Playing a wind or brass instrument
uses a combination of lip and facial
muscles, tongue and teeth, a
technique known as embouchure.

Different instruments need a different mix of these elements to make
them function at their best and unfortunately orthodontic treatments
can make forming the correct embouchure difficult.

We’ve treated a lot of wind and brass instrument players. The majority
are children, although we do treat professional adult musicians too.
For younger players who are in the learning process and developing
their skills, we typically look to time treatment in relation to
instrument grading, with the young patient completing their current
grade before commencing treatment.

CASE STUDY
A symphony orchestra trumpet player has lower front teeth crossed over and wants them straightened because she feels it will improve her play. We apply some plastic to the patient’s teeth for a week to see if it makes a difference. The patient reports that it feels fine so we make an aligner and she wears it for a day with no issues. The patient proceeds on to treatment with aligners, on the understanding that if it doesn’t work for her we will stop immediately. By the end of the treatment the patient is first trumpet in the orchestra and her confidence has improved dramatically. Her career is safe and her teeth look beautiful. The risk of causing irreversible changes that weren’t suitable for playing has been averted.

What To Expect

An in depth conversation about you, your instrument
and your schedule before discussing your options.
Together we can work out a timeframe that suits you
and deliver what you are aiming to achieve with your
teeth and your music.

Pros of treatment
for wind instrument
players

  • For children, time treatment around grade exams
    to have a minimal impact upon your musical
    development
  • For professional musicians, avoid the risk of changes
    that harm your career
  • Have potential obstacles to playing, such as air escape,
    fixed sensitively
  • Experience the boost in confidence that straighter teeth
    will give you

Meet our specialist

Dr Rob Slater

GDC No. 65931

BDS FDSRCS MOrthRCS MSc, Specialist in Orthodontics

  • Pioneering founder and former chairman of the British Lingual Orthodontic Society
  • Worked as an examiner, trainer, noted publisher and international lecturer
  • Began his career as a dental technician, creating orthodontic appliances