Movable Teeth, and a suggestion

Many of us experience movement of teeth from playing or because of any number of things.And there are those who have marvelous teeth and never need a thing done to them, stictly a genetic inheritance issue.
Get ready for the other side of the tooth. Here is my general dental history: I have had a successful life as clarinetist A few pertinent facts: I have had bad teeth, especially the front teeth all of my life since losing a front one when I was 13. Pain, absess, lost teeth, then the round of replacement of this or that. I once had a bridge carefully measured by an excellent dentist who was sensitive to the fact that I was a professional clarinetist. When he placed the appliance in my mouth, I felt a shock of pain which subsided almost immediately. He then, out of the supposed kindness of his heart charged me only half of what he would have, he said. The pain was the fact of absess upon the placement. More than several years later it came to life ,swelling and painful until rectified. I was Principal in Milwaukee at the time.
And so it has gone. Dentists don’t like things in the mouth that get in the way of “proper alignment”, and the clarinet does just that. I have had many students with braces, writing to me with what the dentists have said. Dentists first job is making teeth healthy and they suggest giving up the clarinet.
You love the clarinet, right? You have most probably receding gums or weakness because of any number of reasons.
They’re two different things, at least to you. If the clarinet is important, practice it, but not to the point of pain, (which is what I did). When in the US Army, I went to the dentist and asked him to take out all my teeth. Of course he refused, saying that I only needed a root canal, which he performed. I played that night, “Afternoon of a Faun” of Debussy, arranged for band, playing the flute solo on clarinet, blood running down my chin. (truth).
Call me an idiot or a masochist, whatever, but I have found out that I really love the clarinet. There, you have my experience to share. Good luck. Keep praticing, but do care for your teeth.

Sherman Friedland


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