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Lingual braces have gained immense popularity in recent years as a discreet and effective orthodontic treatment option. If you are a teen or adult looking to straighten your teeth, it is understandable to want to do this without drawing unwanted attention from others, this is where lingual braces can help.

As with every form of orthodontic treatment, there are pros and cons depending on your preferences and circumstances. For some, the worry of lingual braces affecting their speech is enough for them to consider another option, and for some, speech can be impacted but for others not.

Let’s explore how these braces work, if they do in fact, affect speech, and what you can do about it. 

What are Lingual Braces and How Do They Work?

Lingual braces are an orthodontic appliance that is fixed to the back of your teeth, making them very discreet. It is a brace system comprised of small brackets and arch wires that are custom-made to fit the individual shape of your teeth and are then bonded to the back of the teeth, making them virtually invisible to others.

Much the same as traditional braces, lingual braces will exert pressure on your teeth. They are comprised of small metal brackets and arch wires which are adjusted by your orthodontist and apply a continuous pressure that gently and gradually straightens your teeth.

Lingual Braces and Potential Challenges

As with all forms of orthodontic treatments, there are challenges that the patient will need to overcome, after all, this is a transformative device that is working hard to get you the smile that you desire. 

Lingual Braces Effect on Speech.

While the majority of people adapt well to lingual braces, some may face initial challenges in articulating certain sounds, this is due to a reduced amount of room in the mouth and the tongue having to form sounds around a new object, affecting the tongue’s natural movement. The most common issues include lisping or difficulty pronouncing certain consonants. 

How Long Does This Effect Usually Last?

Our tongues have an amazing way of making us aware of even the slightest changes in the mouth, such as an ulcer or a chipped tooth, it is also highly adaptable. Its ability to adapt to the new sensation of a lingual brace would rarely take longer than a week or two, but this is different from person to person. For some, their speech may not be impacted at all, for others, it may be a small annoyance that goes shortly after, and for others it may be more of an interference. 

Tips from Your Expert Orthodontist in Darwen

Here at Darwen Orthodontics, we have fitted many lingual braces and seen our patients go on to reap the rewards that they offer. Due to this, we have also helped many patients through challenges after having their lingual braces fitted. Here are some of our top tips to help you through those first couple of weeks:

  • Practice Makes Perfect – engage in regular practice by reading aloud or speaking in front of a mirror. This helps your tongue adapt to the new environment created by the lingual braces.
  • Patience is Key – understand that the initial adjustment period is temporary, and with time, your speech patterns will likely return to normal. Patience and persistence are crucial during this phase.
  • Speech Therapy – in some cases, individuals may benefit from speech therapy to address specific challenges associated with lingual braces. A speech therapist can provide targeted exercises to enhance speech clarity. Techniques used by speech therapists involve developing awareness of your oral habits, such as how you hold your jaw.

Keep an Open Line of Communication with Your Orthodontist

Maintaining open communication with your orthodontist is essential throughout the treatment process. If you experience persistent speech issues or discomfort, it’s crucial to inform your orthodontic team, as they can make necessary adjustments to the braces or provide guidance on speech improvement techniques.

Darwen Orthodontics: Your Specialist-Led Orthodontist in Darwen

We are a specialist-led orthodontist in Darwen, with a team of friendly, passionate, and enthusiastic professionals who work toward providing the best orthodontic service for our patients. We are extremely well practiced in the fitting and maintenance of lingual braces and have helped many patients through their orthodontic journey.

If you would like to speak to our expert orthodontist in Darwen, then contact us today to book your free consultation.

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