Want to get adult braces but afraid of what will happen to the way you talk? You might be contemplating and asking yourself if braces affect your speech. After all, having that metal or plastic in your mouth is going to make your tongue feel strange. And there will be a few noticeable changes, at least at first.
Your braces are going to feel a little strange for a bit. Your mouth and tongue are going to have to adapt to having less space to move around. How much your mouth needs to adapt depends on the type of appliance you will be wearing.
The most common sounds to be affected are “th”, “s”, and “z”. The change is temporary and may not even be noticeable to most people. You will notice it the most because you are the most familiar with how you normally speak. Most others will notice a slight change if they notice anything at all. Any change to your speech should disappear within a few days.
If speech is an important part of your profession, there are types of adult braces that can minimize any effects on your speaking. For example, braces that attach to the backs of your teeth (lingual braces) have very little impact on the way you speak.
Your orthodontist could also use Invisalign, a type of plastic tray that is closely contoured to your teeth. However, there is no appliance that won’t have some impact on your speech, no matter how slight or how temporary.
In most instances, the slight impact on speech is outweighed by the benefits of the braces. Aligning the teeth improves speech in many cases. Often, speech impediments are the result of teeth alignment issues. For example, both whistling while you talk and lisping may be corrected with braces.
If you still aren’t convinced that braces are worth the slight impact on your speech, think about it as a way for you to focus on the way you speak your words. You will need to concentrate on your pronunciation for a few days. You will probably become more confident with the way you speak in the end. And you will have beautiful straight teeth to go with your improved speaking skills.