Braces are daunting for any teenager, but they can be even more frightening for trumpeters, flute players, clarinet players, and other musicians. How can you play great music with a mouth full of metal? Won’t it hurt? Won’t it ruin the sound? Turns out, making great music with braces isn’t nearly as hard as you might think. All you need is the right attitude, a few adjustments, and a good children’s orthodontist .
How to Protect Your Mouth
If you plan to play an instrument like the flute or trumpet, you can plan ahead and choose the type of braces that will fit your lifestyle. The best option is Invisalign since you can remove them whenever you need to play. Although slightly more expensive than traditional braces, serious musicians might find that they’re worth every penny.
What if you have traditional metal braces for children and teens? For a little while, you might experience pain. In rare cases, holding your mouth in the wrong position and putting too much pressure can cause permanent damage. To protect the inside of your mouth, you can get a gel or plastic insert that fits snugly over the braces and acts as a cushion.
No matter what, stay in close contact with a pediatric orthodontist. It’s important for anyone with braces to make regular checkups and cleanings, but it’s even more important for musicians. Tell your doctor about the fact that you play an instrument, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or inquire about products that can help.
How to Play Great Music
You might notice, in the first few weeks after getting braces, that they destroy your tone quality and your ability to hold a note. Don’t worry. All you need to do is make a few adjustments.
Common fixes include using more breath and pursing your lips in order to create a cushion of muscle (instead of air) between your teeth and the mouthpiece. On the bright side, learning how to expand your breath may improve your endurance, which will make you a better player over the long run.
How difficult it will be to return to normal depends largely on what instrument you play. Brass instruments such as the trumpet and the French horn tend to pose the greatest challenges, while the clarinet and saxes are relatively easy to master. The flute, oboe, and bassoon may take some getting used to, but they shouldn’t pose too many problems.
Quick note: Before picking up your instrument, ask your music instructor how you should adjust your playing to improve the sound and reduce the risk of injury. You can also do your own research. Some online courses (and even YouTube videos ) talk about braces and instruments.
The Musical Life and Orthodontic Care for Children
Many teenagers get braces at some point in their lives. Many of them play instruments that require the use of their mouth. Don’t be discouraged. Playing music with braces may not be easy, but, then again, making music isn’t easy. It takes a little ingenuity and a lot of perseverance.
Fortunately, there’s nothing insurmountable about this particular obstacle. Pass the test, and you may end up becoming a better, more competent player capable of tackling even greater musical challenges. As long as you have the help of a friendly, knowledgeable orthodontist, you can take the worry out of playing an instrument.
Want to know where to find the best orthodontist in Maryland? It’s easy. Visit Labbe Family Orthodontics to schedule an appointment.