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Braces and Wind Instruments

Many budding musicians, who play brass and woodwind instruments, worry about the effect that braces will have on their ability to play and practice.

Those who are prescribed removable braces can continue as normal, removing the braces for practice and storing them somewhere safe.

For those embarking on fixed braces, several factors need to be taken into consideration:

  • If the musician is very talented and considering a career in music, fixed braces are best avoided or delayed
  • Brass instruments can be more uncomfortable with fixed braces than wind instruments
  • How severe the misalignment of the teeth is and whether the musician has concerns about the arrangement of their teeth

Even experienced musicians may find that braces have a major impact on their performance.

The following tips may be helpful:

  • A discussion should be had with the music teacher about the best timing for a brace
  • Practicing more frequently can help the musician adapt to the brace quicker
  • Practice in short 10-15 minute sessions with regular breaks and plenty of water
  • A larger mouthpiece may help to reduce discomfort
  • Lingual braces may be a better option for brass players
  • Make use of wax, as advised by your orthodontist, and consider commercially available brackets sleeve protectors

Patients playing wind instruments can present with more breakages than normal but your orthodontist will be aware of this and happy to help.

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