Getting Invisalign can be daunting for a number of reasons. When trying to straighten teeth you may have been self-conscious about for years, adding anything else noticeable can be a real fear.
Does Invisalign Give You A Lisp?
You might notice a slight lisp when you first start wearing your Invisalign trays. It’s a normal thing that happens because the placement of your tongue in your mouth subtly changes. It is temporary, generally only lasting a week or two.
Don’t worry – it’s much less noticeable than you think. Most people won’t hear a thing in the same way most people won’t notice your Invisalign trays either! If you’re worried or want to learn more we’ve covered why it happens as well as some exercises to help fix it further on in this article.
Why Does Invisalign Make You Lisp?
Invisalign makes you lisp because your tongue has ever so slightly less space to move in your mouth than without the trays in. The most common lisp that people get while wearing Invisalign is the “th” sound coming out when meaning to pronounce “s” or “z“.
When you make these sounds correctly, your tongue is very close to the back of your top teeth, or to the top of your mouth. When you add a tray in, the tiny bit of space you had to make that sound is now taken up by plastic.
Now when you try to verbalize the “s” or “z” sounds, your tongue touches the teeth. This is how the light “th” sound comes out instead. So all you have to do is pull your tongue back just a little. It’s easy to fix once you know what’s happening, and we’ve included a couple of exercises below to help you deal with it.
Top Tip – Check Your Trays
It could also be that your trays are not seated properly. When you put in the trays, you are meant to use a chewie to help make sure the trays sit tightly to the teeth. This does two things. Firstly it stops your treatment taking longer, as the trays are designed to fit perfectly to work. Secondly, it stops the trays from taking up too much space in your mouth.
This second issue can cause a lisp with Invisalign, or make the Invisalign lisp worse. The idea is your trays should be as close to your teeth as possible and take up only a millimeter or so of extra space around the teeth.
These Invisalign chewies are the ones we suggest using in our guide to the Best Invisalign Accessories. Read What Are Invisalign Chewies?
Will An Invisalign Lisp Go Away?
You’ll probably find you adjust the way you pronounce these sounds anyway, without having to think too much about it. Normally the Invisalign lisp will go away from just thinking a little more about how you are pronouncing.
The best thing to do is not to try and hide it by talking less. Keep chatting and talking with people and your mouth will get used to the new trays, gradually lessening the lisp without much thought.
How Long Does The Lisp Last With Invisalign?
The Invisalign lisp normally only lasts the first week or two after getting your Invisalign fitted for the first time. It sometimes reoccurs or gets more noticeable after new trays, but generally only with the first. Try reading aloud to yourself and you’ll find it lessens quite quickly without much thought.
If you find the lisp is lasting longer than a few days or more than a week, try the exercises below. Focus on thinking about where your tongue is at the top of your mouth and move it slightly further back than you are used to.
How To Get Rid Of An Invisalign Lisp
Try these out in order and see how they work for you – most will be fine with the first three: –
- Make sure your trays are seated properly by using a chewie
- When you are talking, bring your tongue slightly further back (towards the back of your throat)
- Practice talking slowly to yourself and with friends
- Use the two exercises below daily
- If you are getting a dry mouth, try using mints like the Movemint (designed specifically for use with Invisalign) to stimulate saliva production
Exercises To Help Get Rid Of Invisalign Lisp
There are a few really easy exercises you can use to help lose your Invisalign lisp. They only take a few minutes of practice before working – though you should keep them at the front of your mind when talking throughout your day.
- Repeat the words “sixty-six, seventy-seven“
- Start slowly, focusing on where your tongue is in your mouth when you make the incorrect sounds
- Move your tongue back a little front your front teeth, or move your tongue slightly down in your mouth while repeating the exercise
- Note the differences and try to find the right tongue position for you to pronounce with the “th” sound
- Repeat at different speeds, getting faster and faster
- Repeat the exercise a few times a day when you get a spare couple of minutes
- Repeat the word “t” over and over
- Move your tongue slightly back, then slightly forwards. Try also moving the tongue very slightly up and then down
- Notice how the sounds change
- Moving the tongue slightly back will normally make the biggest difference
- Switch between saying “t” and “s” slowly, focusing on where the tongue is to pronounce each correctly.
You should do these exercises two or three times a day when you first get your Invisalign trays in. Try practicing them just before you need to go out with friends, talk at work, or do anything where you’ll be talking a lot.
What To Do If Invisalign Lisp Doesn’t Go Away?
If the lisp lasts longer than two weeks even after doing the exercises and using the chewies properly – speak to your orthodontist. Ask them to check if the aligners are seated properly. It could just be that one of the sets isn’t perfectly molded and needs a replacement or a trim.
If the lisp continues long-term or after removing the trays, consider speaking to a speech and language therapist. They are specialists in speech problems and will be able to give you full and proper advice on reducing the lisp.
In rare cases, people continue to lisp after treatment. Even people without Invisalign can develop a lisp where they haven’t had one before. In this case, try finding some lisp exercises online or speak to a specialist.
Can You Take Out Invisalign If You Have A Lisp?
If you need to make an important speech, talk in front of your class, or just really want to not lisp for a little bit – you can just take the trays out. You’re meant to wear the trays for 22 hours of every day, but30 minutes without isn’t the end of the world.
Try not to make it too often. Even better, learn to live with it and gain self-esteem by accepting it. A slight lisp is nothing to be worried about or ashamed of. There are plenty of successful and confident people who have a lisp and don’t think in the least about it.
Words That Are Hard To Say With Invisalign
The lisp that comes with Invisalign normally affects the “s” and “z” sounds, turning them into the classic “th” of most lisps. So “lisp” becomes “listhp“. Basically any more with those sounds could be affected. It’s especially the hard esses.
Try switching between making a long hiss with an “s“, then with a “th” sound. It’s all about the positioning of the tongue. Once you get used to it, it’ll get easier – trust us!