I've had braces since I started playing trombone and I've learnt with them so they aren't wierd to play with. The problem is that I've soon got a grade exam and I'm getting my braces taken off 3 weeks before. I am seriously freaking out and wonder how long it actually takes for you to adjust. Advice please?
I am primarily a horn instructor, but this should work for you as well. With my students I have a real easy method to get your lips adjusted back to regularness. Most of my students have their range and tone back within 4 to 7 days. Although if this is an important exam I would suggest rescheduling your brace removal until after the exam. I am sure your orthodontist will understand.
Here is the routine:
Each morning play a chromatic scale in your general range one octave up and back down. Then move up a half step and do the same, an octave up and and back down. Continue until you get to an octave you cannot complete. Stop ( don't do a warm down ). Write this note down on a piece of paper to track your progress.
At the end of the day repeat the same process. When you get to the octave you can't complete, Stop, and don't do a warm down. Write the note on your piece of paper.
Do this each day for a week to 10 days; until you get your range back.
Ex: Chromatic C1 to C2 back down to C1.
Chromatic C#1 to C#2 back down to C#2
Chromatic D up to D down to D
Chromatic D# up to D# down to D
Chromatic E up to E down to E
The science if you care:
The skin of your lips has slowly stretched over time to cover the extra metal/plastic on your teeth. Because our skin is elastic it will stretch back; quicker and easier the younger we are. These simple chromatic scales will slowly but dynamically stretch (or unstretch) your lip skin back to where it needs to be. By doing the exercise at the end of the day your body will try and hold this position when you sleep (which why you should not do a warm down the week or so you doing this exercise). In the morning when you do this it is reminding your body where you want your skin to be.