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Will wearing an Invisalign aligner give me a lisp?

Patients frequently inquire about the possibility of developing a lisp as a result of using Invisalign. Our Ottawa dentists explain how and why your clear aligners may affect your ability to speak during treatment.

Invisalign is not likely to cause a lisp or other speech impairment, even though using an orthodontic appliance has the potential to impair your ability to communicate effectively at first.

When you first start wearing your Invisalign aligners, you may notice a tiny lisp, but it will likely only be noticeable to you, is usually transitory, and can be rectified if it continues.

Why do some patients experience a lisp?

Lisps are caused by incorrect tongue positioning within the mouth during speech, which disrupts airflow and causes certain words to sound strange when spoken. A lisp is a speech disorder in which the consonants –s and –z is mispronounced as "th" and "l," respectively.

Because the aligners alter the space within the mouth, some Invisalign patients develop lisps when they first begin wearing them. Additionally, they alter the way the tongue travels around the teeth, impairing pronunciation. Generally, the changes and consequences are minor, although some individuals may require additional time to adjust.

Lisps in Invisalign can also be caused by improperly fitting trays. Each tray is a clear plastic mould that should snugly fit over the teeth. However, because the purpose is to alter the tooth placement, the moulds are constructed to correspond to the desired tooth positioning during that phase of treatment.

Because each set of aligners is similar in shape and thickness, the majority of Invisalign patients do not develop lisps with each new set. However, if the tray is not formed or positioned properly, it may cause a lisp. If this is the case, you must contact your Ottawa dentist to ensure that your Invisalign Clear Aligners are the proper size.

How long will a lisp last?

While each patient is unique, lisps typically resolve within a few weeks of initiating treatment. Certain individuals even adjust in a matter of hours or days! If a lisp does develop, it should gradually fade away as the tongue adjusts to the aligners and the tongue is properly aligned.

Adjusting to your new Invisalign Clear Aligners

Maintaining conversation can assist in preventing or correcting a lisp caused by Invisalign. When the tongue adapts to orthodontic treatment, a lisp usually disappears. The more a person speaks, the more quickly the tongue learns how to manoeuvre around the aligners to produce sounds.

If you're worried about your speech during a public speaking event or meeting, simply take them out.

During treatment, Invisalign aligners can be removed temporarily. When eating, the aligners must be removed; they may be removed at other times as needed. (However, they must be worn for at least 20-22 hours per day to work their magic.)

To overcome a lisp and increase your comfort level with aligners, try reading aloud to yourself or conversing with trusted family and friends.

It is common to experience a mild lisp during the adjustment phase as the mouth and tongue re-learn how to form the proper shapes for each syllable while wearing the aligners. Consult your prescribing dentist or orthodontist if the lisp persists after beginning Invisalign treatment. There could be an issue with the fit or positioning of the mould.

Curious about Invisalign Clear Aligners? Contact our Ottawa dentists for a consultation.

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