Marching band camps are launching this week in high schools across the country. A recent study published in the March/April issue of General Dentistry isolated almost 400 different microbes (including bacteria, yeast and mold) from previously played musical instruments. The band instruments included clarinets, oboes, saxophones, mellophones, trombones and trumpets, the majority of which had not been played in over a month. Disease causing microbes were more concentrated near the mouthpiece or reed, but were evident throughout the instruments in significant numbers. Although the authors of the study recommended sterilizing instruments before sharing them (what do you expect from dentists!!), I think a thoughtful awareness of cleaning instruments well should be considered.