Did you know that the alignment of your teeth can affect your speech? If you struggle to pronounce certain words, your teeth could be the reason why. Thankfully, orthodontics can help. Dr. Chris Murphy and Dr. Lisa Peter Howard at Southern Maine Orthodontics can provide orthodontic treatment to resolve common oral problems such as:
Lisp or Whistling
Lisps or whistles are common in children and adults and are developed due to open bites. An open bite occurs when the tongue doesn’t make a true connection with the roof of the mouth. This typically happens when pronouncing words containing the letter “s” or “z.” Patients with an open bite often pronounce these words as if they have the letters “th” instead of an “s.”
Gaps in teeth can also contribute to lisps and whistles. Excessive tooth spacing causes a gap to form between the teeth and a whistling noise during speech. Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or clear aligners can help to close the gap and correct open bite.
When the teeth are not in the proper position, other consonants (such as “d” or “t”) can be difficult to pronounce. These are sounds that require tongue-to-tooth contact. Orthodontic treatment can help place the teeth where they should be for better pronunciation.
In order to effectively communicate in a clear manner, the tongue needs the freedom to move about. Jaw structure and tooth placement can sometimes restrict that movement – resulting in slurred speech. In many cases, braces can be used to align the teeth and give more room for the tongue to move.
Think of your mouth as an instrument. When things are not shaped properly inside an instrument, the sound does not come out correctly. The same can be said for your mouth. While orthodontic treatment can help treat many common speech problems, it is not the case for everyone. To find out if orthodontics can help your speech problems, contact our office to schedule a complimentary consultation. Your smile is our priority.