In partnership with Byte.
In my life thus far, I only have two significant regrets. The first is reading the novel American Psycho. The second is not replacing my retainer when I ran it through the wash in eighth grade. I was about fourteen, and hadn’t realized how expensive of a mistake I was making. I was too ashamed to tell my parents, but in hindsight, they would have rushed me to the orthodontist. By the time I’d realized what I’d done, it was too late: my teeth had already moved.
Part of me wishes I’d gotten braces when I was older, when I understood the privilege of them. By high school, I’d started to resent a small gap between my incisor and canine. When I smiled at certain angles, you could see straight into my mouth. While my friends and loved ones have assured me the gap isn’t noticeable, it’s affected my confidence over the years, making me less likely to smile—or to really glow when I do. My teeth are a small but nagging physical insecurity. I looked at Invisalign, Smile Direct Club, and more, vowing that I’d redo my teeth alignment someday when I had the money and the time. And then I found Byte.
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Byte is the most affordable at-home invisible braces system out there.
Byte offers doctor-directed invisible braces from home. The brand’s selection of at-home clear aligners uses exclusive, FDA-approved technology—and has now served over 250,000 customers. While you don’t have to visit your orthodontist or dentist for this at-home clear aligner option, your plan is created and then reviewed by a team of orthodontists and dental professionals partnered with Byte.
Frankly, I opted for Byte because this brand was the most affordable. You can use your HSA, making this treatment a friendly option for your bank account, and they also offer monthly financing.
The treatment itself ranges from $1,999 to $2,399 paid up front, depending on whether you opt for the all-day clear Byte aligners or the at-night version (keep in mind this comes with a lifetime guarantee as well). You may pay more if you opt for monthly installments with interest—you have many options on this front! The first step is to take impressions of your teeth with their impression kit, which allows for Byte to create a 3D rendering of your mouth and what it could look like after treatment. While the brand’s Impression Kit is normally $95, The Quality Edit readers can receive the Impression Kit for just $17.95, a staggering 80 percent discount.
Upon finishing my impressions (which I’ll get to in a sec!), my treatment plan advisor reached out with multiple payment plans and her recommendations for me based on my lifestyle and finances. I loved how thorough—but non-pushy—she was as she introduced my options. While spending on my teeth is a priority of mine as I’ve realized how much my smile impacts my confidence, most at-home invisible braces were still more than I was willing to pay.
Meanwhile, Byte even threw in extra goodies, like its Hyperbyte device, which uses high-frequency vibrations designed to help seat the aligners on your teeth for a more snug fit, while reducing discomfort. You only need to use it for five minutes a day, but when paired with the aligners, it may speed up the process. The kit also includes teeth whitening foam and (eventually) your first set of retainers completely FREE. Additional retainers cost only $129.
So how do you know if Byte is for you?
You start your Byte treatment by ordering your impression kit. During the checkout process, select your desired treatment plan. Would you rather wear your invisible braces all-day (for approximately 22 hours?) or just at night (10 hours?) Once you’ve decided your ideal plan, you’ll check out as normal and wait for your order to ship.
The impression kit is usually delivered within a couple days with free priority shipping. The kit is an important part of the process so that you can take a mold of your mouth for Byte. Once you send back your impressions, a plan advisor will review your 3D model of your mouth and set expectations on estimated treatment time, intended outcome, and the relevant payment options catered to your lifestyle.
It is strongly advised to download the MyByte app to be able to track your treatment progress from home, communicate with the Byte team, get alerts for aligner switch dates, and earn rewards for completing treatment!
The at-home impression kit allows Byte’s licensed dentists and orthodontists (a network spanning all 50 states) to design the day or night aligner plan that's best for you. Byte uses a five-point analysis called Smile Science that determines the best tooth placement for your face. Byte’s interface provides clear, interactive, 3D imaging of your teeth from all angles, allowing you to click through each step in the process to see how your teeth will shift and change upon use of the at-home invisible braces. Once you agree and pay, you’ll receive your first set of aligners in five to seven weeks.
Here’s the best part: if for some reason, you end up not being a candidate for the plan, the brand will refund your Impression Kit, making it a zero-risk inquiry on your end. Byte is intended for mild and moderate cases, so you may ultimately require traditional orthodontics if you have a more severe case. One helpful tip: Byte recommends that if you have any temporary dental restorations such as temporary crowns, temporary fillings, or temporary veneers, you should wait to use the Impression Kit until after they are replaced with permanent restorations.
While I had traditional braces for approximately two years, the Byte treatment time is only four months for the all-day aligners and five months for the at-night plan, on average. Although the treatment is speedy in comparison to other brands, the Byte for Life guarantee promise ensures your results are guaranteed for life. If your smile ever shifts after your treatment plan has ended, Byte will provide an additional impression kit and alignment treatment plans at no cost to you. (Caveat! This doesn’t apply to damage caused by accidents or physical trauma, but fingers crossed that you don’t have to worry about *that.*)
Taking my impressions was pretty easy.
When my Impression Kit arrived, the brand advised me to take my impressions as quickly as possible, ideally mailing within the next week. A representative followed up with me several times via email to make sure I had it on my to-do list.
The Impression Kit came with multi-colored putties, trays, a pair of gloves, smile stretchers (those uncomfortable plastic pullers used to take photos of teeth without your cheeks getting in the way), paid return packaging, and instructions.
To make your impressions, you’ll also want a timer; I used my phone. Essentially, you peel the top off the putty containers then have roughly thirty seconds to mix the white and red putties together until pink. Then you shove the putty into the tray and, making sure to keep the alignment even, sink your teeth into the molds for a solid three minutes. You’ll do this on the top and bottom of your teeth three times each for accuracy.
The process itself was not the most comfortable and ew, a little spitty, but nothing I couldn’t handle and par for the course if you’d take the impressions in a traditional dental office setting. While those three minutes felt long, I was so excited to get to my new smile that I didn’t really care and it was really nice doing it from the comfort of my own home without the schlep to a dental office.
Upon sending back my impressions, it didn’t take long for my All-Day plan to be completed. I’m most interested in the At-Night Plan, but hey, gotta save where ya can. When flicking through my 3D imaging, I could see clearly how my teeth would surely and subtly shift over time to give me the smile I wanted.
I’m itchy to dive into my treatment, and excited to take control over my teeth again. Once I order my first set of aligners, I’ll get started. The communication thus far has been elegant, the system’s affordable (but thorough!), and I’m especially confident knowing that orthodontists and doctors are overseeing my plan. Most importantly, Byte has a lifetime guarantee—unlike my braces.
Five Reasons to Love Byte:
- I never have to go into an orthodontists’ office again.
- Byte’s BrightByte whitening foam and the ultra-effective Hyperbyte device ensure I’m boosting my smile in all ways.
- You’ll get a refund if you’re not a candidate.
- Through the My Byte App, I can track my treatment, Hyperbyte habit, aligner switch dates, and more, making it easy for me to stay on top of my invisible brace usage.
- Byte’s customer support team is highly rated through all parts of the treatment process and has served over 250,000 customers (and smiles).