What happens if you go to jail with braces on your teeth?
March 16, 2008 6:16 PM   Subscribe

What happens if you go to jail with braces on your teeth?

The thought just occurred to me. Some people must be sentenced to lengthy jail sentences with braces on. Do jail-orthodontists take them off? Let them be? What if you're 18 and you have braces, and are given a lengthy sentence? Could you go through all of jail with your braces?

(This doesn't apply to anyone I know or a story I'm writing or anything -- I was just driving today and thinking about braces, and how they were expensive and hurt when they came off, and sharp, and how some people must have braces and go to jail....) :P
posted by melodykramer to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
"Our son recently entered prison in Ohio, and I called the health care department for the prisons, and they weren't sure about orthodontic care because it doesn't come up often. But, we ended up having the braces removed right before he went in (it was time to do it anyway), and they made him a plastic retainer. The prison has allowed him to use it. I understood from the health care person that dental is on an emergency basis only, so I doubt there would be enough care to keep from getting holes, etc. from unclean braces."


A lot of the other stuff on there says that dental is pretty much emergency only so you would be wise in all cases to get them removed before going in. Don't ask why I know about/read prisontalk.com though :)
posted by saraswati at 6:20 PM on March 16, 2008

If you were interested, by "other stuff" I meant this (specifically about min. security boot camps) and this (about prison dentistry in general)
posted by saraswati at 6:23 PM on March 16, 2008

Its common for prisoners to get healthcare they need. Sometimes this results in lawsuits and court-orders if the prison administration doesnt allow it. So you can usually get whatever you need, but its not entirely certain if the state or the prisoner pays for it. An extreme case is described here.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:39 PM on March 16, 2008

Yes, you can have your own doctor(s) & barber, aka, “free world Doctor/Dentist.” They visit you inside the facility and perform their services there. Noting, it’s paid out of the inmate’s pocket. Each system has its own rule book that details this request.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:41 AM on March 17, 2008

In Canada, the basic guideline is supposed to be that the inmate's punishment is the loss of liberty, not loss of access to healthcare, etc. Just as HIV-positive inmates have the right to continue care with an HIV doctor, an inmate with braces would have the right to see an orthodontist.

In practice, not every inmate knows of this right, and not every guard is that interested in letting them know about it or enabling access to it, especially in a privatized for-profit prison. This is where prison advocates play a crucial role.
posted by heatherann at 6:40 AM on March 17, 2008

To piggyback on this question, a lot of times they don't let inmates have things that they could make weapons out of. I could imagine with all that metal in your mouth (wires and other sharp things) you could fashion something somewhat dangerous. Is this a problem? Or do I just have an overactive imagination?

I admit it's been a while since I had braces. I think now they may have plastic ones or something.
posted by bluefly at 7:25 AM on March 17, 2008

« Older What is the date range of "Classic Rock"?   |   Hey, are you my long lost tenth cousin? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.