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DS needs a brace fitted but plays a woodwind instrument- anyone care to share their experiences please?

(18 Posts)
FaintlyBaffled Wed 08-Feb-17 18:51:31

Just as above really smile
We're waiting for an orthodontic referral but in all likelihood it will be braces. This clearly won't affect his guitar playing but he is also grade4 oboe which will be slightly more problematic.

I've read that he may need a softer reed than he's used to, but at grade 4 will that be possible? (I vividly remember the months with the very soft beginners reed. Our dogs used to howl in time with him grin

Anything else I should be aware of? He's fretting a bit and I want to be able to reassure him, but at the same time be realistic in what I'm telling him.

laurzj82 Wed 08-Feb-17 18:57:17

T'was a long time ago but I played clarinet and IIRC my braces made no difference with my playing

Trumpetboysmum Wed 08-Feb-17 18:57:30

When you go to the orthodontist ask about alternatives such as Invisalign ( no nasty metal bits sticking into their mouths) if ds needs a brace I will definitely be asking if 1. it is 100% necessary and 2 looking at alternatives like the above ( as my name suggests he plays trumpet so braces could be problematic)

stringchild Wed 08-Feb-17 22:43:21

hi DD has had a tough time with this but many don't, so don't let me put you off; do however make sure you are firm with the dentist about timing of putting them on, and then of adjustments - avoid either of these in the 2-3 weeks before any major musical event.

also hand out painkillers before they start to play for first week or two after fitting/post adjustment. Do not wait for pain to start as will put them off.

no sure if it works for oboe but we adapted what dd played - saxophone was much less painful than clarinet

i will be honest and say braces have had a very big impact on dd's progress, but unfortunately it has been unavoidable. Teacher had been through the same in her youth so was a huge help, and lowered expectations for a while. it is just not possible to sustain practice over adjustments etc, and even when things are less painful, long practice sessions are not easy

But others have had much better experience, so hopefully your experience won't be like ours!

AliciaMayEmory Wed 08-Feb-17 22:45:30

I played clarinet and had fixed braces on my top and bottom teeth. Was fine and made no difference to my playing.

stringchild Wed 08-Feb-17 22:49:27

Alicia - thats good to hear; braces deal with all sorts of problems so probably a lot is down to what they are trying to sort/positioning/how aggressive the treatment is/how the teeth respond. The good news is the braces are doing their jobsmile

gillybeanz Wed 08-Feb-17 23:20:16

My dd has to practice for up to 3 hours a day, sax, clar, flute.
She has to be able to take hers out during this time to not change any of the embouchures.
So orthodontists can allow this if you ask them.
some carry on playing with them in, some struggle.

Sgtmajormummy Wed 08-Feb-17 23:30:10


DS's trumpet tutor refused to teach him if he had fixed braces, so we had to use this type which should be taken out for a maximum of 2 hours a day (basically just meals and trumpet practice).

It was slightly more expensive than fixed braces and took a good 18 months, changing the transparent tooth masks every month, then keeping the last set as retainers. DH now has a Tom Cruise smile and the trumpet exam he needed (second instrument).

Win win.

FaintlyBaffled Thu 09-Feb-17 00:14:56

Thank you flowers
My worry is (having played for coming up 5 years) that the pain will put him off. I'm almost 100% that a brace will be inevitable so it's really damage limitation as far as possible.
Interesting to hear about choices like Invisalign that will allow us to be better informed when we do see the orthodontist.

DelphineCormier Thu 09-Feb-17 01:34:19

I played oboe aged 11-19. Had braces 13-17. Honestly didn't affect my playing whatsoever behind an initial adjustment period.

DelphineCormier Thu 09-Feb-17 01:34:57

Besides. I should sleep blush

MidLifeCrisis007 Tue 28-Feb-17 10:29:33

My 12 y/o DD got fixed braces (top and bottom) fitted over half term. She's doing her grade V oboe this term and was able to play again within 3 days. It's not a big deal... although her teacher tried to make it one.

My 14 y/o also plays the oboe and he had no problems when he had braces either (over a 15 month period).

They do hurt like hell for the first 48 hours though!

Trumpetboysmum Tue 28-Feb-17 10:41:53

Glad the brace fitting went well and good luck to your dd with her grade 5

Helbelle75 Tue 28-Feb-17 10:45:38

Again, many moons ago, I had fixed braces top and bottom and played clarinet. It was a bit sore for a couple of weeks, but I was fine.

Wafflenose Tue 28-Feb-17 11:18:21

My DD is 11. She had huge, clunky blocks braces for nine months, and is now three months into a two year stint with train tracks, top and bottom. She plays the flute, and it has affected her sound profoundly... however, she has loads of musical commitments and has had no choice but to re-learn how to blow, and get on with it. Her teacher has decreed that she is ready for her next exam this term... I'm not so sure, but we'll see how it goes!

Aftershock15 Tue 28-Feb-17 11:28:07

My ds had fixed top & bottom braces for a couple of years, and didn't seem to affect his oboe playing, but he was probably only grade 4 standard when they were removed. A friend has them now and can't take grade 5 as struggles with the scales with the brace. Still does pieces and orchestra etc but does feel a bit stuck I think.

Enb76 Tue 28-Feb-17 12:40:43

I had train tracks and played the flute. I had wax which stopped them biting into my flesh when I played but I don't really remember it being much of a problem. I did G7 at 15 with train tracks.

ellesbellesxxx Sun 05-Mar-17 10:28:28

I had train tracks top and bottom whilst learning oboe and used to get this special stuff that I would put over braces to stop my lips being shredded! Can't remember what it was called but ask orthodontist?
Didn't hold me back smile

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