Speech Therapist Lisp in Bryn MawrSpeech Therapist Lisp in Bryn Mawr

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Orthodontics Can Help Correct a Lisp

Orthodontics Can Help Correct a Lisp

Dr. Karen Conn of Bryn Mawr Orthodontics explains how orthodontic treatment with braces or Invisalign can improve a child’s speech

By Dr. Karen Conn (Bryn Mawr Orthodontics) 

As an orthodontist, I regularly meet with parents who have concerns about their child’s speech, including the presence of a lisp.  A lisp is a speech impediment that generally affects the pronunciation of the "s" or "z" sounds, resulting in a whistling or slurred sound.  Many people with a lisp are self-conscious about their speech and may feel embarrassed or frustrated by their condition. 

Lisps can be caused by a variety of factors, but the good news is that lisps can be successfully treated - and orthodontic treatment with braces, Invisalign, or another orthodontic appliance can often play an important role in correcting a lisp.  Here's how:

  1. Closing gaps: Gaps between the teeth can make it difficult to produce certain sounds, including the "s" and "z" sounds.  Orthodontic treatment can help close these gaps and improve speech.
  2. Improving tongue placement: The position of the tongue is critical in producing proper speech sounds.  Orthodontic treatment can help improve tongue placement and function, which can improve speech.
  3. Straightening crooked teeth: One of the most common causes of a lisp is crooked teeth, which can interfere with the proper placement of the tongue and make it difficult to produce certain sounds.  Orthodontic treatment, such as braces or Invisalign, can straighten crooked teeth and help improve speech.
  4. Aligning the jaws: Misaligned jaws can contribute to a lisp.  In some cases, orthodontic treatment can help align the jaws properly and improve speech.

It is important to note that not all cases of a lisp can be corrected through orthodontic treatment alone.  In most cases, orthodontic treatment is paired with speech therapy, myofunctional therapy, or other interventions.  However, orthodontic treatment can often play a significant role in improving speech and boosting confidence.


Karen Conn, DMD, MS is a Board-certified orthodontist and co-owner of Bryn Mawr Orthodontics (Bryn Mawr, PA), where she specializes in Invisalign and braces for children, teens and adults.  She has been recognized as a Philadelphia Magazine Top Dentist, Main Line Today Top Dentist, Suburban Family Top Orthodontist, and is among the nation’s top 1% of Invisalign providers.  Dr. Conn received her undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.  She completed her residency in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics at Temple University, where she also earned a master's degree in Oral Biology.

Bryn Mawr Orthodontics serves its neighbors in Bryn Mawr, Gladwyne, Villanova, Ardmore, Haverford, Wynnewood, Narberth, Radnor, Penn Valley, Bala Cynwyd, Merion, Wayne, and the entire Main Line.

To learn more about Bryn Mawr Orthodontics, visit https://www.brynmawrorthodontics.com/. Contact the office today (484-383-0055) or schedule a free consultation online.

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