Can a Musical Instrument Affect Teeth?

Ever think of asking your dentist which musical instrument you should play?

Few people do. But especially for young people, an early dental analysis–before selecting a musical instrument–can be important.

Surprisingly, some instruments–woodwind or brass–can actually help some children who have an overbite problem. Yet, the same instrument can make the problem worse in another child. Each case must be judged individually.

Consider Michael who wants to play a saxophone in the school band. His parents think it's time for braces, but Michael wonders if the appliances will affect his ability to play. His parents, however, question if the mouthpiece pressing against his teeth might damage the braces. in this hypothetical, the best option is for Michael to have a consultation with his dentist.

These are the questions the dentist needs to analyze:

  • Does the shape of the child's mouth (teeth and bone structure) help or hinder his ability to play?
  • How often will he or she play?
  • If the child is having orthodontic treatment, will the instrument enhance treatment or reverse the improvement made by the braces?