time payment of $1950. There is also a monthly installment plan available where you can pay $89 per month for 24 months ($250 downpayment).
When you are done with your treatment, a customized set of retainers from Smile Direct Club will cost $99.
Unlike most invisible braces companies that offer nighttime aligners at a higher price, the price for daytime and nighttime invisble aligners is the same with SmileDirectClub.
SmileDirectClub accepts CareCredit, HSA, and FSA. You can also check your insurance provider if they can cover the cost of your SmileDirectClub aligners.
See our full Smile Direct Club review here.
Pros and cons
- SmileDirectClub has special benefits and discounts available for teenagers who want to straighten their teeth.
- Nighttime invisible aligners are available at the same price as daytime aligners.
- SmileDirectClub does not work exclusively with orthodontists. This is not a bad thing if you have a mild case of misalignment with your teeth but if your teeth needs more work, you should look for an orthodontist that is associated with SmileDirectClub.
Who is it for
People who are looking for the cheapest invisible braces in the market.
You start your AlignerCo teeth straightening treatment by ordering an impression kit or do a walk-in to an Aligner Co SmileStudio near you so they can scan your teeth and do the impression for you. You will then have to wait for the aligner trays to be sent to you at home.
The invisible braces are trimmed to the gum line so you should expect it to fit snugly on your teeth. This cut will be more comfortable compared to other clear aligner options in the market.
Treatment is done remotely and if you have any concerns or need to contact your dentist during the treatment, you can contact a Smile Crew Member who will forward your concerns and questions to the dentist assigned to you.
Aligner Co offers both daytime and nighttime clear teeth aligners. This allows you to choose which treatment is most convenient for your schedule or lifestyle.
The daytime aligners should be worn for 20 to 22 hours a day. The average treatment duration for daytime aligners is 6 to 11 months.
The Night Only clear teeth aligners should be worn for 8 to 10 hours every night. The average treatment time for nighttime invisible braces is 8 to 12 months.
The home impression kit will cost $75. Just like the other invisible aligner companies, a full refund will be given if you do not qualify for treatment. If you do not want to shell out money, you can check for the nearest AlignerCo SmileStudio in your location.
AlignerCo is the cheapest invisible braces that you can get on the market today. The one-time payment is just $1145. There are two financing options to choose from: the SmileFlex plan charges you $86 per month for 12 months (with credit check) and the SmileFlex Easy plan will charge you $95 per month for 11 months (no credit check).
Pros and cons
- AlignerCo is the most affordable option for those who are working with a tight budget.
- AlignerCo 0ffers both day and night clear teeth aligners.
- The quality of the product is lower compared to other clear teeth aligners.
Who is it for
People who only have minor alignment issues and at the same time, looking for affordable invisible braces at home.
Once you are improved as a candidate, you will be getting a 3D treatment preview of what your teeth would look like at the end of treatment. You need to approve it before they will start making your customized invisible braces.
Night aligners are also available with NewSmile. The NewSmile treatment includes a premium teeth whitening treatment for free.
For daytime invisible braces, you will have to wear them for 22 hours a day. For night aligners, you have to wear them for 10 consecutive hours. The average treatment time for NewSmile invisible braces is 4 to 6 months.
The NewSmile home impression kit costs $95. Just like other companies, you will get a refund if you do not qualify.
If approved as a candidate, you can do an upfront payment of $1195 or a monthly installment of $84 per month for 12 months ($295 downpayment). There will be no credit check for the monthly installment plan, which is good news for those who have a low credit score.
If you plan to get night aligners, the financing options you have will be a one-time payment of $1295 or $92 per month for 12 months ($295 deposit).
You can use your FSA/HSA accounts to pay for the treatment. You can also check with your insurance company if they can cover the treatment.
The first pair of retainers once the treatment is done is for free. The retainers are actually included in the package that will be sent to you.
Pros and cons
- Day and night aligners are available.
- You get your first set of retainers along with the package.
- The dental cases NewSmile can handle are limited. For moderate to complex dental cases, you will be better off with other companies.
Who is it for
People who need only a short treatment time because of a mild case of teeth straightening or people who need long-term treatment
ClearCorrect is a dental lab that will make your invisible braces based on the treatment plan and prescription made by ClearCorrect orthodontists. So, the first step in getting a ClearCorrect treatment is to look for or in your area that are associated with ClearCorrect.
This is an at-office treatment so you will be closely working with your dentist or orthodontist. This is great since you get face-to-face monitoring and care. If you have any questions, they will be addressed immediately.
You have to wear your ClearCorrect aligners for at least 22 hours per day. The average treatment time for ClearCorrect is 6 to 18 months.
There are three financing options from ClearCorrect. The first one is Flex, which is a treatment that lets you pay for what you use – no extra aligners. This is great for those who just need minor corrections.
The second is One, where a flat rate will be given for 24 sets of aligners, one set of retainers, and one revision.
The third one is unlimited where you can get as many aligners, retainers, revisions, and replacements as you want for five years. This is great for those who need long-term teeth straightening treatment.
