Candid Teeth Aligners 2021 Review

By Kristen Fischer and Courtney Schmidt, PharmD
Updated August 25, 2021
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Key takeaways:

  • Candid offers at-home teeth straightening using clear aligners in a process managed by orthodontists. Some other providers use dentists to provide care as well.
  • Candid costs, on average, 50% less than Invisalign and significantly less than traditional braces through an orthodontist's office.
  • Users can take impressions at home or visit a Candid studio location for an in-person scan. The rest of the treatment is done remotely.
  • Users attach a scanning device to a smartphone and submit scans of their teeth every 10 to 14 days, allowing your orthodontist to monitor your progress remotely.

If you find yourself covering your mouth when you laugh or avoiding smiling in photos, it could be a sign that you're uneasy about your smile. This insecurity can continue to come up over and over again in various areas of your life—everything from your work-from-home video calls to a first date—and you might be wondering whether investing in a better smile might be a smart choice.

Just a few years ago, the only way to improve your smile was to head into the orthodontist's office for braces. Now, there are several choices for treatment with invisible aligners, which are much less awkward and unsightly than traditional metal braces. Many of these options allow you to receive remote treatment with invisible aligners, making it easy, convenient, and affordable to straighten your teeth.

Candid offers a remote teeth straightening service for $2,400, which is significantly less than the $5,000 to $7,000 you might expect to pay for braces. But, is Candid your best bet for a better smile?

Health editors, along with expert guidance from dentists and orthodontists, evaluated the Candid treatment system by conducting in-depth research, undergoing treatment with the brand, mystery shopping, and sifting through hundreds of customer reviews to find out everything you'll want to know about Candid invisible aligners.

The pros and cons of Candid aligners

Candid, an orthodontics company founded in 2017, offers customers a new way to get teeth straightening from an orthodontist in about six months with customized remote monitoring technology. Candid is similar to SmileDirectClub and Byte, which also offer at-home teeth aligners. However, there are a few ways Candid stands out from other brands.

Pros

  • The company provides treatment by orthodontists who specialize in teeth alignment. With other teeth aligner companies, you may see a dentist or orthodontist. 
  • Treatment with Candid costs about 50% less than Invisalign and significantly less than traditional braces, making it an option for many who couldn't otherwise afford teeth straightening. 
  • Candid comes with a ScanBox, a device which connects to your smartphone to capture and send detailed images to the remote orthodontist. 
  • An orthodontist reviews scans of your teeth every 10 to 14 days, providing more frequent follow-up than other at-home aligner companies or in-person orthodontic treatment.
  • Customer service is available 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST seven days a week.
  • Orthodontists are available to answer questions or concerns via live chat. 
  • Treatment lasts, on average, six months—much less than the 12 to 18 months or more you'd expect from Invisalign or traditional braces. 
  • Candid guarantees that at the end of your treatment, if you are not satisfied with your outcome, the company will extend your treatment time as necessary. Read on for some restrictions to this policy. 
  • Free whitening treatment included.

Cons

  • Doing impressions yourself doesn't guarantee they are done correctly. Having impressions done in the orthodontist's office means the doctor could just do them again. 
  • The Candid studio locations are in major metropolitan areas, so if you're not close, it may not be convenient to get to one to have your impression scan done. In that case, they do offer the at-home kit with detailed instruction on how to complete it. 
  • Retainers are recommended, but are not included in the cost of treatment.

How Candid Works

Traditionally, you'd consult a dentist or orthodontist in person if you needed metal braces or clear aligners such as Invisalign. Patients would then be required to visit the provider's office regularly to get braces tightened—or in the case of aligners, to get new trays. You may need to continue this treatment for 18 months or more, depending on your treatment plan.

What you can expect during treatment with Candid:

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Candid Starter Kit

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1. Visit a Candid studio location or complete a starter kit at home.

You have the option of visiting a Candid studio location to get a free scan of your teeth or you can complete impressions from home with a starter kit. When you purchase a Candid impression kit or undergo a scan, you do not have to have aligners made. The company will refund the fee if you are not a candidate for Candid aligners or you choose not to proceed with the treatment.

