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Do Braces Affect Playing Instruments?

Learning to play an instrument is not always the easiest journey to begin. From technique to theory, you’re training your mind and body to work in tandem with a foreign piece of equipment to make music.

Initially, you’ll mostly just make a lot of unpleasant noises. But with practice and dedication, you’ll slowly find yourself adapting until it becomes almost as easy as breathing.

But what happens when you put something between you and that instrument?

Whether you have a child in concert band or you play an instrument yourself, you may be wondering how braces affect the ability to play. Obviously percussionists, guitar players, pianists, etc. don’t have anything to worry about.

But for those who use their mouth, things are going to feel a little different. At least initially. The good news is, you should be able to play just fine with braces. However, depending on your instrument, it may take some adjusting.


Woodwind players will find that their braces have almost no bearing on their ability to play. Especially flute and piccolo players. Since your lips are just barely touching the mouth piece, the braces should go unnoticed.

If you play a reed instrument like a clarinet or a saxophone, you may find it feels a little different the first time you pick the instrument up. After all, there’s something in your mouth that wasn’t there before.

Don’t worry though, you’ll adjust almost immediately.

Brass Instruments

In the case of brass instruments, the contact between your lips and mouthpiece is a bit more aggressive. Musicians may experience some discomfort initially as your braces press against the inside of your mouth. Some players will make a minor adjustment to their playstyle. Others will utilize a mouth guard to protect their lips.

Almost all find themselves adjusting quickly. You may even end up a stronger player because of it.

Invisalign May be a Good Option

Brass players especially will find Invisalign to be more comfortable while playing. Additionally, you can take them off if necessary. You won’t want to take them off for too long, but if you wanted to remove them during a performance, it’s certainly an option.

Whether you’re looking for braces or Invisalign, if you need a Lakeville Orthodontist, we’re here for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!