Who doesn’t love a straight, white smile? If you didn’t win the genetic lottery though, it can be hard to come by. And expensive, too.
Well, teeth straightening kits have come to the rescue. You can now go through the whole treatment in the comfort of your own home, without regular visits to the dentist. And the fees are a lot more digestible.Creative Commons
The best teeth straightening kits
Straightening teeth at home has a lot of advantages over traditional orthodontic treatment. That doesn’t mean it’s a simple choice, however. There are a lot of options and it’s all down to what your needs or preferences are. Each brand is the best in what they consider most important.
Here are the five best kits available on the market today:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these kits to help find the best for you.
#1: Candid Co
The makers of the Candid Co kit pride themselves in working with orthodontists only. While other kits stress how quickly they can work, Candid Co claims to work first and foremost with bone biology in mind. That way the treatment is conducted safely and surely. Whitening foam is included as well.
You can have a video call to aid you with your impressions. Since February 2020 there is remote monitoring, which provides the most accurate way to track your progress complete with a scanner device and an app.
The all-inclusive price for the Candid treatment is $2,400. You can pay it off over 24 months at $99 with a $399 deposit. The assessment can be free if you choose to have a scan at a Candid Studio, otherwise the impression kit costs $95. The price for retainers is $99.
- 60% cheaper than traditional braces
- Over 1,000,000 happy users
- Free scan at a SmileShop or an impression kit
- Treatment designed by specialists
- Two options: full and nighttime
SmileDirectClub is a teeth straightening kit that has probably been around the longest. In terms of support, SDC offer specialist care through an app. You also have an assigned dentist or orthodontist that designs your treatment plan and checks with you every 90 days. Whitening products are included with your aligner box.
The one-time price for the SmileDirectClub treatment is $1,895. If you want to span it out, you can do so over 24 months at $85 with a $250 deposit. The cost of assessment is $49 for an impression kit, but you can have a free scan at a SmileShop instead. The retainers cost $99 at the end of the process.
SDC give you an option of whether you would like to visit a SmileShop for an initial scan or take advantage of the remote impression kit. After the assessment you will be assigned a dental professional that will check with you every 90 days.
With byte the excitement comes down to their exclusive technology: the HyperByte. It’s a device that produces high-frequency waves cutting the treatment time in half and reducing discomfort. It comes complimentary with the kit. Orthodontists sell similar devices for up to $900.
Just like Smilelove, byte doesn’t require you to leave your house. You can send in your impressions and skip the waiting rooms and awkward pleasantries at the front office. In return, you will receive a 3D interactive model and your set of aligners.
Whitening products are included with your aligner shipment and there is customer service if you run into trouble.
Byte costs $1,895 when you pay all at once. There is an $83 dollar fee for twenty-five months if you want to stretch it out. There is no down payment. The impression kit costs $95 and the first set of retainers comes complimentary.
If you love to smile but lack the confidence this kit is for you! Smilelove offers the entire treatment on the basis of mail postage and the Internet. You never have to leave your home. This doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t do a thorough check.
At first, you will have to fill out a questionnaire online and send in pictures of your mouth. If you get approved you will be able to order an impression kit. During the process you will have video call support, chat, or text in real-time. Whitening products are sent at the end of treatment to give the new smile a boost!
When paying for Smilelove all at once it costs $1,895. The installment plan comes with a $250 deposit and monthly payment of $79 for two years. The price for the impression kit is $79 and the first set of retainers is free.
The teeth straightening process is fully remote with AlignerCo. There are absolutely no office visits, which allows the treatment to not only be incredibly convenient, but also highly affordable. AlignerCo is the cheapest way to straighten your teeth at home.
After sending in your impressions, an orthodontist will come up with a smile projection, so that you can see results before you even start. Then it’s time to start working on your smile!
The trays are very comfortable, since they are contoured and won’t irritate your gums. They’re also easy to remove when it’s time to eat, drink, or clean them.
You can pay all at once, which will cost $1,145, or split the sum up into installments. If you decide to do the latter, you will end up paying $110 a month for a year. You can also opt to buy your impression kit separately, so you don’t have to make any decisions at a moment’s notice
SnapCorrect’s biggest selling point? They are the clearest aligners out there. It is practically impossible to see anything at all, making the whole operation completely covert! No one will catch you on the way to the dentist’s office either, as the whole thing happens online.
You can expect to have your impression kit four weeks after ordering. Treatments last from three to eighteen months, depending on the severity of your condition. You can email or chat customer support in case of any issues. Whitening products are included in the aligner box.
