Whistling Through The Gap: How Dentists Can Close The Gap In Your Teeth And Correct A Speech Impediment At The Same Time

Speech impediments often have a root cause in the way the human mouth was formed, or how the teeth grew in. In the case of a space between the front teeth, you probably developed a habit of placing the tip of your tongue through the gap when you said certain consonant sounds, such as s, f, and t. If you did not get your speech impediment fixed when you were a kid, and you would like both the impediment and the gap in your teeth to go away, your dentist can help.

Closing the Gap

Sometimes the quickest and easiest way to end a speech impediment is to close the gap that is causing it. Your dentist will offer you one of the following solutions to bring your two front teeth closer together:

  • braces will slowly position the teeth closer to each other and diminish the gap.
  • veneers fit over the tops of your front teeth and will be wider than the originals. The veneers close the gap completely.
  • pulling one or both of the front teeth and replacing them with implants.

Using implants is a last resort, or the first line of dental repair when the front teeth are badly decayed or stained. If you are choosing to correct the gap between your teeth as an adult, it is considered cosmetic surgery, so be prepared to pay out of pocket. If you are seeking help for a gap between your child's teeth, most dental insurance plans will cover the cost.

After the Gap Is Closed

Once the open space in your teeth has closed, you can see a speech therapist who will assess your pronunciation of letters and words. Most patients find that as soon as the gap disappears, they naturally acclimate to a different way of speaking and the impediment is gone. However, some people discover that their tongues still try to speak as though the gap is still present. If you still have a bit of a speech impediment after your dentist has corrected the gap between your teeth, seek out a speech therapist.

Choosing to Keep the Gap but End the Impediment

If, for whatever reason, you want to keep your gap-toothed smile, you can be proud of the fact that many celebrities chose to do the same thing. The difference is, the celebrities found a way to correct the impediment such that they can talk around the gap and not through it. They had many sessions with speech and language therapists to accomplish this, and if you decide that option is right for you, you can always choose the physical correction by a dentist later. Talk to a dentist like Panther Hollow Dental Lodge to discuss your options.