Tips on Braces
Just got braces or getting them soon?Concerned about how you sound and how it will feel?
Before getting braces: First it is important that you be patient over the first several weeks of getting your braces. Millions of musicians have gone through this have turned out just fine. Next, if you know you are about to get braces it is imperative that you check your calendar to make sure that you do not have any upcoming band concerts or auditions. If that is the case, ask to have your orthodontist appointment moved after these performances dates. Because most students need a few weeks to get used to playing with their new braces you do not want your upcoming performance to be negatively affected. Additionally make sure to tell your band teacher so they are fully aware of your situation.
What to expect: Most students typically experience pain in the first several days of getting them put on. Because of this, it is not recommended you play your instrument until the pain has subsided. When you are ready to start playing again, you will need to take it slowly and have a lot of patience. Start simply with slow long tone exercises to get used to the new feel of the braces. Additionally, it might be best to start off with short practice sessions to help prevent any possible embouchure pain. You can initially expect playing with your new braces to be uncomfortable. This is normal and it will subside over the first two weeks. However, if you feel pain, this is a sign to stop for the time being. Either try playing a little later that day or even wait until tomorrow to try again depending on how you feel.
The good news is that most students are able to adjust to playing with braces over a two to three week period. To help make your experience easier you can use the wax that your orthodontist gives you. Make sure to make the wax as flat as possible while still maintaining a protective barrier for your lips. Additionally, you can try any of the below professionally made products meant specifically for musicians.
Here are three inexpensive products that may help (please talk to your orthodontist before you purchase anything):