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Unsure if your child needs orthodontics? Common speech issues that braces can resolve and prevent

It is an ongoing joke in many sitcoms; an adult or a child has braces fitted and suddenly, they begin speaking with a lisp.

And chances are that if you knew someone growing up who wore a metal brace, you may remember their vocal pattern changing during and after the braces were off. If you have children of your own and you have been told that they could benefit from having a traditional metal brace fitted, this can put you in two minds about whether or not to pursue the treatment.


However, what you may be unaware of is the link between a lack of orthodontic treatment and the development, or even the worsening, of speech-related issues.


At Boston Orthodontics, we know all there is to know about braces. We know all about the temporary drawbacks of undertaking orthodontics Marylebone and the long-term benefits that braces can offer, for adults and children alike! Therefore, we are aware of how the lack of a suitable brace can impact your child's speech for the rest of their life, making braces more than a simple aesthetic treatment.


So, what are the most common speech issues that orthodontics Marylebone can prevent?


Whistling


When your child lost their baby teeth, their speech had an adorable ‘whistling’ sound, didn’t it? As they spoke, the air was pushed between teeth that had a gap, adding a whistle to the end of each word that they said.


However, in later life, if they have gaps between their teeth, that whistling sound will stay with them, potentially causing self-confidence issues. Orthodontics Marylebone will close any gaps that can cause whistling, taking away a childish tone from their speech patterns, and making intonation clear.


Lisps


A lisp is usually caused by the upper teeth overlapping the bottom teeth, also known as an overbite.


This in turns allows the tongue to move erratically, causing the speech to sound odd and a lisp to form as the tongue tries to compensate. As all of the braces we can offer your child can treat overbites of any severity, it is worth exploring to prevent lisps, which can once again impact on confidence and make public speaking later in life an issue.


Slurring


Of course, a brace can also help with jaw position and with the widening of the roof of the mouth.


If these areas are too slim, the tongue does not have the required room to move, which can cause your child to slur their words. Realigning the teeth can also create more room, but for very small mouths, more extensive reconstructive treatments may be needed.


Pronunciation


The phonetics of the letters ‘t’ ‘s’ and ‘ch’ require your child's tongue to touch their teeth.

If your child's teeth are not correctly aligned, this is harder to achieve, resulting in mispronunciations of these common sounds and other types of fricative consonants.


Mispronunciation can impact confidence and can, once again cause the tongue to be restricted in its movements, which could lead to a lisp developing.

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Dr Elif Keser

DDS PhD

GDC No. 269456

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