Close-up of woman having her braces checked.

The Army lists a variety of conditions that can keep you from enlisting. Although dental braces might not seem like a big deal, they aren't allowed in the Army. Even removable, clear braces aren't allowed. It may seem unfair, but the Army prohibits braces to ensure your safety.

Why Braces Aren't Allowed

Braces are considered a safety hazard because they can snap or loosen, which may result in sharp, painful edges or obstructions. In the Army, you won't always have access to an orthodontist to fix or repair the issues that can arise. Braces also require routine tightening and adjustments for a healthy mouth, and the Army can't guarantee the dental care necessary to accommodate braces. Retainers are allowed, but only if you have already completed your orthodontic treatment. If you develop the need for braces as an active duty soldier, Army dentists will suggest alternatives that comply with regulations, such as a removable retainer.