Philly Is Getting Another New Teeth Straightening Service

Dandy, a new clear aligner company founded by University of Pennsylvania grads, launches today.

Dandy clear aligners / Photo by Isaac Apon.

This past year, I’ve noticed some cosmetic beauty practices trending on Instagram: Botox, teeth whitening, personalized vitamins, and organic skincare. With every scroll, another influencer seemed to be running a giveaway for better skin! whiter teeth! wrinkle-less face! The most surprising one? Clear aligners.

I shouldn’t have been shocked. The teeth straightening industry is booming, with at-home aligner companies like Invisalign and SmileDirectClub leading the charge (though, the latter has been criticized for potential long-term problems). This past September, comparable ortho-approved startup Candid opened in Center City, making it “easier and more affordable” for area residents to get a straighter smile with professional help at their under $2,000 price point. (More affordable that is, compared with aligners from big names like Invisalign, which, according to the Consumer Guide for Dentistry, cost an average of $3,000 to $5,000.)

Starting today, Philly will be home to another clear aligner service. Dandy combines in-person oral healthcare and the convenience of telehealth, relying on local dentists and orthodontists to initiate your teeth straightening process, so that you can take care of the rest at home. Dandy’s teeth alignment service, which includes initial checkup, aligners, and retainer, costs $88 per month, or you can pay a one-time fee of $1,900.

The process is simple: After taking a short quiz on Dandy’s website to determine your teeth needs, you’ll go to a local dentist’s office — one who is designated as a Dandy partner — for a full dental checkup, complete with X-rays and a 3D scan of your teeth. Those records are sent to a remote, Dandy-affiliated orthodontist who will help create your individualized aligners. Within several days, you’ll receive your aligners in the mail, allowing you to straighten your teeth without constantly needing to go back to the dentist.

Founded and run by Wharton grads Toni Oloko, who also has experience at local brand GoPuff, and Dan Hanover, Dandy originally started a year and a half ago as the pilot brand “Orthly.” The two noticed the increasing demand for more accessible teeth alignment in their local community. By surveying 1,000 area residents, they found the majority of Philadelphians think about their smile at least once per day, and would willingly give up their morning coffee and Netflix subscription for a straighter smile.

Orthly’s trial run was successful, and they think the secret to that success is in their reliance on licensed oral health providers like their partner dentists and orthodontists. “Clear aligners require in-person care and procedures in order to get the results your teeth deserve,” Oloko and Hanover agree.

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