Sliding Embouchure

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Leyfy, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Just some advice really, please.

    Since having my ceramic braces fitted about a year ago I always get a pressure sore from the main archwire on the top right hand side of my mouth. Where my lip sits on the wire it tends to cut in and dig, no matter how much wax I put on it. I play on a Denis Wick heritage mouthpiece and pre-braces I never got the pressure mark/ring on my mouth. I do get that now, which is fine as it doesn't cause any major problems, but what I am noticing is now is, as time goes, my embouchure is sliding across my face!!

    Pre-brace my mouthpiece sat just slightly to the right of centre, but now my entire embouchure seems to have slid to the right-hand side of my mouth. I think this is a sub-conscious thing that means that the hole in the m/p is now over the area that causes pain so there is less pressure from the rim.

    Anyway, having a discussion with a couple of other people, they have said that it doesn't matter too much if the embouchure isn't perfectly centered, as long as it doesn't slide up or down on the lip. So..... do I try and correct this, or just keep playing off to one side for another year and correct it when I get the braces off?
  2. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    It doesn't matter if your embouchure isn't perfectly centred, true - but if it's shifted, it may be hard to correct after a year being left in that position.

    I'd suggest you do what you can to keep it as near to the normal position as possible, although I appreciate this may not be comfortable, and playing without the braces isn't an option.

    Not knowing what chair you're playing in, this may not be an option, but perhaps a move to a lower back-row seat may give you the chance to keep playing without having to worry too much about higher register playing, which is often when most players start to use excess mouthpiece pressure. Not suggesting this is the case here, but it would do to keep pressure off the braces in any way available!

    Best wishes with it...

  3. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Thanks for the advice :)

    I was playing 2MD, but I went onto 4th man down when I had them fitted. As I made the choice to have them fitted I did have a discussion with the MD and P/C. However, due to personnel leaving/shifting seats I have now moved back onto 2MD and I'm finding it a struggle. I know they will benefit me in the long run, but at the moment they are a real pain.

    Note to any younger brass players out there in braces : wear your retainer, or you end up like me and with wonky teeth again as an adult!!
  4. cornet_babe

    cornet_babe Member


    I had braces for three years and without realising it when I was playing, my embouchure moved downwards and I started to curl my lip - I suppose to try and cushion where the braces rubbed. This has since caused me much aggravation in trying to move my embouchure back as stamina was appalling - I had nearly fully stopped using my top lip!! So, if you've begun to notice it moving I wouldn't worry too much at the moment, but keep an eye on it and if it starts to move too much think about maybe correcting it.

    If you would like some relief from the sores then "Brace eze" is a MILLION times better than the wax the orthodontists give you. Also you might find the "comfi-guard" helps - it slots over the braces and stops the brackets cutting into your gums when you play. I relied on both of these!! Both are being sold on this webpage

    Hope some of that helped :) Good luck!
  5. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    Heya Kim,

    I wouldn't worry about, mine shifted to the right when I had my brace, it just compensates to find the most comfortable and least damaging position.

    It's up to you whether you try and counter it, but personally, I wouldn't, let your treatment run it's course and then when you have your brace off then start to rebuild your embouchure.

    You can always drop me a message or give me a call.

    ps. long time no speak, how are you (apart from the usual brace problems)? :)
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  6. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Thanks for the advice :)

    I tried braceze a couple of times, but I wasn't keen. I might re-try it now as that was a year ago and I'm a bit more used to the braces now.

    The problem I found with the comfort covers is that it then adds another layer to between the lip and your teeth. I've tried various things, morgan lip bumpers (which didn't fit as they are designed for the metal brackets, and I have the posh (!) 'invisible' ceramic ones!), comfort covers (they tended to pop off at the back and I was worried I was going to choke on them!) and several different brands of wax. The best stuff I've found is actually the thicker coloured stuff because it tends not to move too much.
  7. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    I've never understood this thing about braces - why the fascination with "perfect" teeth?
    When everyone's teeth are perfect, the really interesting people will be the guys with crooked smiles.
    Unless it's a serious dental problem, bin the brace and play like a dream....
  8. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Well, my playing was half the reason I got the brace in the first place. I was playing pretty well (probably the best I've ever played if I'm honest, as it was a lot to do with confidence, and I really managed to work on that sitting 2md), but my 1 cm overbite meant that all of the pressure from the extra playing/practise was going on my top left tooth. After rehearsals it was starting to .... uh oh.... wobble!! This continued for a few months and I decided I had to do something drastic in case I lost the tooth (which wouldn't be a good look!!).
  9. Alyn James

    Alyn James Member

    That sounds like a serious enough problem to me :) Good Luck!
  10. Leyfy

    Leyfy Active Member

    Thanks for all the advice, comments everyone :)

    Seems that my super-movable teeth will be out of braces 9 months early! Woo hoo! The initial debracing date was May 2012, but my orthodontist has said that I only need a couple more appointments, which takes me up to August. I am really looking forward to playing brace free again!

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