How are Candid aligners better than competitors’? An honest review.

Candid Co is the only major home teeth straightening brand working with orthodontists exclusively. And each of them have about 20 years of experience. Be treated as a patient, not a customer.

Candid Co
  • Work with orthodontists only
  • Remote monitoring by assigned professional
  • Costs thousands less than in-office solutions
  • Results in 6 months on average
  • Get a free 3D scan at Candid Studio

In this review, we have laid bare the steps involved in getting a straight smile with Candid Co. Additionally, we have summed up all the costs and compiled real users’ reviews. Let’s get started.

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Check if you are a candidate

The initial assessment happens online, right on their website. You answer a few questions about the type of misalignment you have and how soon you want to start the treatment.

Here is what a general overview:


  • Mild to moderate malocclusionh
  • Over 16 years of age
  • No baby teeth
  • Overall good dental health

Not so good

  • Severe misalignment or spacingh
  • Tooth decay or gum disease
  • Bite correction needed
  • A permanent retainer
  • Baby teeth
  • Patient hasn’t been to the dentist recentlyy
  • Dental work is scheduled

Candid can be a lot more picky than their competitors when it comes to approving candidates. They don’t take on complicated cases. And they do their due research as regards the situation in your mouth.

Dr. Peter March
It is important to address the dental work recommended before orthodontic treatment begins. This helps prevent future, sometimes more serious, issues.

This is why patients are required to visit the dentist prior to starting treatment with Candid. Such an appointment may include X-rays and procedures targeting cavities and periodontitis, or recommendations as regards wisdom teeth removal. Other teeth might also have to be removed.

Visit a Candid Studio or order a starter kit

There are two ways to choose from if your assessment goes smoothly. You can either take impressions of your teeth at home or visit a Candid Studio for a scan (we recommend the latter). Whichever you pick, there is no commitment. You can change your mind at any point.

Both of these steps involve reviewing your medical and dental history and creating diagnostic records.

Candid Studio

A visit to a Candid Studio lasts about 30 minutes. It’s free and there is no risk of doing something wrong. A trained technician, an expert in Candid technology, will perform all the necessary steps.

He or she will use an intraoral scanner to take a series of photos to create a model of your dentition. You will not be able to see what your smile will look like immediately, though.

Dr. Eric Moryoussef
Scans are more accurate than at-home impressions, and are also easier for the patient. That is why this method is recommended.

Your case will be assigned to a designated orthodontist at this time. They will create a treatment plan complete with a smile model.

Candid advise signing the consent form at home or in the waiting room. It is emailed to you when you book your appointment. While there is no charge for missing your consultation it’s just bad manners, so remember to show up. Walk-ins are also welcome, but reserving your spot means even less waiting.

If you are under 18, remember that a guardian or parent has to come with you.

Starter kit

This is an alternative to a Studio visit. You can order the starter kit online after you fill out the assessment. You will also be asked to sign a consent form.

While you are waiting for your package to arrive, you can schedule a video call with a Candid customer service representative. They will explain the process of taking your impressions and photos. There is even a possibility of setting up such a call while you are doing the job!

Many reviewers report that they had to redo their impressions. In such a case, you get another starter pack free of charge. The same happens if the trays don’t fit your mouth properly.

Moreover, you will be reimbursed if you purchase a kit and later decide to do a scan instead or if you are rejected for treatment. Normally, a starter kit costs $95, but there are often discounts and promo codes available. Right now, using the code ATHOME you can save 50%.

The Candid Co starter kit contains:

  • instructions for your photos and impressions,
  • gloves,
  • a cheek stretcher,
  • putty and trays (3 top, 2 bottom),
  • a poker tool, and
  • a prepaid return box.

You should set about 40 minutes aside to take your impressions correctly. Make sure you watch Candid’s instructional video and consider setting up a call with a representative.

