Are you considering braces but would like to learn more about how they affect your speech first? You’ve landed on the perfect blog! Our team at Orbach Orthodontics is here to share how braces work, what makes them change your speech, and why the benefits make the transition worth it.
The Basics of Braces
Braces are generally comprised of brackets, wires, elastics, and other components that work together to place constant pressure on specific areas of your teeth to shift them into the perfect alignment. Some appliances, such as metal and clear braces, display brackets on the front of your teeth, which can slightly alter the natural placement of your lips, cheeks, and tongue. The position of each of these parts influences how you pronounce certain words or sounds.
Which Appliance Will Require the Shortest Adjustment Period?
Metal braces are a traditional orthodontic option, which displays metal brackets on your teeth throughout treatment and can fix any issue. Clear braces use the same technology as the former, but appeal to those with aesthetics in mind due to their tooth-colored appliance parts.
Lingual and InBraces hidden braces are custom-made appliances that rest on the inner side of your teeth facing your tongue and use advanced technology to move each tooth individually during treatment. When choosing which braces you prefer for your orthodontic treatment, Dr. Orbach will be happy to discuss which options will have minimal speech impact and how to counter it.
Adapting To Your Braces
Impact on Speech
Everyone adjusts to speaking with the current positioning of their teeth as that is their normal before undergoing any orthodontic treatment. As your teeth begin to shift and your mouth adjusts to the presence of your appliance, you may experience minor changes to your speech, but don’t worry! This is an entirely routine transition for braces-wearers and won’t last more than a month. The more your teeth straighten out, the better your pronunciation will become.
The main reason speech becomes temporarily impaired is because the muscles in your mouth change, notably the tongue. Some patients are nervous about touching their braces with their tongues at first because they might think they will get scraped. You may not even realize you are doing it, but thinking about tongue position while you speak will help you recognize its role. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will get in no time.
Practice Speaking Out Loud
As your mouth readjusts to a new oral environment, there are some things you can do to speed up the process and get used to everyday speech, one being regularly speaking out loud. You can read books, have more conversations with friends or family, sing along to your favorite song, recite tongue twisters—anything that encourages you to work on pronunciation.
We recommend doing so slowly and working your way back up to speed. This way, you can actively think about the placement of your tongue, lips, and cheeks and where they need to be to pronounce words as you are used to. If you continue to encounter problems with your speech past the one-month mark after placement, please talk to Dr. Orbach. He can provide additional assistance and tips to help your progress.
The Benefits Are Worth It!
The short-term effects on your speech may initially feel uncomfortable, but we promise the wait for your brand-new beautiful smile is worth it! Many patients come in to receive braces treatment and leave our office with a confident, beaming grin. The correlation between self-esteem and dental hygiene is quite strong. Taking the steps on your smile journey helps open doors and grow new relationships with the people around you.
The aesthetics, thanks to orthodontic treatment, are very pleasing, but there are also health benefits that come with it to last you a lifetime. Everything from smoother digestion and more effortless sleep to reduced jaw issues can do wonders for your everyday life and how you interact with those around you.
Consider Clear Aligners As An Alternative
If you decide braces are ultimately not for you and are interested in a different appliance option besides braces, Orbach Orthodontics also provides clear aligners, specifically Invisalign and 3M Clarity. Unlike braces, they are removable appliances that may lend more flexibility to your lifestyle in terms of ease of oral care maintenance and eliminating the potential for discomfort caused by metal irritation.
In any case, whichever you and Dr. Orbach decide will best fit your case, you can guarantee that the results are stunning!
Schedule a Free Consultation with Orbach Orthodontics
Getting used to your braces can be a learning curve, but you can rely on our team to help you each step of the way. Orbach Orthodontics is dedicated to educating our patients and ensuring they feel confident in the care they receive through treatment. If you have questions about improving your speech with braces or getting started on your smile journey, don’t hesitate to contact either of our practices in Washington, DC or Falls Church, VA, where our incredible front desk team will help you. We can’t wait to meet you!