Learning to play a musical instrument has so many benefits, such as increasing memory skills, teaching perseverance, improving coordination, and building self-esteem, just to name a few.
It can, however, have a negative impact on a child’s oral health. Keep reading to find out how certain musical instruments can be detrimental and what measures can be taken to prevent any issues for your child.
What Are Potential Dangers from Woodwind or Brass Musical Instruments?
Being aware of issues that could arise from playing woodwind or brass musical instruments makes your child much better equipped to prevent them. Here are some things to be aware of:
- Poor Posture: The potential problem here is the position one’s face, neck, and chin could be in for a significant amount of time to play an instrument like the violin or viola. Maintaining good posture and not overdoing it regarding playing time is the best way to avoid any trouble. Because the awkward playing position for these instruments can contribute to or worsen crossbites and overbites due to pressure on the jaw, consulting your child’s dentist and music teacher is ideal to receive advice specific to them.
- Lip and tooth trauma: Playing a wind or brass instrument requires applying pressure to the lips that can be problematic for the delicate lip tissue or growing teeth of a child. Soft acrylic guards, which are commonly used by children wearing braces, can offset some of this pressure. If the musician is prone to cold sores, woodwind players tend to experience breakouts at twice the rate of non-musicians.
- Bacteria: Brass and wind instruments can be a haven for bacteria or mold that can cause asthma or other illnesses. Be sure instruments are cleaned regularly and thoroughly. This helps the musician stay healthy and the instrument perform optimally.
Selecting the Right Instrument Is Important
When your child becomes interested in playing a new musical instrument, consult their music teacher or band director. They will be able to offer input on the instruments best suited for a person based on their physical size, as well as finger and hand strength.
Your family dentist may also be able to offer valuable input if your child has a particular instrument in mind. A mouthguard could protect their teeth and gums and may be especially effective depending on the instrument to be played.
Playing a musical instrument can certainly be very beneficial. It can foster creativity and a sense of belonging when in a band setting. Being proactive to account for any potential issues later on when your child is just starting out with an instrument is the smart approach.
Besides the suggestions above, do all that you can to ensure healthy teeth and gums for your child with a consistent oral hygiene regimen and visits to their dentist twice each year for a cleaning and exam. The instruments aren’t the only ones that need to stay finely tuned.
About the Author
Dr. Shannon Stokes earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Baylor College of Dentistry, which is hailed as one of the country’s best dental schools. He has kept the learning going by completing a variety of postgraduate courses with the understanding that the dental field and associated technology are always evolving. Dr. Stokes understands the importance of comprehensive dental care for your child, as exams include digital X-rays, comprehensive cleanings, fluoride treatment, and more. If they are going to make beautiful music, their oral health should be in great standing just as they will learn to take pride in the condition of their instrument. To schedule an appointment for your child’s dental cleaning and exam, visit his website or call (972) 596-0200.