Some patients may experience minor speech problems during the first two weeks or so of getting acclimated to new dental appliances. Palatal Expanders, Lingual Braces and Invisalign are some of the most common dental appliances that may inhibit speech. The patient who is wearing these types of dental appliances may develop a slight lisp or have difficulty enunciating certain words. These impediments can sound more pronounced on camera/audio, so those working in media will want to take steps to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.
Generally speaking, once the mouth, teeth and tongue become accustomed to having the dental device in place, speech improves significantly and with a little extra effort, speech can return to normal in no time.
Here are Dr. Nikaeen’s tips for improving overall speech for new dental clients:
- Practice speaking with correct pronunciation either publicly or privately – mindfully attempt to over-enunciate, focusing on the most difficult letters, such as S’s, T’s, D’s and C’s
- Spend time reading aloud,; repeating passages which are the trickiest to pronounce
- Record your practice sessions with a handheld recorder, in order to hone in on problem areas
- Take your time and speak at a comfortable, steady pace
- Maintain good posture, allowing for proper larynx (voice box) airflow
- Apply wax or lubricant to braces brackets to aid in smoothness of speech
- Sing! Singing is a fun and effective way to help you adjust to new oral movements affiliated with your dental device
- Let us know if speech problems persist, as an adjustment or repair may be in order
The Best Braces to Avoid Speech Impediments
Traditional braces in which the brackets are affixed to the front of the teeth are the best option for avoiding lisps. This is because there is no foreign appliance between the back of the teeth and the tongue. However, traditional braces are not always a viable option for every patient. Adult patients often prefer to have less obvious dental work. While lingual braces and Invisalign do inhibit speech initially, the tongue does adapt to the dental wear and speech will adjust accordingly. If the possibility of a lisp is stopping you from getting your teeth straightened, contact Dr. Nikaeen for a consultation. She will listen to you, address your concerns and offer you the best solution for your particular situation.