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The Short Version: First impressions matter in the dating scene, and Candid can offer revolutionary teeth-straightening solutions that give people the winning smile they need to build their self-confidence and attract dates. Candid uses smart technology to engineer cost-effective products and at-home treatments with the approval of an orthodontist. Candid’s clear aligner can straighten teeth just as effectively as braces, but for a fraction of the cost, so it can restore someone’s best smile without breaking the bank.
I always hoped that I’d experience the thrill of love at first sight, but the truth is that when I saw my future boyfriend for the first time on a dating app, I ignored his message. Luckily, he messaged me on another app — and I nearly swiped left on that too because he didn’t smile in any of his pictures.
Although his messages were perfectly friendly and lighthearted, his unsmiling photos made me wonder if he could be a bit smug, pessimistic, or closed off. When I met him in person, I saw a completely different person. He’s actually a very silly and happy-go-lucky guy, but he never shows off his goofball grin in pictures because he’s self-conscious about his crooked teeth.
My boyfriend has never had braces or any major dental work, and he worried his potential matches would judge him for that — when in reality a lot of women probably ended up judging him for not cracking a smile!
Candid offers an affordable dental solution to people, like my boyfriend, who may want to straighten or whiten their teeth so they can feel greater confidence every time they smile at someone new. This is the only major teeth straightening brand to offer consults with a local orthodontist.
Candid CEO Nick Greenfield said he got into the dental industry in 2017 because he experienced firsthand how challenging it was for adults to find safe and orthodontist-approved clear aligner treatments to fix crooked teeth. He wanted to create products that could provide fast results without racking up exorbitant bills.
“We see Candid as a great opportunity to provide low-cost dental care to everyone,” Nick said. “We’re finally making such health care affordable and accessible to those who need it.”
Candid has designed innovative clear aligners, retainers, whitening foam, and other products that work together to create a killer smile — without requiring a trip to the orthodontist.
The majority of Candid patients are between 25 and 45 years old. Some of them have never had braces before, and others had braces but didn’t wear their retainer so their teeth have reverted back to their old crooked ways.
Candid particularly appeals to single men and women who want to look their best on dates and would prefer to skip the embarrassment of wearing braces as an adult.
The clear aligner product allows individuals to skip bothersome orthodontist visits, painful braces, and expensive treatments while still getting the results they desire. Patients start by providing a full dental history so the team can assess if a clear aligner is right for them.
If everything looks good, the next step is to complete a Candid at-home starter kit or book an appointment at a Candid studio (currently closed due to COVID-19) to scan and photograph your teeth. An orthodontist in your state will review this information and create a dental plan that outlines how your teeth will shift during treatment. You can get on a call with this professional and ask follow-up questions before deciding to buy the clear aligner.
Once you start wearing the clear aligner, you’ll be able to use your smartphone to take pictures and track your progress. This smart tracking technology helps the dental professionals monitor the straightening treatment and make adjustments as needed.
“This can actually accelerate the treatment by about 30%,” Nick told us. “We’re doing something no one else in the industry is doing by using an artificial intelligence tool to do appointment checks with an orthodontist.”
After the teeth straightening treatment is over, the Candid professional will recommend getting a retainer to make sure the teeth do not shift and revert back to their original positions. The retainer is designed to be worn at night and should be replaced about once a year.
Nick Greenfield’s inspiration for founding Candid came from a personal problem. He’d never gotten braces as a child, and his teeth started shifting and overlapping in his 20s. He wanted to straighten his teeth but couldn’t find a reliable, low-cost solution. He wasn’t willing to sacrifice clinical quality, but he didn’t have the budget to spend tens of thousands of dollars on braces.
In 2017, Nick and a friend started brainstorming a way to create a happy medium between unreliable clear aligners and costly orthodontist appointments. After a lot of careful research, Candid developed a clear alignment treatment that had the backing of clinical professionals.
Thanks to its innovative system, the Candid startup pioneered teledentistry tools and brought orthodontist-tested services into everyday people’s homes. Candid currently has 13 studios in major cities from coast to coast; however those studios are temporarily closed due to COVID-19.
“Candid was founded with the principle of teaching and learning,” Nick said. “We bring in new people, they’re learning a new industry.”
Candid’s company culture is defined by a thirst for knowledge and innovation. As a former Lyft executive, Nick had to learn about a new industry and field when developing a unique clear alignment treatment, and he has united a talented team of people with a variety of skills and professional experiences to learn and grow alongside him.
Since March 2020, the Candid team has been working remotely, but that hasn’t dampered their team spirit. Nick said the team regularly meets on Zoom after hours for an employee-led yoga class, cocktail hour, or another fun activity.
“It keeps people engaged while maintaining our social distancing,” he said. “We have this incredibly friendly, smart, and talented group of people, and we try to foster an environment where people do love coming in to work every day and truly care about what we do.”
From its early days, Candid has endeavored to change the face of dentistry and provide affordable teeth-straightening solutions with care directed by orthodontists.
The Candid business plan looked a lot different at the beginning of 2020, but the startup has had to adapt to the new normal of social distancing and working remotely. Now the Candid leadership team is focused on providing safe solutions and high-tech support to aid a struggling industry.
“The dentist industry was disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Nick told us. “Fortunately, Candid is in a good position to help because we have a teledentistry platform that enables us to diagnose and treat patients remotely.”
Candid is currently partnering with local dentists and orthodontists to help them continue to provide top-notch care to their patients by using technology that has already proven to work.
Looking to the future, the Candid team intends to develop more teledentistry products that make dental care available to people who are in lockdown at home or otherwise unable to visit the orthodontist in person.
Nick predicted that the Candid products in development will be industry game changers once released, making it easier for people to get access to high-quality dental care at any price point.
“Right now is the time for people to come together and start offering products and services to allow dentists and orthodontists to succeed and make it through this time,” Nick said.
When you’re swiping on dating profiles, it’s easy to make snap judgments about a person without getting the full picture, and in some cases something as simple as a smile could make a big difference in the dating scene. My boyfriend’s unsmiling profile photos didn’t reflect who he is or what he’s like in person, and we nearly missed out on meeting each other as a result. That would’ve really been something to frown over!
The Candid company mission is about more than straightening teeth — it’s about giving people the confidence to smile openly in photos, on dates, and in public. After wearing a clear aligner for a few months, a single person can unlock the potential of their ideal smile and enter the dating scene with a new, more confident look, and that’s absolutely priceless.
“I love my job,” Nick said. “I love coming to work every day knowing that we’re having an impact and helping people be able to express themselves in a way they couldn’t before.”