If you check the site, there is no flat rate for the treatment as this will highly depend on your dental case. You have to contact a ClearCorrect customer service representative to get the exact numbers for your treatment. To give you a general idea, a ClearCorrect treatment can cost between $2500 to $5500.
You can check your insurance provider if they cover orthodontic treatments. I recommend that you do this before you commit to ClearCorrect. You can also use your HSA and FSA accounts to lower the cost.
Cons and pros
- ClearCorrect has flexible payment options.
- ClearCorrect lets you work closely with orthodontists or dentists. This assures you that you are being monitored by someone who personally knows your case.
- ClearCorrect aligners cost more compared to other clear aligner companies, depending on your dental case and the payment plan you choose.
Best invisible braces FAQs
Do invisible braces really work?
Invisible braces are like clear retainers. They are created to place pressure on your teeth to gently move them into a straighter position. Clear aligners use less pressure compared to traditional braces, which makes them effective for only mild and moderate dental cases.
The best invisible braces are usually used to treat mild to moderate cases of misalignment like crooked teeth, gapped teeth, overlapping teeth, and crowding. Clear aligners can also handle minor bite issues such as overbite and underbite. If your case is severe or complex, you may not qualify for treatment with invisible braces and may have to go with traditional braces.
How do invisible braces work on your teeth?
You will have to order an impression kit to make a mold of your teeth for remote monitoring treatments or have it done for you for free if the braces company has a local studio in your area. This is a very important step and you should do it properly since this will determine the fit of your clear aligners.
The impression will be 3D scanned and the clear aligner trays will be made in accordance with the treatment plan that the orthodontist or dentist made up for you. All the aligner trays that you will be using throughout the treatment process will be sent to your home for remote treatment or in the dental office for at-office treatment.
Just as traditional braces need adjustment every two weeks, you will be switching from one set of aligner trays to the next throughout the treatment process. You will be informed when to proceed to the next set during your remote checkups or orthodontist visits.
The trays will make gradual changes to your teeth by applying slight pressure on them so that they can move to their proper place. The length of time that you have to wear your invisible braces will depend on your dental case – the more complex the treatment process is, the longer it will get. Even the cost can sometimes be affected by the complexity of your dental case.
You will be given the required number of hours to put them on. You are only allowed to take off your invisible braces when you eat, drink, and brush your teeth. You have to clean and rinse them every single time you take them off to avoid staining the clear tray and of course, for hygienic purposes.
Can anyone be a candidate for invisible braces?
This will depend on the brand and the conditions of your teeth. The reality is that teeth aligners are really not for everyone.
Some invisible braces companies can only handle mild dental cases so they may reject you as a candidate if your teeth need more work. Other aligner companies can work with those who have dental implants while others will not. The age requirement will also vary from one brand to the next.
Generally, you do need to have good oral health to qualify for clear aligners – no cavities, gum conditions, or other dental issues. These issues need to be addressed first before you start using invisible braces.
Complex cases of misalignment and bite issues may not qualify you for invisible braces too. In cases like this, an orthodontist will probably recommend you to go for traditional braces since they are stronger and more effective.
To make sure that you qualify, go to your dentist or orthodontist and they can assess your dental condition. Sometimes, you may not see anything wrong but there are some oral conditions that can not be detected by the naked eye.
Invisible braces vs. traditional braces
Traditional braces are placed directly on your teeth with wires and adhesive. They are permanently fixed there for the whole treatment period and you have to see your orthodontist every now and then to get them adjusted.
Invisible braces are removable so you can take them off when you are drinking or eating. This means that you will not have to deal with major dietary restrictions with invisible braces. However, it helps to still be cautious of what you eat.
Invisible braces require more responsibility compared to traditional braces. Since they are removable, there is the chance of you losing them if you are not careful. Also, you have to make sure they are clean and stored safely every time you take them off.
You also need to be disciplined with invisible braces because you have to meet a number of required hours to wear them. This is in order to get the desired results in the desired amount of time. The more you comply with this, the faster the progress will be. Traditional metal braces are permanently fixed so you basically do not have to do anything.
With invisible braces, you have more flexibility in monitoring. You can do it remotely at home or in-office where you get to work with orthodontists or dentists that you really like. Just make sure that when you choose the at-home route, you give their customer service a try. Since monitoring is done remotely, you need to ensure that their customer service is very responsive.
When it comes to looks, the best invisible braces are definitely more pleasing to the eyes compared to traditional metal braces. A lot of people who have tried metal braces admit to feeling conscious about all the metal brackets and wires on their teeth. This is why a majority of people prefer them.
However, not everyone can use them. If you have serious orthodontic needs, you will not be qualified for invisible braces and you will have no choice but to use traditional braces. When this happens, you can simply go with clear ceramic braces as a compromise. They are not as invisible as invisible braces but they are not as visible as traditional metal braces.
Dentist vs. orthodontist
Some brands work with licensed dentists and orthodontists while others work exclusively with orthodontists. You may be wondering why this matters.
