Like with any orthodontic treatment, 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 provide some pointers on how to get acclimated to speaking with Invisalign Clear Aligners.
Almost any dental or orthodontic device has the potential to have an impact on your ability to communicate verbally. Orthodontic appliances that add extra 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.
Is Invisalign going to 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. However, some people may experience some difficulty speaking.
When your Invisalign aligners are first put on for treatment, you may notice a minor lisp in your speech, particularly when you produce "s" or "sh" sounds. This is normal during the treatment process.
This little lisp, fortunately, will most likely only be noticeable to you and not to anyone else with whom you are conversing, and it should gradually fade 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:
In a private setting, practice speaking with proper pronunciation. Try to over-enunciate and focus on the letters that are the most difficult 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.
It's a good idea to record your practice sessions with a portable recorder or your phone. This will assist you in identifying the sounds, words, and phrases that you are having the most difficulty 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 cause you to speak with a little lisp or speech impairment, try to remember that practice makes perfect. Or at least, practice makes it better.
The simplest and quickest way to overcome any difficulties is to constantly practice the pronunciation and enunciation of the words you are having difficulty with. Practicing difficult words will help you get used to your new clear aligners. You can also read aloud to yourself (or to others) while wearing your aligners, or have discussions with family and friends you can rely on to help you get used to wearing them.