Braces can have a big impact on a wind musician, especially the brass player, but they do not have to keep anyone from enjoying these musical experiences. Parents of young musicians who will soon be having orthodontic work should review the following tips for playing while undergoing treatment.
This option is not for everyone, but if your orthodontist thinks that it is a good fit for your child, you should follow his or her suggestion. This system gradually moves teeth through a series of removable and almost invisible aligners.
Think about timing
If your child plays his or her instrument at school, consider adding or removing braces outside of the school year. Delaying these procedures until the summer would allow students to slowly rebuild their strength without worrying about performance obligations. Some children need four to eight weeks to recover and be fully adjusted to their braces.
Don't wait too long
If your orthodontist has already informed you that your child needs braces, don't delay treatment. Once a musician has developed playing habits, it becomes harder for them to change. Applying braces early in your child's musical career will make their playing easier.
Communicate with your child's instructor
Before your child has his braces applied, communicate with his music teacher. It's likely that previous students have dealt with orthodontic appliances while playing, and he or she may have suggestions for making the process easier.
Use a wax guard or comfort aid when playing
In a survey of braces-wearing wind instrument players that was published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics, researchers found that "wax was the most popular comfort aid, especially among woodwind players. Since the wax works by smoothing the rough edges of the brackets, it seems that wind players would cope better with brackets that have reduced profiles and smooth, rounded edges that will not cut or irritate the lips."
If you are interested in learning more about how braces can affect your child's music playing, contact your New York City orthodontist today.