Health Care

Goodbye, Braces: A New Teeth Straightening Service Just Arrived In Philly

Candid, which offers orthodontist-approved clear aligners, is now open in Center City.


Candid, an orthodontics-based company providing clear teeth aligners to your home, opened their Philadelphia studio on August 21st. / Photograph by Candid.

For many adults, looking at photos from late middle school or high school can be cringe-worthy. From the questionable hairstyles to the semi-absurd apparel, our adolescent navigation of “beauty” during a time of pure awkwardness was hard, embarrassing, and even a tad traumatic. While the blunt bangs and fanny packs are totally in now, not everyone is comfortable returning to the days of yore, especially when it comes to our teeth. A mouth full of metal, decorated with alternating neon elastic bands, was our worst — and most painful — fashion statement.

How naive were we to think teeth alignment wouldn’t make a comeback. In fact, more and more adults have been seeking orthodontic treatment in recent years. In 2014 alone, approximately 1.5 million adults were treated by a licensed orthodontist. Fortunately, achieving a better, straighter smile is possible with products other than traditional metal braces. Retainers and aligners, which can be fixed or removable and come in clear options, make orthodontics as an adult not only less distressing but more convenient and affordable.

Candid, an orthodontics-based company providing clear teeth aligners, recently opened in Philadelphia, making it easier to begin your teeth-straightening process. An evaluation at the new Center City studio will get you a free consultation with a Candid care specialist (to discuss your oral health background and Candid’s clear aligners) and a 3D scan of your teeth, plus eight intraoral and extraoral photos of your mouth.

From there, your records, scan, and photos are sent to one of Candid’s in-house orthodontists, who will create your individualized treatment plan detailing how your custom-designed aligners will help gradually move your teeth. Once this plan is complete, you’ll receive an interactive, 3D preview of the results in the mail, which will help you visualize your journey to straighter teeth. About three to four weeks later, your clear aligners will arrive, so you can begin treatment in the comforts of your own home.

Candid’s clear teeth aligners are approved by licensed and experienced orthodontists. / Photograph by Candid

If you don’t have time to visit in-person, you can sign up for Candid’s teeth-alignment service online. The at-home model requires you to take your own teeth impressions by biting into a set of putty material included in the starter kit. You then send off your impressions for Candid orthodontists to review and design your aligners, which will be delivered (along with a premium whitening system) right to your door a few weeks later. Candid’s clear aligners, which are said to straighten your teeth in about six months, cost $1,900, but you can opt for the $88 per month payment plan. Doing everything in one of the studios mitigates the extra cost of the $95 at-home starter kit.

Candid was founded in 2017 by five folks who all wanted straighter teeth but didn’t want to pay exorbitant costs (and certainly didn’t want metal braces. Again.). Because the adult aligner industry was booming, CEO Nick Greenfield and his team decided to pursue clear aligners, starting first as a telemedicine service and later offering a more personal face-to-face experience at studios across the country. The most recent location — Philadelphia — opened on August 21st.

To guarantee that Candid clients would receive ortho-approved treatment, Greenfield partnered with Texas-based orthodontist Dr. C. Lynn Hurst. Candid claims its clinical approach is what makes it different from competitors, some of which have been slammed for their counteractive results and unethical medical practice. According to Cathrin Bowtell, Candid’s chief growth officer, Candid’s goal is to provide better, more accessible oral health opportunities, as proper teeth alignment can help reduce the risk for tooth decay and loss, periodontal disease, and jaw problems. This is why they only work with licensed orthodontists, who are part of the process from start to finish. “Dr. Hurst is not only [Candid’s] chief dental officer, but one of our co-founders who helps recruit our experienced orthodontists,” says Bowtell. “[Even though we align teeth,] Candid’s top priority is oral healthcare, not aesthetics.”

Candid’s Center City studio is located on the 20th floor of One Penn Center (1617 John F. Kennedy Boulevard). It’s open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. through 5 p.m. You can schedule your free consultation and scan here.