ADHD: A Parenting Guide

Is Your Child's Unclear Speech Related To Orthodontic Troubles

It can be hard to tell if your child has a speech problem when they first start talking because they are just learning how to make sounds. If your child is in preschool and you still have difficulty understanding and communicating with them, it's time to get a professional consultation. The problem with their speech could actually be stemming from physical aspects of their oral cavity.

If there are orthodontic problems, your child may not be able to talk as clearly as they want to. Here are a few things that the orthodontist will look for.

Teeth Alignment

If the teeth are terribly crooked, it may make it difficult for your child to talk without a lisp. The child may not be able to put their tongue in the right places around the mouth to make the necessary sounds, so their words aren't clear. The dentist may want to use braces, or pull some of the teeth to fix the problem. You also want the teeth fixed so it doesn't cause problems with their adult teeth.

Bone and Pallet Structure

If the roof of the mouth, the pallet, isn't formed correctly, it could be causing difficulties with speech, and it could cause the teeth to point inward or outward. If your child has never been to a dentist, this may not be a problem that their regular pediatrician would pick up. A retainer or braces may be needed.

Tongue Problems

The strength or development of your child's tongue may be the problem. If your child isn't strong enough to lift and move their tongue around their mouth where it's needed to enunciate words, they may need to see a speech therapist. The therapist will tell your child where their tongue should touch when they make sounds, and will help them catch up with their development to other kids their age. You will want to work on this before kindergarten.

You shouldn't ignore your child's speech delays or assume that their speech will get better as they continue through school. You want to get the problem fixed right away so they don't have to worry about it in grade school, and so they can start speaking clearly to communicate with others. Talk with an orthodontist like Arapahoe Orthodontics P.C. if you think that the problem could be something orthodontic, and ask your child's preschool teacher if they would benefit from going to speech therapy.