New Location Coming Soon to Smokey Point!
Patient Login
Doctor Referral

How to Play an Instrument With Braces

We love seeing our teen patients explore their musical side! Adolescence is a busy time, and many teens are juggling rehearsals, lessons, and practice. We understand why some teens have concerns about how braces will affect their ability to play an instrument.

Luckily, with some routine adjustments, any musician can learn how to play a wind instrument with braces! Learn more about how to play an instrument with braces, and how you can achieve your musical goals during your braces treatment.

How to Use Orthodontic Wax to Protect Your Lips

Teen musicians are often frustrated with the sensation of braces pushing against the inside of their cheeks and lips. This can be intrusive to their usual playing technique, but there are ways to remedy this. Our secret weapon for playing an instrument with braces is to use orthodontic wax! Knowing how to apply wax to braces will decrease friction and irritation, making practice easier.

How to Find Your Embouchure with Braces

The embouchure required to play the flute is notoriously challenging. Only the lower lip should be touching the mouthpiece, while the upper lip should be poised higher. Braces may be irritating for flute players, but this can be mitigated by changing the embouchure. Instead of pressing more firmly into the mouthpiece, flute players should rely on increased breath support to get the desired sound. 

How to Play Trumpet With Braces (and Other Brass Instruments)

Since playing trumpet requires direct contact with the mouthpiece, trumpeters may initially struggle when playing with braces. Pushing too hard can make your cheeks and lips sore. One of the best playing methods to combat this is to adjust the embouchure to have a more flexible “buzz” in the front of the lips.

How to Play Saxophone With Braces

Saxophonists often find it easier to adjust to playing with braces. Since they do not need to pressure their lips against a mouthpiece, the embouchure won’t be affected too much. However, braces do cause a bit more saliva production, so make sure you regularly clean your sax!

How to Play Flute With Braces

The embouchure required to play the flute is notoriously challenging. Only the lower lip should be touching the mouthpiece, while the upper lip should be poised higher. Braces may be irritating for flute players, but this can be mitigated by changing the embouchure. Instead of pressing more firmly into the mouthpiece, flute players should rely on increased breath support to get the desired sound. 

How to Play a Wind Instrument with Braces

Instrumentalists who play woodwind instruments such as oboes, clarinets, and reeds usually have an easier time adjusting to new braces. Since their embouchure does not require pressing their lips on a mouthpiece, playing a woodwind instrument with braces is a bit easier. 

That being said, braces may increase saliva production, so make sure you are cleaning your instrument regularly. Don’t drink sugary drinks either, as this can also create particle buildup in your instrument.

When you’re first getting used to your braces, it’s important to practice daily for shorter periods of time. For example, play your wind instrument for 10-20 minutes, and take a break for 10-20 minutes. This can help you get used to the feeling of playing with braces, without becoming physically or mentally fatigued. 

Braces Alternatives for Wind and Brass Musicians

We know that many young musicians are concerned about how braces will affect their ability to play their chosen instrument. If this is the case, then they may be eligible for Invisalign, a virtually invisible and removable treatment. Many musicians find they can play easily without removing their clear aligners. If not, they can be removed while playing–so long as you make sure to store them properly in their case!

Discuss Playing an Instrument with Braces with Snohomish, Kirkland, and Lake Stevens’ Best Orthodontist

Adolescence is an exciting time to express your creativity, and young musicians deserve a smile they can feel proud of. If your teen is concerned about how to play an instrument with braces, tell them to talk with their music teachers about adjusting their playing technique. Their teacher has probably helped many students with orthodontic treatment achieve their goals!

At Lund Orthodontics, we also deal with many talented teens who are getting braces treatment. We can talk to your teen about some methods to help keep their musical goals on track! Schedule an appointment with us today!

Get In Touch

Give us a call or text us to learn more about how we can help you. Stay in touch by following us on social media. 

Follow Us