What is a dentist’s favorite musical instrument? A tuba toothpaste. But all jokes aside, if you play a musical instrument that requires use of your mouth there’s a definite link between the pastime and your dental health.
Used Instruments And Cleanliness
One study from 2011 shows that used wood and brass instruments harbor a large amount of bacteria, fungi, molds and yeasts. While you might think it’s all a part of the game, these build ups can cause infections like “red lips” around the mouth, contribute to the development of asthma and introduce harmful bacterias into your mouth. It is comparable to the bacteria that grows on mouthpieces or retainers. You wouldn’t stick someone else’s retainer in your mouth, and likewise you should not borrow an instrument that doesn’t belong to you! If you are renting out a used instrument you should employ proper sanitizing techniques before you begin using the instrument. The mouthpiece isn’t the only part that needs cleaning! Stores that sell musical instruments often have staff that are knowledgeable in necessary cleaning techniques. You could also reach out to your musical instructor or teacher.
Dental Procedures And Playing Technique
If you are a musician who is worried about how a dental treatment or procedure will affect your playing it is crucial that you speak with your dentist. A musician’s embouchure, or how they employ their lips, mouth and tongue to play their instrument, can be affected by a dental procedure. Talking with your dentist and making them aware of your situation is the first step. Sometimes a dentist can benefit from actually watching you use your instrument, so that they can determine how you use your mouth. While most procedures are necessary and cannot be avoided, your dentist can sometimes personalize the procedure to take your embouchure into account.
Bring your teeth (and your instruments!) into Dr. Bosse of Greenspoint Dental. We’d love to hear you play!