Many patients of our orthodontic practice play musical instruments. We often are asked by parents about the effect braces, Invisalign®, or orthodontic treatment will have on their childrens’ ability to play their instruments. This post will address some of the more common questions we receive.
Braces and Wind Instruments
When you first get braces you may discover that it affects your ability to play your instrument. Don’t fret! With motivation and practice you should soon be back jamming in no time!
Before your braces are fitted
Before you start orthodontic treatment find out what type of braces you will need, and talk to your orthodontist about the instrument you play. If you are having new braces fitted, try to arrange this at a time when you don’t have any important performances.
Some braces, such as functional and removable braces, can be taken out while you practice and perform. Make sure you discuss with the orthodontist how many hours you practice daily. Removing your braces for an extended time may affect the course of your treatment.
Treatment with fixed braces can affect your ability to play a wind instrument, but it is very unlikely that this will last for more than a few months.
If you play a woodwind instrument you will probably adjust to playing with your braces on very quickly. Your playing is likely to return to normal within a few weeks.
If you play a brass instrument you may have problems playing high notes when your braces are first fitted. Your playing is likely to return to normal within a few months.
Some players find that sores may develop inside their mouth while playing. Check with your music teacher to inquire if your mouthpiece can be changed for a larger one. This may help spread the load evenly over your lips. Some musicans use brace wax when playing to protect their lips and cheeks.
Musicians often get a dry mouth when practicing or performing. If your mouth is feeling dry, it is best to drink water. Sodas and sugar drinks can damage your teeth during your orthodontic treatment.
If you have had any teeth removed as part of your treatment, it is a good idea to refrain from playing your instrument until your extraction site has fully healed. Once your braces are removed and treatment is complete, it will be a short time until you are used to playing without your braces.