Any musical instrument that requires the use of the mouth might seem like a no-go when you are wearing braces, but the truth is that your braces should not affect your ability to play your favourite instrument or instruments. 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!
There will be an adjustment period, you might have to spend a little bit of time training your mouth when you first try to play a musical instrument with braces, but it is more than possible.
Saxophone and clarinet players adjust more easily to playing with braces because the area of the teeth that the braces are applied to do not come in direct contact with the mouthpiece. The same goes for those who play double-reed instruments like oboe and bassoon.
Flute players who tend to put a lot of pressure on the lip plate may feel some discomfort and may want to increase their breath support and decrease the pressure on their bottom lip.
All woodwind players may experience more condensation in their instruments, which will need to be cleaned out more frequently.
One of the best things you can do when getting back into playing an instrument while wearing braces is to use the wax that was given to you by your orthodontist. Every wind instrument requires you to press the instrument’s mouthpiece against your lips, which will put pressure on your braces. If you put wax over any of the spots on those braces that might irritate your lips, you are far less likely to have to deal with painful irritation or sores inside your lips.
If you or your child wants to avoid adjusting to playing an instrument with braces, there is another option which is Invisalign. With Invisalign, there are no brackets or wires to make playing uncomfortable, just smooth trays that can easily be removed when playing an instrument. Some players even just leave their trays in when they are practicing or performing.
Unfortunately, not every smile can be treated with Invisalign, but there is another alternative which is lingual braces. Lingual braces use the same wires and brackets as traditional braces so they can fix the same issues, but they are applied to the back of the teeth instead of the front. This means they won’t interfere with playing any instrument.
Before starting treatment talk to your orthodontist about how treatment may affect your performance. If you have problems during treatment ask your orthodontist for advice.
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