As with any orthodontic treatment, there is an adjustment period with Invisalign during which patients may experience difficulties as they adjust to wearing their aligners. Our Burnaby dentists offer some advice on how to get used 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?
Because Invisalign aligners are made of thin, transparent plastic, any effect they may have on your speech should be minimal. Some people, however, may have 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.
Fortunately, this little lisp will most likely only be 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:
In a private setting, practice speaking with proper pronunciation. 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.
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 cause you to speak with a little lisp or speech impairment, try to remember that practice makes perfect. Or at least, practise makes 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.