Straightening your teeth is not just a cosmetic procedure – it is also a medical one. If done improperly, you could have dire consequences such as tooth loss or impaired bite. So, you do not only have to determine which is the best invisible braces for you but also which is the best professional for your needs.
An orthodontist is a dentist who specializes in complex cases and treatments. Orthodontists know best when it comes to methods and treatments that will straighten your teeth. They have been trained for an additional 2 to 3 years – in short, orthodontists have a total of 6 to 7 years of training while dentists only stop at 4.
But do not get me wrong – dentists are good at their jobs too. So, this does not mean that clear aligner companies working with dentists are bad. Most of these brands are the type of invisible braces that can only handle mild cases so dentists can still handle them.
In the end, it depends on your dental needs. If you only need some slight changes, you can work with a dentist. If you have a complex case, you are better off with orthodontists.
Best invisible braces: home vs. office treatment
Your choice will greatly depend on your preference.
Home monitoring means you will be monitored online so you have to check in from time to time so that the dentist or orthodontist assigned to your case can monitor your progress.
All the at-home invisible aligner trays that you will be needing from start to finish will be sent to you in one package. You have to store them properly and take care of them. Your dentist or orthodontist will inform you when you should move on to the next aligner tray in the set.
Since everything is done online, this lessens the cost of the treatment. You do not have to pay for office visits. Doing the treatment remotely is also very convenient for those who have no time to drop by the dental office. The home invisible braces products are also a hit especially in times like this when there is a pandemic and everybody is stuck at home.
In-office treatments, however, you can be assured of a more personal treatment. You are assured that you are dealing with a professional who really knows your case. If revisions need to be made in your treatment plan, this can be done immediately.
Another good thing about office treatments is that you do not have to deal with customer service representatives who only acts as a middle man because they do not understand your dental case. If you have questions or concerns because your dentist or orthodontist can answer them for you right away.
Your aligners will be sent and kept in the dental office too so you do not have to worry about storing them correctly or losing them.
Best invisible braces: day vs. night
Daytime invisible braces have to be worn longer (at least 20 hours, depending on the product). If you want a faster treatment time, it is best to use daytime invisible braces.
Night-time invisible braces are worn after dinner time or when you sleep (at least 8 hours, depending on the product). Night-time invisible braces may be the best choice if you are not ready for the responsibility of having to take them off or making sure you do not lose them during the day. But since you are wearing the aligner trays less, the treatment time will be longer.
In the end, this is just a matter of preference. No matter what direction you take, you should always make sure that you wear your invisible braces for the recommended duration every day. Going less than what is recommended can delay your desired results.
Do invisible braces hurt?
You will feel some soreness and sensitivity during the first few days of wearing them. The discomfort will gradually go away as you adjust to the feeling of having them on. Just think about it as doing a workout at the gym – you will feel soreness after but that is perfectly normal.
In fact, what makes invisible braces more appealing than traditional braces is the fact that there is little to no pain involved in the whole treatment.
Each set of invisible braces will be tighter than the next one so you may have to go through the discomfort and adjustment stage all over again every time you progress to the next set of invisible braces.
Will my speech be affected when wearing invisible braces?
You will go through a lisp as you adjust to the sensation of wearing it for the first few days but this will go away in a couple of days. It is best to schedule the first day of your treatment wisely – pick a week with no speaking engagements or important meetings or a week where you will mostly be at home.
Do the best invisible braces require retainers?
Retainers are required for any orthodontic treatment – and that includes teeth straightening. This is the case even if you were using the best invisible braces – no exceptions. This is the only way you can get a lifetime guarantee for your straighter teeth.
If you do not use retainers, there is a chance that your teeth will move back to their original position. To prevent this from happening, you will have to wear your retainers for 24 hours 2 to 3 weeks after the treatment.
You can only take your retainers off when you are drinking or eating. After that, you will be wearing nighttime retainers for the rest of your life while you sleep at home.
For hygienic purposes, it is recommended that you replace your retainers every six months. Retainers should be customized so it helps that you get them from the same braces company that worked on your teeth straightening.
In this age where people are taking more photos for their social media accounts, it is only natural to be more aware and conscious of your smile. With the best invisible braces, you can be more confident while correcting your teeth alignment.
The companies producing invisible braces work with a research team that dedicated themselves to make the whole process of teeth straightening more affordable and accessible. Thanks to technological advancements, the research team has come up with great products to make the whole process easier for you.
Now that we gave you the best invisible braces in the market today, you will have all the information you need to make a wise decision.
Invisible braces are totally worth it as long as you are diligent and determined when it comes to sticking with the requirements such as the number of hours you have to wear them and all the cleaning and soaking that has to be done every time you take them off.
It takes additional responsibility compared to metal braces but in the end, it is the best option for you if you want to straighten your teeth in a discrete manner. So, if you want to get a better smile and straighter teeth without the commitment, the embarrassing metalwork, the long treatment time, or the expensive cost, invisible braces such as the ones reviewed above are a great solution for your needs.