Can kids with braces still play instruments?

Learning to play an instrument is not always an easy thing. You’re training your mind and body to work together to create musical notes which take a lot of practice when starting out. At first, you’ll just make a lot of bad noises but with time and dedication, you’ll start to improve until you can play with ease. But what to do when you need to put something else between you and the instrument?

Whether you’re learning to play yourself or you have a child that plays you may be wondering how braces affect your ability to play. Obviously piano, guitar and percussionists don’t need to worry about this but for those who use their mount things are going to feel a bit different. The good news is that you can play just fine with braces but for some instruments, it will take some adjusting. Vancouver Orthodontics say that it depends on what kind of braces you have. If you have Invisalign trays you can just take them out when you need to and play naturally. Some people though, for whatever reason, are not suited for Invisalign and prefer traditional braces. You can expect an adjustment period in this case but it can be done.


If you play a reed instrument like a saxophone or clarinet you may find it feels a bit funny at first with braces but that’s to be expected, after all, you do have a foreign object now between you and the instrument.  Don’t fret though as with time you’ll adjust and be playing just as you always did. Most people will find themselves adjusting within a few days.

Brass instruments

Those who play brass instruments will experience some discomfort at first as the contact between your lips and mouthpiece is a bit more aggressive. Some players may need to adjust their playing style, others will need to get a mouth guard to protect their lips. Try to reduce the pressure needed to play and develop good playing habits. Eventually, you’ll adjust and maybe even find your performance improved. Adjustment may take a few weeks.

For those having trouble adjusting

Some people who experience a very uncomfortable feeling playing with braces may have a harder time adjusting. For those who can’t seem to adjust there is another option. Orthodontists can provide a smooth plastic insert that fits over your braces. This is not something you’ll want to wear all the time as it hangs over your braces and doesn’t lock-In very well. This insert though will protect your lips against the instrument and make a great alternative for those who can’t adjust to braces.

For best results, take with your orthodontist and try to work out the best solution. Depending on your reason for needing braces and the instrument you play you may need to find a special way that will work for you. This could take years depending on the treatment but with perseverance, you can do it.