Invisalign® is a popular orthodontic option for teenagers and adults who want to correct their bites without having to wear noticeable braces. This particular type of orthodontic device takes the form of clear, custom-made teeth trays that are hard to spot. Invisalign® dental trays slowly and gradually align the teeth while remaining invisible, hence their name.
What the first few days of Invisalign® treatment are like
An orthodontic device takes up space in the mouth while also applying pressure to misaligned teeth. This changes how a person chews and talks, which can take getting used to.
Of all available orthodontic appliances, Invisalign® takes up the least space in the mouth. The aligners fit right over the teeth, freeing the rest of the mouth from the metal framework and brackets that come with braces or retainers.
That said, a person who wears aligners for the first time may still have to relearn how to make sounds like "s" and "z." Their tongue and mouth will have to get used to the plastic surrounding their teeth. They may notice that they start to lisp.
How long does the lisp last?
The adjustment period for Invisalign® can take anywhere between a few days to a few weeks. It all depends on the individual patient. During that time, they may develop a slight lisp that should become less pronounced with time.
The lisp should go away as the patient learns how to pronounce words while wearing their aligners. To improve their speech, a person should:
- Make an effort to practice difficult words and sounds until they can pronounce them without a lisp
- Find out from close friends whether the lisp is noticeable; this can help the wearer gauge if the lisp is a major problem or if they are just overly concerned
- Check in with the dentist to find out if the lisp is something to worry about
When to worry
Most people who wear Invisalign® do not experience speech impairment, even in the early days of treatment. Others experience a little difficulty as they adjust to the reality of having aligners in their mouth. A few develop a sustained lisp that remains after three to six months of wearing Invisalign®.
If the lisp remains after the adjustment period, the patient should consult their dentist. The orthodontist will check the fit of the aligners and confirm that the teeth are continuing to shift to their desired positions. In rare cases, the dentist may have to redesign the patient's Invisalign® trays in order to create a better fit.
The lisp should go away after a short while
Most people who develop a lisp after they start their Invisalign® treatment only have to endure it for the first few sets of aligners. As a person continues to swap old sets of aligners for new ones, their speech should improve and become normal once again.
It bears repeating that a person wearing aligners may feel that they have a lisp that other people do not seem to pick up on. If this is you, believe the people who tell you that your speech is fine. Then give yourself time to adjust to the aligners.
Here's how you can reach us …
If you have questions about Invisalign® aligners and the issues that can develop when wearing them, get in touch with us to speak to a dentist.
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