What types of activities will braces prevent someone from doing?
It’s a normal feeling to have; a little bit of apprehension about the orthodontic process, about getting braces, and how it’s going to affect your life. The questions many people have are: “What can’t I do with braces? What activities do I do right now that I won’t be able to do with braces?”
Rest assured, I would say all the activities you do now can be done with braces (unless you are a competitive professional Laffy Taff eater). But, most activities will require you to make some adjustments.
Activities you are NOT prevented from doing while wearing braces
We talked about sports in a previous blog, Can someone who wears braces still play sports?
Sports require an adjustment. You can still play sports, but protect yourself with a mouth guard that protects your teeth and lips.
Many singers who receive orthodontic treatment are concerned the appliances in their mouths will prevent them from singing well, especially if they perform in concerts. If you’ve have braces on, they won’t affect your speech or singing pattern.
Now if you have an appliance like an expander or an appliance that fits in the roof of your mouth, it definitely will affect your speech. The majority of people, within three to four days, learn to speak normally with these appliances in. With that being said, there is the occasional person who gets an appliance that fits in the roof of his mouth (whether it be an expander for widening the roof of the mouth or to help with a thumb habit), but he doesn’t fully retrain his tongue to adjust to speaking with the appliance. For a few months, he may have a lisp or speech impediment.
So, if you sing for audiences, and your orthodontist recommends an appliance that goes in the roof of your mouth, you may want to discuss the “red flag” before proceeding with the treatment.
3.) Playing instruments
After a short adjustment period, most people have no problem playing instruments while wearing braces. Some instruments are easier to adjust to than others. With woodwind instruments, the lips aren’t pressed as close to the teeth as they are when playing brass instruments. For those who play brass instruments (trumpets, tubas, and trombones), it’s more difficult for them to get used to wearing braces. Expect a transition period. The majority of people transition and play well while wearing braces. We can also provide different appliances to fit over the braces that help when playing brass instruments.
A professional musician came into my office wanting braces. He was a trumpet player, but concerned about how braces would affect him playing. He said he regularly performed to the point where he didn’t have time to transition, so in his case I said, “You’re an Invisalign candidate, and we need to go with Invisalign because you’re a professional. Your job depends on how well you play the trumpet. We do not want to even chance the fact you might play differently with braces on.”
But, for most people and those playing instruments in high school, it’s not a big deal at all. So, unless you’re a professional musician (fine-tuned to the point where a minuscule amount of difference would be heard or noticed), you will adapt and sound no different than before you had braces.
Lastly, as funny as it sounds, I often hear: Will braces affect my relationship with my (high school) boyfriend or girlfriend, or spouse? Rest assured, there’s been no complaints. It’s a big myth that braces will affect the relationship at all.
Activities You Should Avoid While Wearing Braces