Having teeth that aren't straight can be a major knock to your confidence. After worrying about their smile for years, many adults choose to take the plunge and get braces to straighten out their teeth. The only downside to this is that the time you have adult braces can also lower your confidence.
Although more recent developments mean there are braces available that can barely be seen, they can still make you feel self-conscious in other ways. Unsurprisingly, having an unfamiliar object in your mouth, especially one that's attached to your teeth, can affect your speech. This can be particularly worrying if you need to talk often at work, but there are a few things you can do to improve the issue quickly.
Practice in front of a mirror
The best way to get used to speaking with your new braces is to practice. It sounds simple, and it is, but people struggle with it because they feel self-conscious.
If you want to speed up the process, find somewhere quiet where you can be alone, and talk in front of a mirror. You can read passages from books, try some tongue-twisters or just talk to yourself about your day. The mirror is important because it lets you see how your mouth moves, which helps you make improvements faster.
Sing a song
Singing is a great way to exercise the full vocal system, producing a range of sounds and tones you wouldn't get in ordinary speech.
Whenever you're alone somewhere private, put your favourite music on and sing along. It will drastically speed up the time it takes to get used to your braces.
Use orthodontic wax
Your orthodontist might have given you some of this when your braces were fitted. If not, ask them about it.
Orthodontic wax can be applied to your braces anywhere they're uncomfortable or sore, relieving your mouth. They can also help your mouth glide against the braces so speech is easier. It's particularly helpful with lingual braces.
Sometimes, worrying about how your speech sounds can make the problem much worse. Remember that it's probably much more noticeable to you than to anyone else, so speak calmly and confidently, and try to avoid mumbling.
Talk to your orthodontist
If it's been a while since you got your braces and your speech doesn't seem to be improving, bring the subject up with your orthodontist. They may be able to adjust your braces to make speaking easier, or have some other tips and tricks they can suggest to help you out.