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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry
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Keep Your Child's Mouth Healthy during Band Practice

Posted on 8/20/2016 by Cynthia Pelley
A young girl blowing into a trumpet.Playing an instrument is often a big part of your teenager's life, and while this can be a very enriching experience, it is important that you and your teen aren't failing to consider his dental health. There are three main areas that you need to think about when playing an instrument.

Mouth Trauma

Playing a brass or wind instrument will require that your teen holds the instrument up against his lips in order to create a sound. This pressure can present some problems for the teeth and the lip tissue.

If your teen is experiencing problems with this pressure, especially if he wears braces, you might want to talk to his dentist about using soft acrylic guards. Without these in place, your child may also experience canker sores and other painful mouth ulcers.


It is important that your teen is consistent with cleaning out his instrument, especially his mouthpiece. Wind and brass instruments can harbor bacteria, yeast, and mold, and this can cause a variety of illnesses, including asthma. These mouthpieces can collect spit and need to be regularly cleaned so that he can stay healthy.

Trauma to the Neck and Head

Some teens might want to play a string instrument and feel that their mouth will be completely healthy since instrument will have no contact with their teeth or lips. While there aren't any bacteria to worry about, it is important that you consider the positioning of the instrument.

Holding up a violin all day can cause head, chin, neck, and facial pain, so it is important that you encourage your teen to maintain good posture. Additionally, the awkward position that you will hold some of these instruments in could cause overbites and other misalignment problems to worsen.

As a parent, you should encourage your child to follow his passions, including playing an instrument. Just make sure that dental health remains a priority. Please contact us if you have any questions about your child's oral health.

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Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry - Cynthia Pelley | | (503) 235-0313
8708 SE 17th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202