Can I Play in Marching Band with Braces?

Most patients who go through orthodontic treatment with braces have no problem going about their daily lives and enjoying the activities they love most. But this isn’t always the case right away. Braces take a little time to get used to, and if you play an instrument, you may find yourself dealing with a bit of an adjustment period once you first get your braces.

Playing Instruments with Braces

Anyone who plays the guitar, drums, or other instruments that purely demand the use of your hands and feet won’t need to adjust to anything. There’s no reason braces would affect your ability to practice your musical instrument or perform well.

However, some problems can arise for braces patients who play the trumpet, flute, saxophone, or any instrument that requires you to blow through a mouthpiece.

Most often, patients who play brass instruments, such as the trumpet or French horn, or who play instruments with smaller mouthpieces have the most difficulty adjusting to playing with braces. Instruments with larger mouthpieces that require less focused air pressure, such as the tuba, are easier to adjust to.

But either way, if you play one of these or similar musical instruments, it may be a bit frustrating trying to practice at first.

How to Adjust to Playing an Instrument with Braces

The presence of the metal wires and brackets will make it harder to achieve the same level of airflow you’re used to when you play your instrument. But you can still play just as well by taking the time to practice and determine the best new mouth position to play with.

Most often, this means increasing the typical amount of air pressure on the mouthpiece of your instrument while playing. This change is often subtle and won’t mean you’ll be short on air supply during practice.

For teens who play their instruments the most during the school year, it can be better to get braces in the summer before school starts so they can have ample time to get used to playing their instrument with braces before they need to show up for practice or performances.

Alternatives to Braces

Thankfully, more and more patients can complete orthodontic treatment using Invisalign. This treatment system uses aligners that fit neatly over the teeth rather than metal brackets and wires.

The clear plastic aligners shouldn’t cause any sort of interference with people trying to play an instrument with a mouthpiece since they take the same shape as the teeth and aren’t even a full millimeter thick.

For teens playing in band, they can use Invisalign Teen , which comes with six replacement aligners in case one gets lost or damaged, and each aligner has a blue indicator button to help ensure they are being worn enough each day. Plus, the treatment plan is designed to accommodate growing jaws. If they do find that they prefer to perform or practice with their trays out, they do have that option since they’re removable, as long as they keep their trays on for at least 22 hours per day.

Contact Milnor Orthodontics today to learn more!

At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.