paste for braces?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stevecritchlow, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Hi Folks
    one of the young players in my band is badly affected by her dental brace (an increasingly common problem it seems) but her brass teacher at school has told her about a gum or paste that might help. The player has asked my opinion, and unfortunatly I haven't got a clue what shes talking about?

    Can anyone out there enlighten me with their experience, good or bad?:sup
  2. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    I had a fixed brace for about two and a half years when I was at school. The orthodontist supplied us with a red wax for smoothing out areas where the brace cut, but I didn't need it for more than a few weeks. My lips hardened up, I used a less pressure, and the brace smoothed up slightly. I was playing trumpet at the time, more than once a day. Others may have more problems though.

    Unfortunately, the orthodontist was ****, and with hindsight I realise he should have removed eight teeth not four, but that's another matter.
  3. DMBabe

    DMBabe Supporting Member

  4. anyone got any experience of braceguard?
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  6. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    Use the plastic protectors that come in 2 long strips, for £5!!
    I had track permanent braces for 2 years and i can honestly say that without the protectors my gum's would have been torn to shreds, soprano want the best idea i know!! ;)
    I can't emphasise enough that you MUST use guards to stop long term irreversible damage!
    You should be able to get them from your orthodontist, as well as the wax, but as DMbabe says there are messy and ware out quickly.
    Also it's worth taking into account the brass genius that is brass crest, braces in long run will help with sound production, good techniques ect. because you have to essentially build up your lip again, which sounds daunting but is a blessing in disguise.
  7. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    You're talking as a self-appointed expert yet again. Please give up.

    I played without protection every day for over two years, including some pretty high big band stuff. Any problems with my playing now are down to a lack of practice or talent.
  8. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    In which case congratulations, you clearly have a perfect technique of playing where you apply no pressure, however us mere mortals don't have a perfect way of playing!!
    Why do you have a problem with what I say, sharp metal + pressure on flesh = cuts into your lip, it's common sense, or it should be!!
  9. cornetshell

    cornetshell Member

    Owen S - I agree.

    I had braces for just over a year top and bottom with elastics. I was worried and spoke to my dentist who was really helpfull and confessed to having wired up half of the Abraham Derby School band! She was reallys supportive and said it woudln't be a problem and gave me a clear wax that you warmed up in your hands like putty and applied to the brackets that caused the pain/cuts. I soon was able to play without the wax and found I played wth less pressure. I remember having my braces off and my stamina just seemed to double over night.

    I really think my braces helped me so much - I didnt use a guard but I dont think they were around when I had them. Her dentist shoudl be able to give her the wax as it isnt brass specific it is given to you when they are first put in to help you get used to having them as they do cut the inside of your lips at first.
  10. Owen S

    Owen S Member

    I certainly don't have perfect technique, but I'm speaking from personal experience. My braces did not cut into my lip at all once I adjusted to them. If you never tried to play without protection at all, then you wouldn't know that - you don't even know whether you could also have adjusted to playing without protection, since it sounds like you never dared try it.

    Trial and error trumps "common sense", every time.
  11. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I think both of you are correct. Braces create a major change to how you make contact with the mouthpiece and produce air to vibrate lips. I believe that most of us adapt to subtle changes on a regular basis to maintain our relative standards of playing. It's when this comfort zone is breached, we find out our limitations and vulnerability. If that change of environment is hard to reconcile, it might be that other changes or support might be required, even if it is only on a temporary basis.
  12. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

  13. Rhonda

    Rhonda Member

    Here's a good alternative to the old style braces:

    Not cheap but great!

    No problems with playing any wood wind/ brass instrument