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Can I Play an Instrument with Braces?

Welcome to Reese Orthodontics, your Charleston, SC premier Invisalign and Braces professional. We look forward to helping you obtain your best smile.

The best time for kids to learn to play an instrument is usually around age ten until 14; this is also commonly the age when children are fitted with orthodontic braces. Can you play an instrument when you wear braces? The answer is ‘yes’ though it may require some adjustment and practice.

Use these tips for playing the following instruments with braces or orthodontic gear:

Flute and Piccolo

If your child wants to play an instrument, a flute or piccolo is a good option. These instruments are light to carry, and only require slight considerations for those wearing braces or orthodontic gear. Typically, you play a flute by placing your lips against the mouthpiece, but this may cause discomfort and irritation on the lower lip for those with braces. Clean the head-joint of the instrument more often, too.


Similar to flutes and piccolos, playing woodwind instruments with braces requires slight adjustments during play. Usually when playing woodwinds, such as clarinets, you use the lower lips over your bottom teeth for the sound; braces may cause more condensation inside the mouthpiece so you will need to check and clean the reed and mouthpiece more frequently. Also, to combat discomfort or create sound easier, you may want to alter the instrument with a softer reed in the mouthpiece.


When it comes to playing brass instruments, like horns and trumpets, be prepared to make more significant changes when the player wears braces. This is due to the way that you press your lips inside the metal mouthpiece and the way that the sound is created. It is said that braces impact those playing trumpets most of all; playing with braces may cause sores inside the cheeks and lips. There are some mouth-guards on the market that may help protect and ease any discomfort created. When it comes to a trombone, those with braces may have an easier time due to the larger mouthpiece that doesn’t cause the irritation and soreness of a smaller horn. Always use orthodontic wax to prevent issues and protect the mouth when playing these instruments. If your adolescent aged child wants to play a brass instrument, a trombone may be an option that doesn’t require a lot of modifications due to orthodontics.

Playing an instrument is a skill that many carry with them from childhood; don’t let braces deter your musical ambitions. Can you play an instrument when you wear braces? Of course! Visit Reese Orthodontics for more information or to schedule appointments for orthodontic assessment and examination.

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