I'm prepping for a couple of gigs where I've gone up a 1/2 strength in soprano reeds to strengthen my tone, upper notes, and pitch reliability. (3H it is.) It sounds phenomenal for tone and intonation, but my lips are suffering somewhat. I tried a suggestion from a forum member to modify an over-the-counter dental guard to protect my lower lip. At first I didn't like the results, because it mutes my tone somewhat, but I actually find my high notes pop in more easily with the dental guard than with my lip alone. I've decided to go ahead and use it, because the gig I'm playing for is going to include people who are likely to complain that we are all playing too loudly, and I know that soprano is definitely in hearing-aid hot spot range; hence, muted tone may be an advantage. I hope it doesn't cause me problems later to have morphed my embouchure to accommodate the thicker plastic that replaces my cutting edge teeth. It's not the gig that will be so much of a problem on the teeth. It's the hours of practice to get ready. I need to do 1-2 hours daily. Anyone have an idea why the dental guard would actually help me get the high notes? I found that strange.