Like with many orthodontic treatments, there is an adjustment period with Invisalign during which patients will encounter certain difficulties as they become used to wearing their aligners. Here, our Ottawa dentists share some pointers getting acclimated to speaking with Invisalign clear aligners.
Almost any dental or orthodontic device can potentially impact your ability to communicate verbally. Orthodontic appliances that add additional thickness to the roof of your mouth or the backs of your front teeth are likely to create mild speech difficulties, and Invisalign aligners are a good example of such appliances.
Will Invisalign cause difficulty speaking?
Invisalign aligners are composed of thin, transparent plastic, which means that any influence they may have on your speech should be fairly minimal. Every patient is unique, however, and some people may experience some difficulty speaking.
When your Invisalign aligners are first put on, you may notice a minor change in your speech, particularly when you produce "s" or "sh" sounds. This is normal during the treatment process.
Fortunately, this slight lisp is likely only apparent to you, and not to anybody else with whom you are conversing, and it should progressively decrease as you become more accustomed to wearing aligners.
Are there ways to help reduce difficulty speaking?
If your Invisalign Clear Aligners are causing you trouble speaking, try following some of these tips:
Try practicing speech sounds in a private setting. Make an effort to over-enunciate and concentrate on the letters that are the most challenging for you, such as S's, T's, D's, and C's.
Try reading aloud to yourself or to a loved one to see if it helps. Passages that you find particularly difficult should be repeated.
Recording your practice sessions with a portable recorder or your phone is a good idea. This will help you to identify the sounds, words, and phrases that you are having the greatest trouble speaking.
Spend time thinking about what you're going to say and speak at a calm, relaxed pace.
Stand Up Straight
Proper airflow through the larynx (voice box) is made possible by good posture, which makes speaking easier.
The above suggestions can help you go back to your typical speaking ability in no time.
If your Invisalign aligners affect your speech, try to remember that practice makes perfect – or at least, better.
The most straightforward method of overcoming any difficulties is to continually practice the pronunciation and enunciation of the words with which you are having difficulty. Practicing challenging words will assist you in becoming used to your new clear aligners. You could also read aloud to yourself (or others) while wearing your aligners or enjoy chatting with family and friends that you can trust to help you become accustomed to wearing them.