Young Musicians, Healthy Smiles

Is your child learning to play an instrument? So much has been said about the importance of wearing an athletic mouth guard during sports, but other extra-curricular activities can affect your child’s teeth, including band and orchestra.

Problem Instruments

Instruments played by biting onto a mouthpiece can cause problems with upper teeth alignment. The clarinet, especially, has the potential to cause a strain on the front two teeth, over time positioning them forward in an overbite.

Woodwinds are not the only sources of hazard. The violin, played with the chin tucked to the end of the instrument, can cause undue stress on the jaw. The position may eventually cause complications with your child’s bite.

Thankfully, dental health and musical appreciation can be achieved at the same time if several precautions are taken.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Encourage your child to choose an instrument that naturally suits his or her facial structure, not just what their friends are learning to play. The band director or music teacher can help select the perfect instrument for your child’s body type and tastes.
  • Special neck straps and pads can be purchased to train correct form and muscle memory and ease tension on the teeth and jaw.
  • Set a practice schedule with short, 30-minute segments. After long hours of practicing, the facial muscles become fatigued, increasing the chance of jaw and tooth stress.

Of course, bad playing habits don’t ruin smiles overnight. Only after years of practicing the wrong way will consequences develop. The best way to address dental problems is to understand how to prevent them in the first place.

Dr. James Stewart cares about your child’s health, both dental and artistic. Call (734) 425-4400 to schedule an appointment at our general dentist office in Livonia, MI. Together, we can ensure your child has a lifetime of enjoyment filled with music and smiles. We serve families in Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, Dearborn, Garden City, Westland, Redford, and surrounding areas.