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How to Get FREE Braces in Australia: The No Cost Option for Braces

This article is a detailed guide to all the different ways to get free braces in Australia.

Did you know that some families can access FREE braces for their kids teeth? This little known, free option will mean that the question ‘how much do braces cost?’ will not be one your family may need to ask. We investigated and found out how to get free braces for low income families in Australia.

In brief you can get free braces:

  • Through the Give A Smile Program if you meet their criteria.

Keep reading to find out how this might work in practice for your family.

What are braces?

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment that can have many benefits for individuals who have crooked or misaligned teeth. They work by applying steady pressure to the teeth, gradually moving them into the desired position.

The benefits of braces include:

Improved oral health: Braces can help to straighten teeth and improve bite, which can make it easier to clean teeth and reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Enhanced appearance: Braces can improve the overall appearance of the teeth, giving patients a more attractive and confident smile.

Increased self-esteem: Many people who have braces report a boost in self-esteem, as they feel more confident in their appearance.

Better functioning teeth: Braces can correct bite issues and improve the overall function of the teeth, making it easier to chew and speak.

Long-term solution: Once the treatment is completed, the results are typically permanent, so patients can enjoy their straight teeth for the rest of their lives.

In addition, with the advancements in technology, braces are now more comfortable and less noticeable than ever before. Many orthodontists now offer clear or ceramic braces, and other options like lingual braces which are placed behind the teeth, and Invisalign, a clear aligner that is almost invisible. This makes the dental treatment more accessible and appealing to a wider range of patients.

How much do braces normally cost in Australia?

If you want to know how much are braces in Australia, it is important to understand that the cost of braces can vary greatly and it depends on a variety of factors! You will need to think about which type of braces you want. You can choose from Metal, Ceramic, Lingual and Invisalign.

How much are braces in Australia?

Let’s look at what it would cost for braces if you were planning on paying for braces in Australia:

  • Metal braces (traditional braces – top and bottom teeth): $4,500 to $8,000
  • Ceramic braces (top and bottom teeth): $5,000 – $8,500
  • Lingual braces (top and bottom teeth): $7,500 – $12,500
  • Invisalign : $4,500 – $9,000

The sad fact is that prices can depend on where you live – orthodontists in more rural areas may be less expensive than ones in larger cities – and prices may be at the orthodontist’s discretion.

If you are wondering ‘how much do braces cost with a healthcare card’, you might be happy to find out that there is a way to get free braces for low income families in Australia.

Give a Smile™ – how to get FREE braces in Australia

myths about braces - free braces australia

In Australia there is an organisation called ‘Give a Smile’™ that offers free braces to lower income families across the country. Each Give a Smile™ orthodontist welcomes at least one patient per year into his/her practice to receive free braces. All work undertaken for every Give a Smile™ patient is done pro-bono (free) and with the highest level of care and professionalism.

To this day, the Give a Smile™ Committee runs the program with the invaluable help of a willing team of volunteers, generous supporters and, of course, the many Give a Smile™ orthodontists throughout Australia. Give a Smile™ will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2025.

Eligibility for free braces:

1. You need to be a Health Care Card holder or Pension Card holder.

2. You or your child must already be on the waiting list for orthodontic treatment in the public dental service of the state or territory where you live. Contact details can be found below.

NOTE: Patients are allocated to Give a Smile™ from the top of the public orthodontic waiting list.

  • You have the choice of having the treatment done either through the Give a Smile™ program or in the public dental health system.
  • Should you accept the offer of treatment through Give a Smile it will be performed by a specialist orthodontist in his/her office.
  • If you live in SA, WA or Victoria, your state health department requires you to pay a fee (co-payment) for your orthodontic treatment.
  • If you live in SA, WA or Victoria – and if you accept treatment through Give a Smile™ – the relevant co-payment must still be paid. However the payment is made to the Give a Smile™ Trust (details will be supplied).

How to get on the public waiting list for orthodontic treatment

Remember to gain access to free braces, you must be Health Care Card holder or Pension Card holder AND you must be on the public waiting list for orthodontic treatment. To do this you need to contact your relevant state and territory dental health service for further information. These waiting lists can vary in length and can be 2 years or longer, so get started now!


Dental Health Program
GPO Box 825
Canberra ACT 2601
Tel 02 6205 1088


Department of Orthodontics
Sydney Dental Hospital
Tel 02 9293 3388/89


Oral Health Services NT
PO Box 40596
Casuarina NT 0811
Tel 08 8924 6470


Oral Health Unit
GPO Box 2368
Brisbane QLD 4001
Tel 07 3328 9873


SA Dental Services
Frome Rd
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel 08 8222 8276


Dental Health Services Victoria
720 Swanston St
Carlton VIC 3053
Tel 03 9341 1000


The Oral Health Centre WA
17 Monash Avenue
Tel 08 6457 4400

More benefits of braces

Overall, the decision to get braces is your own. There are many benefits of getting braces. They can help prevent future gum disease and damage to teeth. They can straighten teeth, close gaps in teeth, and better space out teeth, all resulting in a more confident smile.

Straight teeth help an individual more effectively bite, chew, and even speak. They can help prevent future discomfort and weakness due to misalignment of teeth or bite. They can also make you feel better about both your oral health and your appearance.

How to tell if your child needs braces?

Your child’s big front teeth have just come through and as they’ve been growing, you’re watching and wondering… will my child need braces? If this sounds like you, you probably have a million questions about when to start the process, how much it costs, how long the braces will be on for… just to name a few. We personally checked out the process of getting braces in Brisbane and wrote a review (with video) here.

What a great way to save on the cost of living.

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

42 thoughts on “How to Get FREE Braces in Australia: The No Cost Option for Braces”

  1. My son has been advised that he will need braces by the community dentist in nsw but there is no waiting list for public orthodontics, there is no funding for it, so despite being a carer with a pension card for my son with autism and him having a severe deep bite and overcrowding we cannot access this funding option either 🙁

  2. Same here I’m headed for the wait list if I can braces are way out of my budget as I’ve got studies in my plans to help myself make proper pay checks .

  3. I really like the article and how it was very easy to read with very important information.
    I hope that GiveASmile will continue doing this amazing work for those families who cannot afford to do braces for their children.

    Thank you.

  4. Hi We live in Alkimos W.A. My daughter is in waiting list from last 2 year and have to wait more years She is 11 now and Is there any way to do earlier than waiting for so long..

  5. My daughter has a gap and she hates it and every day she ask me can I get braces and unfortunately I can’t give that to he because i can afford it and I would love to see the day when her teeth are straight and see her smile on your faces It would mean the world to me

  6. I didn’t realize my daughters had to be on a orthodontic waiting list as we have been receiving the basic dental care with the kids dental voucher.
    I will ring the number provided above.


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