When beginning your orthodontic treatment, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. One that we get all the time is about the effect braces will have on your ability to talk properly. In short, there are a few changes that you may notice for a short time, but these effects are not at all permanent and are not nearly as noticeable as you may think.
When are changes most noticeable?
In the first few days or weeks of your orthodontic treatment there may be temporary changes in how you form words. With the appliance in your mouth and the swelling that occurs because of it, your tongue and mouth will need time to adjust. It is likely that you’ll notice the most difference on your “s” and “th” sounds.
But don’t worry.
Your tongue and mouth are extraordinarily adaptable. In a short time, they will learn how to function with orthodontics to have you sounding like normal again. However, if you are very worried about the effects, there are some treatment options available to reduce them.
For instance, lingual braces installed on the back of the teeth help to minimize any differences in speech. Plastic aligners such as Invisalign™ are also a great option, as they are perfectly shaped to fit your teeth and create little interference with your tongue.
The only drawbacks to these particular appliances is that they tend to cost more than traditional braces. If your budget is an issue, you still have options. Dental wax can be used on traditional braces to help make speaking slightly easier.
There are also big benefits in the long term that are worth the short struggle.
Straighter teeth play a big role in better speech. When your teeth are misaligned, it can cause lisping, whistling and other major speech impediments. Orthodontic treatment can help correct all of those issues while giving you a healthier, happier smile.