Skip to Content

Can You Have Braces In Prison?

Can You Have Braces In Prison?

Growing up, I thought of braces as a right to transition from childhood to adulthood. I can’t wait until the day I get braces because I’ve got a weird rogue tooth but it’s staying high in my gum instead of descending into place. Tooth extraction is, in my opinion, social suicide in junior high.

The day finally came when I was in seventh grade and my mom picked me up from school and took me to the orthodontist. I don’t care how awkward or uncomfortable it will be because I care too much about the color I’ll choose for my band.

I ended up going with blue bands because custom colors were all the rage for kids with braces in the early 90s. After the surgery was done, I couldn’t help but lick my teeth because the metal in my mouth felt weird. I still remember my mom stopping at the gas station after we left the orthodontist, and I grabbed a treat — a fudge-covered Oreo. These new Oreos just came out and I want to try them. As soon as I bit into that Oreo, I felt more pain than I had in all my 12 years on earth. I screamed, tossed the Oreos, and realized for the first time that this whole braces situation was going to be terribly painful.

Of course, the world of braces, cosmetic dentistry, and orthodontics has changed a lot in the past three decades, and braces are as common among adults as they were among children. That means someone goes to jail with braces, but can they keep them? Will they be taken away?

Even if you don’t like going to the dentist or orthodontist in the free world, what if you absolutely have to get your orthodontics done but can’t because you’re a prisoner? This naturally leads to our topic today – can I wear braces in prison?

In this blog post, I will cover the following topics:

  • Can you go to jail with braces?
  • Can I wear braces in jail?

Can you go to jail with braces?

You happen to be wearing braces when you’re detained in jail and you’re just like everyone else. You don’t jump to the front of the line to go to the dentist without special treatment.

So yes, you can go to jail with braces. You have to do your best to keep them clean with the small prison toothbrush and toothpaste available from the prison commissary, as there are no special cleaning kits or cleaners to clean your braces in prison.

You also get to keep your retainer while you’re in jail, and it must be kept in a proper container when you’re not wearing it, or you could get into trouble.

Unfortunately, if you have a problem with your braces — a piece breaks or you need to screw them back on — you’re out of luck. There are no orthodontists on site, and in some prisons the waiting list to see a dentist can be as long as five years.

So, if you’re going to jail for a long time and you’re wearing braces while you’re in, chances are the braces are a lost cause and you’ll have to start wearing braces all over again when you’re released.

In an emergency, most facilities will transport you to a local hospital for treatment.

Can I wear braces in jail?

I often hear people repeat the myth that prisoners get free health care that is paid for entirely by the taxpayer. This is a terrible rumor and absolutely false. Depending on your institution, you may have to pay to see a doctor—even if you only make $5 a month.

Even if treatment is “free,” prisoners still don’t receive high-quality health care. Unless your life is in danger, the person in charge will never rush to treat you. Even then, sometimes they don’t act with any sense of urgency.

Considering that just getting basic healthcare in prison is difficult enough, dental work is nearly impossible. Like I said before, you can wait years to go to the dentist and that’s just for a cleaning or a simple extraction.

So no, you can’t wear braces in prison.

Dental care in prisons is basically a joke, and many prisoners end up figuring things out on their own.One inmate in a federal prison even used sandpaper and epoxy Put a lost tooth back in your mouth.

Some inmates with drug-related tooth decay have their teeth pulled and fitted with dentures, but this is becoming less and less the case. Prison officials will not provide you with any type of medical treatment unless it is a life-threatening emergency.

Should prisoners have access to proper dental and orthodontic care? Let us know in the comments below.


Dental Care In The Federal Bureau of Prisons: Sandpaper and Epoxy