Can cabin crew wear braces? Indonesian airline flight attendants pictured can’t

Can Cabin crew wear braces?

When it comes to dental requirements for cabin crew, there appears to be a lot of confusion about what is and isn’t allowed. So, what if you have braces? Can you still work as cabin crew? Yes!

Because some airlines have very strict cabin crew dental requirements, everyone seems to think cabin crew can’t wear braces at all. In reality, there are hundreds of airlines across the world spanning Europe, North and South America, even Australia, where cabin crew can wear braces.

In this blog post, we will answer all your questions about braces for cabin crew!

Which airlines allow cabin crew to have braces?

In 2022, virtually all western airlines allow cabin crew to have braces.

Major international areas from all corners of the globe, including: American Airlines, United Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Qantas, Lufthansa, AirFrance KLM, Air New Zealand, and Air Canada, all allow cabin crew to wear braces.

Flight attendant with clear braces

Which airlines don’t allow cabin crew with braces?

There are a few airlines that have strict rules when it comes to braces and other dental work. Traditionally, airlines based in areas including Asia, Indonesia, China, and the Middle East prohibit cabin crew wearing braces.

As an example, a particularly strict airline I have previously worked for is Emirates:

  • Emirates requires that flight attendants have “normal teeth”.
  • They define this as having no more than four fillings — which must not be visible e.g., silver or coloured — no crowns or veneers, and no gaps between the teeth.

Unfortunately, if you are attempting to become cabin crew with airlines like Emirates, Qatar, Air Indonesia, Singapore etc, you will need to get your braces removed and teeth fixed before applying.

The airlines filter applicants strictly — I had to send copies of my dental records including x-rays in my initial Emirates application.

Some airlines are particularly strict!

Many Chinese airlines are noted for having exceptionally tough entry restrictions for flight attendants — and don’t allow crew with any dental issues.

Apart from these entry restrictions, training is particularly gruelling. Here, cabin crew trainees are holding smiles while biting chopsticks!

Downside to braces as flight attendants

While many airlines now allow flight attendants to wear braces, some crew recommend having dental work finished before starting your career:

  • The main downside to wearing braces as cabin crew is that it can be difficult to insert night retainers and keep your braces clean when you’re constantly on the go.
  • With little time for breaks, during some flights it’s much easier to rinse with some mouthwash than it is to grab a toothbrush and find the time to queue for the bathrooms
  • Sometimes alignment braces & retainers need to be put in for a certain number of hours a day. This is normally when you’re sleeping, which can be hard to do on overnight flights
  • Some airlines which allow braces prohibit certain styles or colours in their uniform standards. This can mean you have to have your braces changed to be compliant before applying.
Cleaning braces in aircraft toilet
It can be difficult to keep on top of cleaning & routinely using your retainers whilst flying as cabin crew.

Overall, while there are some downsides to wearing braces as cabin crew, it’s definitely not impossible or unheard of. There are many cabin crew members who wear braces, and they manage just fine!

Summary

So, can cabin crew wear braces? The answer is yes, overall more airlines now allow cabin crew to wear braces than prohibit them.

However, this does vary depending on individual airlines. Airlines based in some parts of the world, including the big three Middle Eastern carriers — Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates — have particularly strict cabin crew dental requirements. If you are interested in working for a specific airline, we recommend that you reach out to their HR department and ask about their policies regarding braces.

Braces can be a bit of a hassle whilst criss-crossing the globe as a flight attendant, and there are uniform standard restrictions on some styles, but having braces shouldn’t stop you applying to be cabin crew altogether! And remember, even if your nearest airline has strict requirements, there are always other international airlines that you can apply to.

We hope this blog post has answered all your questions about dental requirements for cabin crew! If you have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch with us, and we will be happy to answer them for you. Thank you for reading.

Share this article
Alissa
Alissa

Flyingbynumber’s Resident Senior Flight Attendant — Alissa

Articles: 22