Instruments and braces: Will they affect the way you play?
Those who play instruments are often concerned how braces will affect the way they play.
Many of the high school students who wear braces play in their school bands. They’re either in marching bands, concert bands, or other bands. And, they’re often concerned that orthodontic treatment, or their braces, will affect their overall ability to play instruments.
So, how do braces affect the way you play specific instruments, and what can do to adapt better to braces? By braces, I’m talking about traditional braces, braces that go on your teeth. Obviously if you have Invisalign trays, you can take them out to play and instrument normally and naturally. But, if you’re concerned about braces affecting the way you perform, you may want to consider Invisalign.
Some people, for one reason or another, are not candidates for Invisalign and prefer to go with the traditional braces. They wonder, “How is it going to affect the way I play?” I would say it depends on the instrument. If you play the drums, it’s not going to affect you at all. Now, if you play an instrument where you’re using your mouth, you can expect an adjustment period.
I’m drawing on feedback strictly from patients. I’m not aware of any scientific research in this particular area. But, I’ve treated many patients that play various instruments so, I’ll highlight the feedback I get from them.
What to expect with which instruments
Description: The mouth is not necessarily in close contact with the mouthpiece.
Types: Flute and piccolo
Explanation: The braces won’t affect your lips.
Transition period: None
Description: You have a reed, and your mouth goes over the mouthpiece.
Types: Clarinet, saxophone, and oboe
Explanation: Your lips will need to adjust.
Transition period: A day or two
Description: You press your lips against both your braces and the instrument.
Types: Trumpet, French horn, bass, and tuba
Explanation: You create two to three different notes in one position of your hands or fingers via the amount of air that flows through the position of your lips. Any minor tweak or movement can create a whole different note.
Transition period: A week to a few weeks
Watch video and see how little girl is easily playing trumpet with braces!
An option for those who have a hard time adjusting
Some people have a hard time playing the instrument with braces. They get an uncomfortable feeling with their braces pushing up against their lips. Orthodontists do have a smooth plastic insert that fits over your braces. It’s not something you want to wear all the time because it hangs over your braces and doesn’t lock into place well. The insert covers up all the areas of your braces protecting your lips. So, for those who can’t get use to playing an instrument with braces, the insert’s a nice alternative.
Can You Wear Braces And Play Instruments?