Used Band Instruments Riddled with Harmful Bacteria

Playing a musical instrument can improve your children’s intelligence, but playing a used instrument can be hazardous to their health. I’m Dr. Randy LaFrom, A Cupertino and San Jose family dentist, and I want to share with you a study about second-hand band instruments.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), used brass and woodwind instruments contain heavy amounts of bacteria and Fungi. Researchers tested 13 different used instruments in over 117 different sites, including the mouth pieces, internal chambers, and cases. Some of the instruments hadn’t been touched in about a month. Over 440 different bacteria, (many of which cause staph infections), 58 molds, and 19 yeasts were found on the instruments.

“Because these instruments come into contact with the mouth, it is no wonder they’re a breeding ground for bacteria,” stated Dr. Cynthia Sherwood, spokesperson for the AGD. “As dentists, we see this same growth of bacteria in dentures, athletic mouthguards, and toothbrushes.”

Staph infections are highly resistant to many prescribed antibiotics. For this reason, it is important to sanitize the instruments regularly. Parents and students should frequently wipe the surface of the instrument that comes in contact with the mouth and skin. The instrument should be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned. It should not be shared with other people. The students’ band instructor may also provide tips for sanitizing the instrument.

The most important way to decrease the amount of bad bacteria in your mouth is brushing your teeth two times a day, flossing daily, rinsing your mouth after meals, and keeping your semi-annual dental visits. If you live in the San Jose or Cupertino area, call my Cupertino dentist office at (408)996-8595 to schedule your six-month dental visit. Your oral health is my number one concern!

~ by cupertinodentist on March 25, 2011.

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