The SnapCorrect treatment costs $1,749. There are installment options over 6, 12, or 24 months. The impression kit is $95 and the retainers are free.
How do home teeth straightening kits work?
Generally, home teeth straightening works by taking little steps consistently. Here is a general guide of what you can expect during the process:
The teeth are examined to figure out what changes should be made. Sometimes this is done by way of a 2D or 3D image, other times by a scan. Most home straightening kits send putty for you to make an impression of your teeth and bite to send back to them.
A dental professional has a close look at your images, scans, or impressions. He or she comes up with a treatment plan and a mockup of what the end result should look like. More often than not, if it turns out that you are not a good candidate, you will be reimbursed.
You receive a set of aligners, each in a slightly different shape. You have to wear them for about 22 hours per day (10 if you opt for the nighttime ones). They put pressure on your teeth to force them into alignment. Whitening solutions can be placed inside.
After you are done with your treatment you receive retainers. Wearing them will help ensure teeth don’t shift back to their original places.
Can anyone straighten teeth at home?
Teeth straightening kits, though great and convenient, are, unfortunately, not for everyone. They can correct crooked or gapped teeth, but some conditions might be too severe to fix without regular visits to the orthodontist.
Home teeth straightening was designed to enhance your smile, not cause dramatic changes. What’s more, your mouth must be generally healthy. You should not have any cavities, gum disease, or poor oral hygiene. If you have had your wisdom teeth removed recently you might have to wait for up to six weeks.
- fixing mild spacing or crowding issues
- those with generally healthy dentition
- those who have all their permanent teeth
- those who are consistent
Not suitable for
- those with implants, bridges, veneers, or crowns
- those with gum disease or active tooth decay
- those who have trouble with wisdom teeth
- children or those with baby teeth
- those who need a tooth pulled down towards the arch
Some of these issues, such as gum disease, can be fixed. Just make sure to reapply after targeting the problem.
Is straightening teeth at home safe?
Generally, there isn’t a risk, per se, in ordering an impression kit. If you are not a suitable candidate you will probably be turned away.
You may be asked about your general health or to provide a recent X-ray. This is to make sure the treatment is safe and appropriate. It can help prevent permanent damage to your teeth.
Dr. Matthew Stewart
You should visit your dentist prior to ordering an impression kit. Without doing a proper clinical exam with a dentist or orthodontist with X-rays, it is not possible to know if you are a good candidate.
All in all, teeth straightening kits are safe, if you:
- are getting one from a legitimate provider,
- follow the instructions closely,
- go in for a consultation with a dental professional beforehand,
- visit the dentist regularly anyway, making sure your oral health is up to par.
On the other hand, it might be risky, if you:
- don’t follow instructions,
- do the impression incorrectly (orthodontists spend years learning this),
- wear aligners inconsistently,
- break or lose aligners without replacing them,
- have a big issue that requires X-rays, orthodontic equipment, and a specialist to review the process consistently.
The thing with straightening your teeth at home is that there are no adjustments along the way. The mouth is an organ system and it is difficult to predict 100% what is going to happen, especially remotely.
Dr. Jack Lawrence
It is important to know that if teeth are moved too quickly there is a rare risk of losing the bone that holds it.
Some providers offer specialist support in case of trouble, but you yourself might not realize something is wrong. Your best bet is to consult with your dentist before and during the treatment.
Pros and cons of at-home teeth straightening
As with anything, there are pros and cons to aligning your teeth from home. Their main allurement is that they are clear and invisible. What’s more, they don’t hurt your lips or cheeks, like regular braces do. But what sets them apart from Invisalign?
First of all, they are a lot cheaper because you don’t pay for sit-greet-and-meet time. The kits are more convenient, as you can start the treatment according to your own schedule. And lastly, just like Invisalign, they are removable.
On the downside, though, the treatment cannot be altered according to changes happening in your mouth and you don’t have as much support from a specialist. It is also unsuitable for major orthodontic issues.
- Lower price
- More convenient
- You can whiten teeth at the same time
- Less specialist support
- Won’t fix large issues
It all comes down to the situation in your mouth. It is always a good idea to consult with a professional before doing any work yourself, whether it be straightening, whitening, or anything else.
We all want beautiful Hollywood smiles. Some of us were fortunate enough to be born under a lucky star. Those people don’t have to worry about paying to fix imperfections. Others have to take things into their own hands.
Home teeth straightening is gaining in popularity because it’s a cheaper, more convenient way than having this procedure done at the orthodontist’s. What is your opinion? Are you thinking of trying out one of these kits?