This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
R and Orthodontia (Palatal Expander)
By Pam Marshalla
Q: Can I work on R with my client who has a palatal expander?
My experience has taught me the following:
Typical braces, palatal expanders, and the like should not interfere much with the sound quality of R and we can go ahead and begin treatment. However…
Oral appliances can interfere with our work on R and other phonemes if there is oral pain in association with them. Wait a few weeks until the pain subsides or is managed appropriately.
Oral appliances can interfere with our work on R and other phonemes if the appliance is so large that it causes muffling of the client’s oral sound. You may have to wait until it is removed to continue your work with R.
An oral appliance can interfere with our work on R and other phonemes if it contains a crib or rake designed to eliminate an oral habit or to prevent a reverse swallow. These devices interfere with all oral movements. Wait until after it is removed. Also begin to work with the orthodontist to teach him/her how one can eliminate oral habits and teach correct swallowing without them.