Invisalign is a wildly popular orthodontic treatment, and for good reason. It is subtle, effective, and convenient. However, it is understandable if you hesitate to commit to it, especially if you are concerned that it might affect the way you talk. Not to worry. Although speaking with Invisalign can take a bit of getting used to, it is unlikely that your speech will be significantly altered. Let’s talk about what you can expect with Invisalign when it comes to the way you speak.
How Likely Are Speech Problems with Invisalign?
Invisalign aligners are designed to be thin, snug, and as comfortable as possible which means they are unlikely to cause speech problems. One study found that 93% of Invisalign patients do not experience any significant differences in their speech while wearing their aligners. Of those who do notice speech issues, almost half do not experience any persistent problems. From these figures, we can estimate that only 3 – 4% of Invisalign patients must deal with persistent speech issues related to their treatment.
How Invisalign Can Affect Speech
The most common speech issue with Invisalign is a slight lisp. This occurs because the aligners affect the way your tongue interacts with your teeth, so “s” and “z” sounds might become more similar to a “th” sound. Most people find that any Invisalign-related lisp disappears as they practice speaking with their aligners.
Another way Invisalign can affect speech relates to speed. Some patients speak more slowly when they first get Invisalign. Taking more time to enunciate words helps them to practice communicating clearly with their aligners.
Adjust to Speaking with Invisalign
Here are a few tips to help you get used to speaking with Invisalign:
- Practice. Although it may be a little awkward at first, speaking is the best way to adapt to pronouncing words clearly while wearing your aligners. Reading out loud is a great exercise that can help with this.
- Be patient. Some people find that they adapt to Invisalign after just a few hours, while others have speech differences that linger for a few weeks. If you are afraid that Invisalign might affect your speech during an upcoming presentation or other big event, you may want to slightly delay the start of your treatment.
- Call your orthodontist if necessary. Persistent speech issues might indicate than an aligner doesn’t fit properly. This is a rare issue, but it does call for professional attention. Your orthodontist can double-check your aligner’s fit and take steps to correct any problems with it.
Invisalign comes with a small risk of affecting your speech, but most patients find that they are able to communicate clearly after just a bit of practice.
Meet the Practice
Dr. Amin Mason and our team at Polaris Orthodontic Center have helped countless patients to benefit from Invisalign — and the vast majority of those we serve are happy with their choice of treatment. If you have questions about what you can expect while you are straightening your teeth, we would be happy to talk with you. Contact us at 614-781-6990.