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Ways to reduce lower lip pain when playing clarinet

Sometimes, playing clarinet can be a pain in the….lips.

Some clarinetists may experience pain in their lower lip due to extended pressure and contact with the lower teeth. Although this is normal, you don’t have to play with pain. You’ll be happy to know that there are several ways to help alleviate this pain while you play clarinet.

Here are a few of my favorite products that can help reduce lower lip pain in clarinetists:

(I have personally tried items marked *. I have researched and collected several different products to share with you, and I strongly suggest trying different products until you find the best solution to reduce your lower lip pain. This is not a sponsored post.)

  • EZO denture cushions*. I’ve used these for years, and they’ve allowed me to play longer with little to no lower lip pain. You can cut each U-shaped denture cushion into several sections which you can then form to your lower teeth to use while playing. A single packs will last you for quite a while, but be warned – I’ve been told that this product is being discontinued.
  • Silverstein OmniGuard. I’ve heard wonderful reviews about this product, and it is even compatible if you have braces.
  • Charles Bay Bay-Gale Lip Ease Teeth Cushion. I’ve never tried these myself, but they have high reviews from people that have used them.
  • Dental mouth guards. You can buy these over-the-counter or have one custom made at your dentist.
  • Cigarette paper*. Many clarinetists use cigarette paper to protect their lower lips, but I’ve found that the paper gets soggy rather quickly and doesn’t alleviate the pain considerably.
  • Floral tape*. This is a bit more resilient than cigarette paper, although I still find it becomes soggy quickly.

Keep in mind:

  • Clarinetists experience varying degrees of lower lip pain (if they experience any at all). This depends on teeth shape, size, location and also embouchure, horn angle, and several other factors.
  • If you still experience lower lip pain, you can experiment with making alterations to your embouchure which might help alleviate your pain. Additionally, you can also consult a medical professional for serious or prolonged pain.
  • Find the best solution for you! Each person is different, so what works for your teachers, students, or colleagues might not work for you. Try a variety of products and brainstorm other solutions to find what works best so you can focus on your music-making!

How do you reduce lower lip pain when you play clarinet?

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