Musical instruments teach children discipline, allow them to express their creativity, and give them a sense of community. So, it’s not surprising that so many parents encourage their little ones to play. What many parents do not know, however, is the link between musical instruments and oral health. Keep reading to learn about the potentially negative effects of woodwind or brass instruments as well as some important prevention tactics.
How Your Child’s Musical Instrument Can Affect Their Oral Health
Keeping your child’s oral health in pristine condition is important. Neglecting to do so can take a serious toll on the appearance and function of their smile. With this in mind, here are a few things to consider when it comes to woodwind or brass instruments:
- Bacteria – If your child plays consistently, it won’t take long for their instrument to harbor spit and germs.
- Lip and tooth trauma – To produce the desired sound, musicians need to forcefully hold their instrument in place against their mouth. Unfortunately, this can damage their lips and negatively impact the development of their teeth.
- Head and neck position – While a violin isn’t a wind instrument, the position your child needs to hold their head and neck in to play properly can lead to bite issues, like cross-bites.
4 Important Preventive Measures
Prevention is paramount when it comes to dentistry. Therefore, set your child up for success with the below best practices:
- Clean their instrument regularly – Help your child get in the habit of disinfecting their musical instrument after each use. This will prevent harmful bacteria from being exposed to their mouth and decrease their chances of developing dental problems, like tooth decay.
- Ask their dentist about a mouthguard – To protect your child’s teeth and gums, ask their dentist about getting a custom-made mouthguard for them to wear as they play.
- Follow a solid dental care regimen – Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting their dentist every six months for a dental checkup and cleaning are all pillars of proper oral hygiene.
- Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist – Experts recommend bringing your child in to visit an orthodontist around age seven. Although this may seem young, assessing issues like overcrowding and bite misalignment at an early age will prevent complications down the line.
Playing a musical instrument provides children with so many benefits, including a creative outlet and a sense of community. Fortunately, they won’t have to miss out for the sake of their oral health! Just keep the above prevention tactics in mind to keep their smile in tip-top shape throughout the years.
About the Practice
At West Brookfield Dental, we are proud to have a phenomenal team of doctors in-house, including a pediatric dentist and orthodontist! As a team, they can confidently handle all of you and your family’s smile-related needs, from essential preventive care to teeth-straightening braces. So, whether your child plays a musical instrument or is simply overdue for their biannual visit, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our team via our website or by phone at 508-867-2777.