Will Braces Affect My Speech?

Many patients considering orthodontic treatment at Morgan Orthodontics ask if braces will affect their speech. We believe in being completely honest with our patients, even about the parts of treatment that we’re not sure they’re going to like, like the answer to this question. However, you deserve all the information when making healthcare decisions for you and your family. So, will braces affect your speech? Let’s find out!

How Braces Can Affect Speech

Of course, braces will have an impact on how your speech sounds. You’ve got orthodontic appliances taking up space in there! Your tongue (and the rest of your mouth) isn’t used to having roommates, so it will take some time to adjust, no matter what type of braces you have. 

As your mouth adapts to the braces, you might also find that forming certain words isn’t as easy as it used to be. Sounds that require the tip of your tongue to make contact with the roof of the mouth, like “s,” “sh,” “z,” and “t,” can initially be tricky to articulate clearly. This is because the brackets and aligners slightly alter the space within your oral cavity, affecting the movement of your tongue.

Becoming accustomed to braces involves not only getting used to the feel of having brackets and wires or 3M Clarity aligners in your mouth but also managing minor irritations like mouth sores. These sores may occur as your lips, cheeks, and the soft tissues of your mouth adapt to the new hardware. In their brief appearance, they can be pretty uncomfortable, affecting your speech and causing you to speak differently to avoid irritating these sores further.

Tips For Preventing Or Resolving Changes In Speech

If this worries you, try not to let it stress you out! Speech changes are temporary, and we have some tips to make the transition into braces much easier, allowing you to avoid speech issues altogether or speed up how quickly they go away.

  • Practice Speaking: Regularly engage in conversation or read aloud to yourself. This practice can help your tongue and mouth adapt more quickly to the new oral landscape created by braces. The more you talk, the faster you’ll adjust.
  • Use Wax: Orthodontic wax can be a great aid in preventing and soothing mouth sores caused by braces or aligners. Apply a small amount of wax on any bracket, wire, or area of the clear aligner that is causing irritation. This can help reduce discomfort and make it easier to speak without pain. 
  • Stay Hydrated: Your orthodontic appliances can dry out your mouth as you practice talking. A dry mouth can make talking difficult, as can chewing and swallowing. It can also increase your risk of mouth sores. Oral health concerns like cavities, thrush, and gum disease caused by persistent dry mouth can give you bad breath and pain, both of which can discourage you from speaking. Drinking plenty of water is an easy, effective way to lessen these symptoms!
  • Slow Down: Take your time when speaking. Speaking too quickly can exacerbate issues with articulation and leave you frustrated. Slowing down can help you pronounce words more clearly and reduce the likelihood of your tongue catching on your braces or aligners.
  • Consult with Your Orthodontist: If speech changes persist or become problematic, discuss them with Dr. Morgan or Dr. Coffelt. They can offer additional strategies specific to your treatment plan or adjust your braces if necessary.
Will Braces Affect My Speech?

The Long-Term Benefits Of Braces Is Worth A Temporary Speech Inconvenience—We Promise!

By following the above tips, most individuals can effectively manage speech changes associated with orthodontic treatments, allowing them to focus on the exciting journey toward a straighter, healthier smile. If your speech problems continue, or you’re worried about starting orthodontic treatment because you don’t want to sound different, we hope you can find solace in knowing that the overall, long-term benefits of having braces or clear aligners far outweigh the cons of a temporary lisp.

  • Improved Oral Hygiene: Straight teeth are easier to clean and maintain. Correct alignment reduces the risk of food particles getting trapped and plaque building up, which lowers the possibility of cavities and gum disease. Over time, this can lead to a healthier mouth and fewer dental problems.
  • Boost In Confidence: A straight, well-aligned smile significantly raises confidence and self-esteem. This psychological benefit can impact many areas of your life, from social interactions to professional opportunities.
  • Better Bite & Less Wear & Tear: Orthodontic treatment helps correct misaligned bites, which can prevent issues such as uneven wear on teeth, jaw pain, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders (TMD). Proper alignment distributes biting forces evenly, which helps preserve each tooth’s structure and integrity.
  • Polishing Up Speech: Interestingly, while braces and aligners may temporarily affect speech, the correct alignment of teeth can eventually enhance articulation. For some, this means clearer speech after their orthodontic treatment is completed.
  • Upgraded Quality of Life: A confident smile can transform personal and professional relationships. People often respond more positively to those with aligned, attractive smiles, which can open doors to new social opportunities and increase your influence in social networks.

It’s like starting a new hobby; it can be frustrating and annoying at first, but once you nail it down and get really good at it, it becomes worth all the previous struggle. By focusing on these long-term advantages, patients can view the short period of adjustment as a worthwhile investment in their future health and happiness.

Will Braces Affect My Speech?

Let Morgan Orthodontics Help You Create The Smile You’ve Always Wanted.

Schedule a free consultation today and discover if you qualify for ceramic braces, traditional metal braces, or 3M Clarity aligners. With convenient locations in Leesburg and Winchester, we’re always just a stone’s throw away whenever you need us. 

We can’t wait to meet you and show you what your smile could be! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions about cost, insurance, Dental Monitoring, or what to expect at your first appointment. We’re always happy to help.