Candid Co thoroughly check all the information they need to design a safe and efficient process. That’s why this step takes a bit longer than in the case of other home teeth straightening brands.

Approve the treatment plan

Your diagnostic records make their way to an assigned orthodontist. They review them and design a treatment plan.

Choosing to go with a Candid Studio is the quickest way of getting started. You can expect your treatment plan to be ready just five days after your appointment. If you decide to do the impressions instead, it should be ready three to four weeks after they are approved.

An average treatment at Candid lasts about 6 months. The focus lies on safety and your bone biology, not on making the whole thing as quick as possible. That’s why the longest journeys take about 11 months.

Even if your issue concerns one arch only (top or bottom) Candid work exclusively with both. This is the only way to make sure your bite doesn’t get misaligned during the process.

You receive your plan online. Here what you can learn from it:

  • the name of your orthodontist (he or she will be licensed to practice in your state),
  • how long you wear each set,
  • the number of aligners you receive,
  • the duration of the whole treatment,
  • a 3D step-by-step model of your journey, and
  • a link to choose a payment option.

After you approve your plan, you will be able to purchase your aligners. You can set up a video call with a Candid representative at this time to discuss the course of the treatment.

Get the Candid straightening kit

Your custom-made aligners are sent to you within three weeks of approving your plan. As soon as they arrive you can start working on your smile.

The Candid Co straightening kit includes:

  • your custom aligners,
  • an aligner case,
  • whitening foam,
  • a cheek stretcher,
  • the pul tool (to remove aligners),
  • an app-enabled scanner, and
  • chewies.

Each set of aligners comes in a separate packet, labeled as “First step”, “Step two”, and so on. This way it is easy for you to keep track. The aligners are BPA- and phthalate-free, stain-resistant, with no attachments or buttons.

Wear the aligners

It’s finally time to start the treatment! Make sure you follow Candid’s instructions closely, for an efficient and safe smile journey.

What’s it like to wear the trays?

Getting used to wearing aligners for 22 hours a day can be a challenge. You won’t be alone, though! Your Candid app guides you through the process and you receive reminders via text and email when it’s time to switch the set.

In order to make the adjustment period for each new pair of trays easier you should start at night. That way most of the discomfort takes place while you are (hopefully) asleep.

It’s super convenient that you can eat with aligners in. Just remember to rinse them out and brush your teeth after. Cleaning your aligners is easy, too. Use cool water (never hot) and wipe away food debris with a soft-bristled brush. Do not soak your aligners in mouthwash or denture cleaner.

Remote monitoring

Midway through February 2020 Candid has introduced a new feature – remote monitoring. It’s basically a 10-day check-in with your assigned orthodontist.

Using a device included in your Candid straightening kit and your smartphone you can now make a scan of your mouth. This allows the doctor to have a comprehensive assessment of your treatment. Based on how that goes you will receive instructions whether you should move on to your next aligner set.

Currently, Candid is the only home teeth straightening kit that offers this type of tracking. This provides a better quality and more safety. The new feature, however, has boosted the price by $500 as compared to what it was previously.

For new users, remote monitoring is obligatory. Those who started treatment before the change can buy the device and service for $350.

Dispelling your concerns

The feeling of soreness during the first few days of each set is to be expected. You might even have some inflammation around your gums. The solution is using your chewies. Place them where you feel the most discomfort and bite down. You can also file down the edges with an emery board to stop them from pressing into your gums.

Some reviews mention a lisp. That, unfortunately, is something that can’t be helped. It does, however, get less noticeable over time, and more often than not, the patient is the only one who can hear it.

One way or another, anytime you run into trouble, especially between your 10-day check-ins, you can contact Candid support 7 days a week. Users’ reviews suggest that in case of emergency it is better to call rather than email. This should ensure an immediate response.

Take care of your new smile

The final stage of your Candid journey is wearing your retainers. You have to do this for as long as you want your new smile to last.

