Playing flute with braces

Basics of Flute Playing, Tone Production and Fingerings

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

Post Reply
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 4:29 am

Playing flute with braces

Post by dinhhanh »

So, I'm a pretty committed flute player. I recently found out that I need to get braces in the next six months or so. (My teeth are pretty bad, so Invisalign isn't an option.)

My question is, will I still be able to get a good tone/reach high notes with braces? I've been told that I have a very good tone, and I don't want to lose that. I'm also planning on trying out for our school's more advanced class, which means the expectations will be a lot higher. I've been really anxious about this lately, and I was hoping someone might have some advice.

User avatar
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:08 am
Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Playing flute with braces

Post by Flatfive »

I can't help with regard to flute playing, but hopefully I can give some advice in general. I played sax for years and was constantly biting a hole in my bottom lip due to misaligned bottom teeth. I had a brace fitted when I was in my 50s and everything's fine now. But, I've only taken up the flute again after the brace was removed. I have a permanent retainer fitted to the inside of my bottom teeth, but that doesn't get in the way of anything.

First point, when your teeth are straightened, it can only help in your playing.

Second point, when the brace is first fitted it feels like your mouth has been filled with razor wire. DON'T PANIC. You get used to this very quickly, usually within 48 hours, but I wouldn't try playing the flute during this time. Make sure you don't have anything important, flutewise, for the following week. Every time you have the brace adjusted... every 6 weeks in my case... The razor wire feeling will come back for a day or two.

I don't know how the presence of the brace will affect your embouchure. It will tend to push your lips forward, I would think. But people are very adaptable with these things and you may even find you have some adjusting to do when the brace is first removed.

Third point, make sure you always have some orthodontic wax on hand, it's a life saver. If you have the slightest hint that one of the wires is digging in, get straight back to the orthodontist... You don't want a hole in your mouth or develop a mouth ulcer.

Hope you get on ok with all of this and good luck. You will be amazed how quickly you get used to it.
Steve J

Post Reply