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Candid Aligners

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2. Review your orthodontist-designed treatment plan.

After the orthodontist creates your treatment plan and shares it with you, the company manufactures your Candid aligners. You receive the aligners and your ScanBox, a device that connects to your smartphone and sends images to your orthodontist to view progress. All of the aligners come together in one box, so you have all the aligners you need for the entire course of care.

3. Wear your aligners as directed.

You will need to wear your aligners 22 hours a day and change aligners every week or two, depending on your treatment plan.

4. Share scans of your teeth every 10 to 14 days.

Use the ScanBox device with your smartphone to take scans of your teeth every 10 to 14 days and send them to your orthodontist via the Candid app. Your orthodontist will monitor your progress remotely and make changes to your treatment plan if needed.

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Candid Retainers

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5. Purchase retainers after treatment is completed.

Candid does recommend purchasing retainers to keep your smile in alignment after treatment. Their $99 kit includes whitening foam, so you can whiten teeth while your aligners are on.

How to create impressions with an at-home starter kit

You'll find detailed, easy-to-follow directions included in the kit and on Candid's website. Customer service representatives are also available to help you complete the kit or answer any questions.

You'll fill a tray with putty-like material and bite down onto it. The material quickly molds around your teeth. You'll remove the tray, let it dry, and send it back to the company where your dental provider uses the impression to create a digital model of your mouth.

How long is Candid treatment?

The average user completes Candid teeth straightening in six months. Your treatment time depends on your individual case, and your Candid orthodontist can give you a projected timeline before you begin treatment.

How much does Candid cost?

Candid costs $2,400 for the entire program, regardless of your treatment regimen. You can also make monthly payments as low as $79 a month for 36 months after you place a $299 down payment. You may also be eligible for a payment plan with $0 down and 0% APR. To compare, SmileDirectClub costs $1,950 and Byte costs $1,895. It is substantially lower than Invisalign, which tends to cost anywhere from $3,000 to $8,000.

Provider

Cost

$2,400

$1,895

$1,950

$1,145

$3,000 - $8,000

Traditional Metal Braces

$3,000 - $10,000

Is Candid covered by insurance?

Candid treatment is currently in network across the United States with Aetna and Anthem, which includes Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Empire BlueCross, and Empire BlueCross BlueShield. If you have in-network coverage, the company will deduct the reimbursement from your treatment fee before you begin. That means treatment may be about $1,100.

Depending on your insurance policy—if not in network—you may be reimbursed up to $1,300 by your provider. Candid will file a claim to your insurance provider on your behalf.

The company can also accept payments from your health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA). You also can pay by credit card.

How Candid differs from other invisible aligner companies

Candid is the only invisible braces company Health editors found that provides orthodontic treatment exclusively by orthodontists. Why does this matter? Because orthodontists are the experts at moving teeth. And every orthodontist will tell you—straightening teeth is much more complex than just moving things around. If your provider isn't an expert, they could do more harm than good. 

Candid also offers a treatment guarantee that provides a lot of reassurance to buyers. Keep in mind, you have to commit to your treatment by wearing the aligners 22 hours a day and sending scans of your teeth every 10 to 14 days. But, if you've done those things and still aren't satisfied with your outcome, Candid will continue your treatment. You must notify the company of your concerns, however, within 30 days of completing treatment.

What Candid customers are saying

You'll find both positive and negative Candid aligner reviews, but overall customers seem to be very satisfied. Here are a few Candid reviews.

Kristen Fisher is a copywriter, journalist, and author from the Jersey shore. She has contributed to Prevention, Healthline, HealthDay, FitPregnancy, Parents, Woman's Day, SheKnows, and Writer's Digest.

Dr. Courtney Schmidt is a clinical consultant pharmacist and geriatric care expert. Since completing her Pharm.D. at the University of Florida, Dr. Schmidt has worked in multiple clinical settings and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Central Florida.