Do Braces and Clear Aligners Affect Speech?

For traditional braces (the ones where the clear or metal brackets are placed on the outside of your teeth), you should find very little disruption to your speech and I can’t recall any wearers that I have encountered raising any concerns about their braces affecting their speech. If you have other appliances attached to your braces such as a bite plate or an expander then you will almost certainly find your speech affected as your tongue gets used to making sounds around these new obstacles. This might make certain letters or words more difficult to pronounce but with practice, speech quickly returns to normal or at least almost normal.

What About Clear Aligners?

Aligners frequently cause patients to develop a temporary lisp when they first get them. Although the aligners are very thin and fit your teeth closely, they can affect people for the first week or two. Again, practicing speaking is the best way to quickly adapt to wearing aligners and you are likely to soon find your speech returning to normal.

So what should you do if you are concerned about speaking with braces? The first thing would be to talk to Dr. Cox about your concerns and let him reassure you that your speech will quickly return to normal. If you need more convincing, take a look at YouTube and follow the progress of some braces wearers from day one. You will see how quickly their speech returns to normal and in many cases, you will be hard pushed to detect any difference from the day before they were fitted.