Near the end of your treatment, Candid send you a package. Here is what you can expect in the box:

  • top and bottom retainers,
  • retainer case,
  • chewies,
  • whitening foam, and
  • a remover tool.

If your retainer shipment does not arrive on time, use the last set of aligners up until you receive the package.

The first two weeks after you finish your treatment will not make a huge difference. You wear the retainers on 22 hours a day, just like the trays. However, you might have a harsher lisp, as they are made of thicker material. The good news is that after that period, you only wear them at night.

It is recommended that you switch the retainers out every 6 months. The first set is free and each additional costs $99 (for top and bottom). If you lose your retainer, you should replace it as soon as possible.

The price of Candid aligners

Unlike the cost of braces, straightening teeth at home usually comes at a fixed price. Candid treatment is no exception, no matter what exact issue is at hand. Have a look at the table below for a quick sum-up of the fees involved:

What you’re paying forAmount
Starter kit$95
One-time payment plan$2,400
Installment plan$99 per month for two years and $399 deposit
App-enabled scanner$350 if you’ve started treatment before February 2020

You can skip the cost of the starter kit by having a free scan at a Candid Studio instead. But you do have to consider the cost of retainers in your budget twice a year.

If you choose to buy your aligners after your free scan, the purchase is fully refundable until you approve the treatment plan.

A satisfaction guarantee is offered as well. This means that if your smile doesn’t look like your 3D preview, Candid will work with you until it does. A new treatment plan and aligners are provided free of charge.

You may also be eligible for insurance coverage. Make sure to reach out to your provider to ask whether you have orthodontic benefits. If so, you can send your information to Candid and they submit a claim on your behalf. HSA and FSA are honored as well.

Moreover, Candid Co do a lot of contests and promotions, so it’s a good idea to stay up-to-date with the goings-on.

Candid Co reviews

Shiro Wanjir, February 22, 2020
I’m not yet done with my treatment but so far, I’m loving the results!

I took impressions at home myself. The pictures were a little challenging, but I finally got them right after guidance from the candid team.

After I received my treatment plan, I checked online to see who my orthodontist was going to be. I even googled him to have a little background on his work and I felt confident going on forward with him on my suggested plan.

If I remember well, I probably got aligners the same week I sent my impressions.

Pain during the straightening process is usually subjective (coming from a nursing point of view). I would term it more as an annoying discomfort but I have had to pop a couple of Tylenol here and there. The bite will feel different when the shifting is happening, but overall I’m happy with the progress.

The communication with the Candid team is on top. They respond to emails (my preferred method of communication), promptly and courteously.

I would 100% recommend Candid to friends and family and also suggest that depending on what’s being fixed, to have realistic expectations.

I was a little skeptical at first because I was going in head-on just off of reviews and gut feeling, got more skeptical after paying for the treatment and starting (I thought my teeth would fall off). But now I’m glad I took the plunge. I smile more!

Megan M., February 4, 2020
I am extremely happy with my results and am so glad I went with Candid.

I started by getting the starter kit, which was on sale at the time. It came with really good instructions. It wasn’t the easiest job in the world, though. There was lots of slobbering! But I did it. They give you three for the top and two for the bottom. So you have lots of chances to get the best impression.

The pain wasn’t bad at all. The first week was the worst, trying to get your tongue used to having something in there and getting cut. Maybe a 5/10 on a scale.

The rest of the time there was a tad bit of pain when switching into a new set. Maybe a 3/10 for that first day then back to a 1/10 for the remainder of the two weeks.

It was way less painful than I expected. The only problem was that a couple sets had some sharp edges that I filed down. It took about 5 minutes and it wasn’t that big of a deal to me.

Customer service was AWESOME!!! Included in your aligner kit is whitening foam which is completely complimentary. If you run low you can email them and they send you more for free.

I didn’t use the pull tool from the kit. It’s a little hook thing to help loosen the aligners the first couple days of a new set to take them out easier. I simply didn’t need it. My finger did the trick.

