Wind instrument with braces

Playing an instrument with braces

Many Total Orthodontics patients are lucky enough to be musically talented – if you’re concerned about how wearing braces could affect your ability to play a wind instrument, we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

At first, you may find that your brace affects your ability to play your wind instrument. However, with practice and motivation you should soon be hitting those high notes!

Before your braces are fitted

Before you start orthodontic treatment, find out what type of brace you will need, and talk to your Total Orthodontics team about the instrument you play. If you are having a new brace fitted, try to arrange this at a time when you don’t have any important performances scheduled.

Functional braces

Functional and removable braces can be taken out of your mouth whilst you play your wind instrument. It’s a good idea to let your orthodontist know how many hours you practice each day, because leaving your brace out for long periods of time may affect your treatment.

Fixed braces

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, as you become used to wearing your braces.

Woodwind players

If you play a woodwind instrument, you will probably adjust to playing with your brace on very quickly. Your playing is likely to return to normal within a few weeks.

Brass players

If you play a brass instrument,  you may have problems playing high notes when your brace is first fitted. Don’t worry though, your playing is likely to return to normal within a few months.

Because the mouthpiece of a brass instrument is pressed against the lips, some players find that the inside of their mouth can become sore whilst they are playing. If you experience this, you could ask your music teacher if your mouthpiece can be changed for a larger one, which may help to spread the load more evenly over your lips. You can also try using some brace wax to protect your lips and cheeks whilst you are playing.

Wind instrument players can sometimes get a dry mouth whilst practicing or performing. It is best to drink water if your mouth is feeling dry, as fizzy or sugary drinks can damage your teeth whilst you are wearing a fixed brace.

If you have had teeth removed as part of your treatment, it may be a good idea to stop playing your instrument until your mouth has fully healed.

When your treatment is finished

When your orthodontic treatment is finished and your brace is removed it will probably take a little while to get used to playing without a brace, but you’ll soon be enjoying your straight new smile!

For more information on adjusting to your new braces, speak to a member of your local Total Orthodontics team today.

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