Most of the time when orthodontics come up, it’s about straightening teeth. But straighter teeth aren’t just a cosmetic benefit, nor are they the only thing orthodontic treatment can do for you.
Orthodontic treatment is the process of correcting irregularities in the teeth and jaw. As such it can fix not just gaps or overcrowding, but several speech impediments & other oral issues too.
What Ortho Can Help With
Gaps in your teeth—or teeth that are too close—can lead to slight speech impediments such as a whistling sound when speaking or a lisp. These issues may have even crept up after undergoing more major surgical treatment or if you’ve had any changes to the inside contour of your teeth.
Once the gaps are optimal & your teeth are properly aligned, your tongue will be able to articulate easier & you won’t have to worry as much about exhaling as you speak.
Teeth whistles can be further aided with general treatment such as bonding. Treatments vary, & your dentist will be able to come up with a complete plan for you & discuss your options.
Orthodontics can also play a role in larger issues such as a cleft palate. While these types of problems can also require an oral surgeon, your orthodontist still plays a role. After your surgery, it may be necessary to have braces or a retainer to ensure your teeth are correctly positioned as your jaw heals.
The proper alignment of teeth is just one potential aspect of a speech problem. If you feel you have a speech impediment, consulting both your dentist & a speech therapist is the best route to getting the full scope of your speech & the best course of action to correct it if you desire.
While braces are the trademark of the orthodontist, there are other options to straighten your teeth, & not all require seeing a specialist. Clear aligners like Invisalign are growing in popularity & mainly general dentists are well trained & experienced with them.
Clear aligners have several benefits. First, they are nearly invisible, meaning you can straighten your teeth without anyone even knowing you have treatment going on. They also do not irritate the inner mouth like metal brackets can, do not run the same risk of tooth staining & can be removed for cleaning. In many cases, aligners can do similar work to braces in a similar timeline. While more major work may require braces, talk to your dentist to see if aligners are an option to straighten your teeth.
Once treatment is complete, retainers are be a great way to keep teeth in place after treatment. Be sure to wear yours for the recommended time to get the best results for your smile, your bite & your speech.