How we communicate through speech is a crucial part of our daily lives. Did you know that the alignment of your teeth can affect your speech? If you’re struggling with certain elements of speech, it could be attributed to your teeth. Keep reading to learn more about different speech problems and how braces can help from Dr. Dennis J. Flanagan at Dennis J. Flanagan DDS, MS.
Certain sounds are practically impossible to pronounce when teeth aren’t where they’re supposed to be. Fricative consonant sounds like “t” “s” or “ch” which require tongue-to-tooth contact and are not possible without it. Orthodontic treatment places teeth where they need to be for better pronunciation.
- Lisps or Whistling
The primary cause of this speech issue is an overbite. This is when the upper teeth overlap the bottom teeth too much. Additionally, gaps in the teeth can impede correct placement of the tongue and allow air to escape while talking, which creates a whistling sound. Fortunately, braces can correct an overbite and close gaps in between teeth.
- Word Slurring
Our tongues need freedom to move in order to correctly form words and regulate talking speed. Stuttering or slurred speech is possible if the structure of the jaw or placement of teeth restricts that movement. Braces can align the teeth and open up room for the tongue.
While braces aren’t necessarily a cure-all for speech challenges, braces can certainly help certain issues and give you the confidence of a straight, beautiful smile. Don’t let orthodontic-related speech difficulties hold you back from being your most confident self. Contact our office today to see how we can help you!