Article updated on March 26, 2024 at 9:00 AM PDT

Invisible Braces 2024: These Companies Offer Them at Home, So You Can Skip a Dentist Visit

Don't want a mouthful of clunky metal? These invisible braces promise straight teeth in a matter of months.

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Aligning your teeth is typically associated with metal braces, but the science has moved past that in recent years. It's 2024, and you no longer need to have a mouthful of clunky metal to align your teeth properly. You can now get invisible braces that will leave you with a straighter smile, minus the brace residue. No one will be able to tell you're wearing braces unless you tell them.

A clear aligner is more appealing to many people, especially when compared to the clunky traditional metal braces and ceramic brackets. In addition to the cosmetic aspect, there's the convenience of easily taking them off if you want to eat something sticky. If you're self-conscious about your smile and don't want the taste (or feel) of metal in your mouth all the time, invisible braces are for you.

We've added information on whether you need to see an orthodontist, cosmetic dentist or other dental professional to discuss the best path for your teeth-straightening needs. It's best to get a professional consultation before you go down this path. We've complied this list of different brands that offer invisible at-home braces, and how how they may work for your teeth.

Editors' note, Dec. 14, 2023: SmileDirectClub was removed from this list because the company shut down. Read on for more information.

Where to get mail-order invisible aligners

In a world where you can get birth control online, get a medical diagnosis by phone and even take a hormone panel through the mail, it should come as no surprise that several mail-order invisible braces companies now exist. Here are the best places to get clear aligner braces without visiting an orthodontist. 

  • Cost: $1,895, or $82 a month for 24 months.
  • Length: Five months on average. You can opt for the Hyperbyte -- a vibrational frequency tool that supposedly pushes your teeth into place faster -- for an average treatment time of three months.
  • Insurance: Accepts FSA, HSA, CareCredit and eligible dental insurance providers.
  • Method: Buy the impression kit (currently $30, and fully refundable if you're not a good candidate), ship your impressions back and wait for Byte to ship your invisible aligner set.
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  • Cost: These invisible teeth aligners cost $1,895 (no payment plans).
  • Length: Six to eight months.
  • Insurance: Accepts HSA and FSA; check with your insurance company about code D8040.
  • Method: Order your invisible aligners kit, ship your impressions back for review and wait for your aligner tray to come in the mail. A removable retainer bundle and whitening kit are also included.
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  • Cost: $1,749 or payment plan options with Affirm.
  • Length: Three to 18 months.
  • Insurance: Accepts FSA and eligible insurance.
  • Method: Take an online assessment, complete an impression kit at home and get your aligners mailed to your door. If it turns out that the Invisalign aligners will not work for you, get a full refund on the impression kit.
See at Candid

No longer available via mail-order


  • Cost: Most providers charge around $3,500 for treatment, which includes the aligners.
  • Length: Six to 11 months.
  • Insurance: Check with your Candid provider. You should be able to use FSA and HSA funds, and insurances that have an orthodontic benefit may cover the cost of treatment.
  • Method: Visit a dentist who is part of the CandidPro network for a consultation to see if you are a candidate for Candid aligners.

Candid previously offered at-home kits and the option to visit a Candid Studio to get a consultation, but the company is now only offering its product through dental offices. If you've already bought an at-home kit, you have until the end of March to use it to create impressions of your teeth and buy the aligner kit from Candid for $1,895.

What about Invisalign?

You might be wondering why Invisalign, arguably the most popular provider of clear aligners, isn't on this list. That's because Invisalign isn't a direct-to-consumer company. You have to go through an orthodontist to get fitted for the Invisalign aligner system and treated with Invisalign invisible braces. You are required to attend periodic check-up appointments at your orthodontist's office with Invisalign. Candid, which originally offered mail-order aligners, is now also working directly with dentists to offer its aligners.

Those are drawbacks if you're looking purely for a mail-order clear plastic aligner option that allows you to complete treatment at home, but the Invisalign treatment does offer some benefits. 

For example, regularly seeing an orthodontist in person ensures that your clear aligners are working like they're supposed to and that you're on track with your Invisalign aligner for straighter teeth. Your orthodontist can also check for any new issues that arise with your Invisalign braces, such as a gap introduced by the aligners or gum erosion. It can also ensure your invisible braces aren't causing damage to your teeth by moving them too fast or incorrectly.


Real braces certainly aren't the most pleasant thing, but they're necessary for many orthodontic conditions. 

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What are invisible braces?

"Invisible braces" is another term for what is really called "clear aligners." It's also common for people to refer to all clear braces and aligners as Invisalign, a brand name that seems to have become a generic term, like Windex and Kleenex. 

Invisible braces do the same thing as traditional metal braces and dental braces -- slowly adjust the tooth movement to straighten them and fix bite problems -- except they're clear braces, made of plastic and removable. Unlike with lingual braces, you can take clear plastic aligners out to eat and brush your teeth, and you'll never cut the inside of your cheek on a sharp metal bracket like you can on regular braces (something all metal braces-wearers are familiar with).

Most direct-to-consumer clear aligners involve a mail-order impression kit. You send the impression kit back to the company, where a dentist or orthodontist analyzes it and creates a custom set of clear aligners based on an analysis of your teeth.

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How long do you wear invisible braces?

Typically, you'll wear your invisible braces 20 to 22 hours a day, so you can expect to be wearing them while you're sleeping and for most of your waking hours. You can remove them for eating, brushing your teeth or flossing. Bonus: Since you can remove them for eating, unlike conventional braces, you won't have to avoid foods like popcorn or nuts.

So how long until you see results from your teeth aligners? Overall treatment time usually takes four to 18 months, but it will vary depending on your situation (for example, if you have an overbite, crowding or large gaps).

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Who should get clear aligners?

Clear aligners aren't for everyone, and they can't treat everything. Most clear aligners can treat overbite, underbite, crossbite, open bite, small gaps and crowded teeth to a certain extent. 

If you have a severe case of any of these conditions, such as a gap wider than 2mm, your orthodontist might recommend traditional braces. Other situations where clear aligners might not be right for you include: 

  • Tooth rotation: If your tooth is rotated because of crowding, clear aligners may not be able to rotate the tooth into the right position.
  • Intrusion: Clear aligners can't fix a tooth that is jammed into the jawbone.
  • Extrusion: A tooth that sits high on the bone and is taller than other teeth can't be fixed with invisible braces. 
  • Misshapen teeth: If you have teeth that are rounded, pointy or pegged, clear aligners may not fit them properly. 
  • Midline movement: If your teeth don't match the imaginary line that bisects your face (your midline), clear aligners may not correct the discrepancy if it's more than 2mm on either side.

If you have any of the above conditions, it's best to see an orthodontist before trying any brand of clear aligners. And even if you don't have (or don't think you have) any of these orthodontic complications, it's still worth seeing a professional before starting treatment. An orthodontist can spot issues that you can't see so it's best to be evaluated in person before using at-home aligners.

You may have a now-unnoticeable condition that could be aggravated by clear aligners, something that only a trained specialist would be able to inform you of at an in-person appointment. For instance, the orthodontists making your mail-order clear aligners must rely on photos to evaluate the oral health of supporting structures, such as your jawbone and gum tissue. Seeing an orthodontist in person allows the doctor to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of your teeth and mouth during your treatment.

"Better safe than sorry" definitely rings true when talking about the long-term dental health of your pearly whites: Either your orthodontist will say you're good to go with mail-order aligners and send you on your way, or they'll recommend other ways safely, healthfully achieve straight teeth and a proper bite.