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3 Tips on Playing an Instrument with Braces

July 12, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — newengland-kids @ 4:07 pm
Young woman wearing braces smiling resting her chin in the palms of her hands as her fingers point outwards in a V-shape

Most kids are required to choose between band, orchestra, and choir at some point in their school career. Similarly, many of them have to undergo orthodontic treatment during adolescence to straighten and realign their teeth or bite. When you have braces, you have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle, like your diet or oral hygiene routine. Don’t worry – you don’t have to give up playing an instrument! With these 3 tips, you’ll adjust in no time.

Tip #1: Put in some extra practice.

With school starting up again, finding time to practice your instrument is already a challenge without braces. However, any dedicated musician knows that practice makes perfect! The more you play, the better you’ll adjust to your braces. 

The first few days of practicing, you’ll probably experience noticeable discomfort. However, with your braces continually touching the inside of your lips, you’ll eventually form calluses. This should take about a week, but once they’re there, you won’t have to worry about discomfort. Extra practice expedites this process.

Tip #2: Dental wax is your best friend.

Many instruments require the lips to be firmly pressed against a mouthpiece. This is particularly true for wind instruments.

Fortunately, you can cover the sharp edges of your brackets and wires with dental wax to reduce irritation and prevent sores as you’re adjusting to your new braces. Plus, since dental wax is water-resistant, it will stay firmly in place throughout the day. Just make sure to remove it before eating anything or brushing your teeth!

Tip #3: Adjust and create new habits.

It’s not necessary to completely relearn an instrument, but when you’re first starting out again, take it slow. Be patient with yourself too!

You may have been trained to place your tongue against the roof of your mouth, but if you have expanders, that might be more difficult. However, there are ways around this! Many musicians find success in placing their tongues against the bottom edge of their top row of teeth for more control.

You may also need to use more breath with braces and will have to adjust accordingly. Retaining your muscle memory, embouchure, and articulation with braces may take time, but after a while, the results will be worth it!

About the Practice

New England Kids Pediatric Dentistry, General Dentistry and Orthodontics is led by Drs. Reema, Golnaz, and Bialas. The practice is dedicated to improving and protecting the young smiles of the Auburn area. Dr. Reema provides a variety of orthodontic treatments, including Phase 1, teen and adult orthodontics, traditional braces, and Invisalign. If you want to know more about how you can continue playing an instrument with braces, contact the team at their website or by phone at (508) 832-6278.

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