As the school year begins and children start new hobbies, braces are the last thing on their mind. When students get braces, they may be worried about limits on their activities, specifically playing wind instruments. Although there may be some limitations or minor inconveniences, overall countless people with braces have continued to play their instruments without trouble. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you or your child takes up a wind instrument.
For certain instruments, especially brass instruments there may be a bit of an adjustment period once you first get braces. In particular, playing high notes with braces may be difficult at first. Within a short period of time (typically a couple of months) your playing will adapt. In addition to difficulty with high notes, the mouthpiece of a brass instrument is pressed up against the lips of the player, which could cause some discomfort for those with braces. Talking to your music teacher about potential adjustments such as increasing the size of your mouth piece may be beneficial. A larger mouth piece can help spread the pressure more evenly across your lips and your mouth.
Wind instruments players may also experience a dry mouth while playing. To prevent a dry mouth, keep yourself hydrated before playing. Avoid sugary drinks that can actually make you more dehydrated and also damage your teeth. Overall, playing instruments with braces can be done but you may need to make some minor adjustments. If playing your instrument with traditional metal braces is a concern, consider Invisalign as your main teeth alignment treatment. Invisalign are customized clear braces that sit comfortably on the teeth. They can be easily removed and places in a container before playing a wind instrument.
Consult with Dr. Atoosa Nikaeen if you are considering braces or Invisalign. She has worked with countless students and adults who play wind instruments. She can help you work through the difficulties and offer tips for continuing to do what you love, even with braces.