The biggest downside was teeth brushing, A MILLION times a day. But that’s the deal with any clear aligners. You start to get into a routine and don’t even notice after a while.

Roody Brevi, February 5, 2020
Everything came out as expected. All my gaps are closed as I envisioned and I had no issues with the process.

I did the impressions instead of a scan. On a scale of 1 to 10 for the pain, I would rate it a 7 every time I had to change trays. The pain only lasted a few days each time.

The kit had everything I needed. The only thing I didn’t use was the pull tool.

For more reviews of Candid check out their social media profiles: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.

Candid Co vs. SmileDirectClub

Candid Co and SmileDirectClub are the two most recognizable home teeth straightening kits on the market. Both brands treat patients with mild misalignment and both turn away those with more complicated issues. Online and app support is provided by both. So what is the difference between them?

Firstly, Candid work with orthodontists only, while SDC’s treatment is sometimes overseen by general dentists. Secondly, it can be harder to get approved by Candid and the process may take longer.

Dr. Matthew Stewart
It is a good thing when the selective process is more strict. Many people are not good candidates for clear aligners. It’s better to know before you spend the money and potentially harm your teeth.

SDC, on the other hand, is more flexible. Their invisible aligners can on occasion work with dental implants, missing teeth, and permanent retainers (SmileDirectClub can make a model before you have it removed).

As regards pricing, SDC is $505 cheaper (when comparing the one-time payment options). If you want to go for the installment plan, Candid comes out to $2,870 and SmileDirectClub costs $2,339 (including impression kits).

While both home teeth straightening companies offer a free scan prior to treatment, Candid’s starter box is almost twice as expensive as SmileDirectClub’s impression kit. Both companies offer retainers at the same price.

Candid Co

  • More expensive
  • Treat mild misalignment
  • Approval process may take longert
  • 10-day check-ins with assigned orthodontist
  • Customer service 7 days a wee


  • Dentists and orthodontists
  • Cheaper
  • Treat mild misalignment
  • Easier to get approved
  • Missing teeth, dental implants, permanent retainers are not deal breakers
  • App support
  • 90-day checkup with assigned dentist or orthodontist

Similarly to Invisalign, who also work with orthodontists and general dentists, SmileDirectClub will be introduced in-office. There are also competing alternatives such as byte.

Whichever company you choose to straighten your teeth, you can rest assured that you are in good, licensed hands.


Can you eat with Candid aligners in?

Yes. With Candid, you don’t have to take your aligners out while you eat. Just remember to rinse them with cold water after you are done.

Is Candid better than SmileDirect?

It may depend on each case, but Candid does have some advantages over SDC.

Firstly, Candid works with orthodontists only. Those are experts who specialize in teeth movement. They also offer remote monitoring, which means you have steady access to your designated doctor. This makes it easier to contact if you feel like something is off.

On the other hand, SmileDirectClub is cheaper and may approve more complicated cases. Candid is very picky when it comes to its patients.

Do Candid aligners take insurance?

If your insurance plan covers orthodontia, you may be eligible for coverage. Contact your provider. Candid can even submit a claim for you.

Note that reviews rarely state receiving reimbursement. And even if you qualify, it probably won’t be for the entire sum.

Is Candid cheaper than braces?

Yes. The Candid treatment is a lot cheaper than braces. While the prices for their home teeth straightening kit start at $2,400, the average cost of braces across the US is $5,350.

Candid Co
  • Work with orthodontists only
  • Remote monitoring by assigned professional
  • Costs thousands less than in-office solutions
  • Results in 6 months on average
  • Get a free 3D scan at Candid Studio

Disclosure: Authority Dental accepts commission form third-party companies. This doesn’t affect the editor’s objectivity, you can rest assured that any opinions are their own. Our affiliate advertisers do not evaluate, review, or approve any of our content.

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