Patients frequently inquire about the possibility of developing a lisp as a result of wearing Invisalign. Our Victoria dentists explain how and why your clear aligners may affect your speech at the start of treatment in this blog post.
Invisalign is not likely to cause a lisp or other speech impairment, even though using any 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?
When speaking, lisps are caused by incorrect tongue positioning within the mouth, which disrupts airflow and causes some words to sound different when spoken. The –s and –z consonants are mispronounced as "th" and "l," respectively, in a lisp.
Some Invisalign patients develop lisps when they first start wearing their aligners because the aligners change the space within the mouth. They also cause the tongue to travel around the teeth in a different way, which affects pronunciation. Although most changes and consequences are minor, some people may need more time to adjust.
Ill-fitting Invisalign trays can also cause lisps. Each tray is a clear plastic mould that is supposed to fit snugly over the teeth. The moulds, on the other hand, are built to meet the desired tooth positioning for that phase of treatment because the goal is to change the tooth placement.
Because each set of aligners has a similar shape and thickness, most Invisalign patients do not develop lisps with each new set. A lisp can be induced by a tray that is not properly formed or positioned. If this sounds like you, make an appointment with your Victoria dentist to ensure your Invisalign Clear Aligners are the right size.
How long will a lisp last?
Although each patient is different, lisps usually go away within a few weeks of starting treatment. Some people can acclimate in as little as a few hours or days! If you develop a lisp, it should fade over time as your tongue adjusts to the aligners and adjusts properly.
Adjusting to your new Invisalign Clear Aligners
Continue to speak to avoid or correct a lisp caused by Invisalign. A lisp usually goes away after the tongue adjusts to the orthodontia. The tongue will learn to navigate around the aligners to make sounds faster as a person speaks more.
Simply remove your aligners if you're worried about your speech during a public speaking event or a meeting.
During treatment, the Invisalign aligners can be taken out for a short time. When eating, the aligners must be removed, but they can be removed at other times as well. (If you want them to work, make sure you wear them for at least 20-22 hours every day.)
Try reading aloud to yourself or conversing with trusted family and friends to overcome a lisp and feel more at ease with your aligners.
While wearing the aligners, it is common to experience a minor lisp during the adjustment phase as the mouth and tongue re-learn how to form the proper shapes for each syllable. If the lisp appears after starting Invisalign treatment and does not go away within a few weeks, contact the prescribing dentist or orthodontist. There could be a problem with the mould's fit or placement.