Band instruments (particularly used brass and woodwind instruments) may contain heavy amounts of bacteria which could be dangerous to your dental and overall health. According to research published in the March/April 2011 issue of General Dentistry, upwards of 440 various bacteria, 58 types of mold, and 19 strains of yeast were found on 13 different used musical instruments. These instruments are commonly purchased for the use of children in school bands. The researchers tested 117 different places on the instruments, including the internal chambers, mouth pieces, and even cases which hold the instruments.
“Parents may not realize that the mold in their child’s instrument could contribute to the development of asthma,” says R. Thomas Glass, DDS, PhD. Dr. Glass was the lead author of the research study. Dr. Glass also stated that the yeasts can cause infections on the outside and inside of the mouth as well as the lips. Some of the bacteria found were the types of germs which are implicated in dangerous staph infections. This type of infection is known to resist many prescribed antibiotics, making the infection difficult to control and even fatal in people who have compromised immune systems.
Details of Research
The research results made a good case for the idea that sterilizing used band instruments is an essential practice prior to using them yourself or allowing your child to use them. The band instructor at your child’s school should be able to provide thorough steps for properly sanitizing an instrument without affecting it’s integrity. After initial sterilization, any used instrument should be wiped down frequently, especially on those places and parts which make regular contact with your face and mouth. Dr. Glass also recommends that band students should refrain from sharing their instruments with friends and family in order to stop the spread of oral germs.
About Mai Dentistry
At Mai Dentistry: Mai-Truong Vi H DDS and our team offer you confident, compassionate dental care. Our goal is to help you achieve a bright, beautiful smile. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in Spanish and Vietnamese. To schedule an appointment, call today at 972-530-0552.