You know how crucial it is to be clear and articulate if you’re a Speech or Drama student. You’ve practiced your pronunciation and projection, and the audience in the back row understands everything you say.
And now that you’ve gotten braces, you’re not sounding quite like yourself. Why? What can you do, and more importantly, what can you not do?
No Need to Panic
After wearing braces, many individuals notice no difference in their speech. Some orthodontic issues or appliances may cause difficulty pronouncing specific sounds, however these articulation changes are usually very transitory.
Is Your Articulation a Little Off?
As the tongue, lips, and teeth work together, each consonant is created precisely. You could notice that your articulation is a little odd if you have brackets and wires in the way, or if you just acquired a new retainer or a set of aligners. This is especially true for sibilant sounds like S’s and Z’s. Fortunately, we humans are adaptable creatures, and our tongues and mouths normally adjust to orthodontic appliances quickly and revert to normal pronunciation.
Take care of yourself if your speech is hindered at first because your lips and cheeks are uncomfortable or sensitive after having braces! Use wax as needed to cover irritated brackets and wires, eat foods that are low in salt, spice, and acids, and follow your orthodontist’s oral hygiene advice. Within a few days, you should begin to feel better, and after a week or two, you should be fine. Call your orthodontist if the pain or discomfort persists.
Practice if you wish to speed up the process of resuming your usual pronunciation patterns. Read aloud, sing along to your favorite songs, and repeat lists of words with the sounds you want to improve. Surprisingly, slowing slower will help you return to your usual speaking faster. It’s never a bad idea to think before you speak, and in this case, thinking as you speak can help you position your tongue and mouth to more readily enunciate tricky sounds.
To be concerned about speaking, you don’t have to be a national debate winner or the world’s most bloodcurdling Lady Macbeth. If you’re experiencing trouble pronouncing words, talk to our doctors and team at Georgia School of Orthodontics during your next appointment in our Atlanta or Gwinnett offices. Whether your appliance has to be calibrated or you need some spoken instructions, we can assist you. Whether your appliance requires adjustment, you require some speech exercise ideas, or it is simply a question of time, you will soon be back on the path to flawless pronunciation—and to your ideal smile.