With new dentures it is quite common to experience lisping, slurring, and pronunciation problems in the beginning. Becoming accustomed to wearing new dentures requires a commitment of time, patience, and practice.
Once you get used to the feel and fit of your dentures, you’ll find that you are able to speak as clearly with them as you could with your own natural teeth. In this article, we’ll elaborate on some common tips that long-time denture wearers use to help speak and laugh with confidence.
How To Speak Confidently With Dentures
Using the following tips and tricks as you learn to talk with dentures can help you speak more clearly:
1. Softly Bite and Swallow Before You Speak
If your dentures shift as you begin to speak, gently bite down and swallow before speaking. This will help secure them in their correct position. You may wish to use a small amount of denture adhesive to help keep your dentures in place prior to important conversations or public presentations.
2. Practice in Front of the Mirror
Reading a book or magazine aloud in front of a mirror while learning to talk with dentures will help gradually eliminate difficulties that you may have when speaking with dentures. Doing this also helps to improve the clarity and diction of common words and sounds.
3. Speak at a Normal Volume
Dentures alter the anatomy of your mouth and the way that sound travels from it. Therefore, you may believe that you sound louder than usual when speaking with dentures. This phenomenon is much more noticeable to you than it is to other people. With time and practice, you’ll become accustomed to the volume of your annunciation and it will sound completely natural.
4. Practice Vocal Exercises To Help in Speaking With Dentures
Initially, speaking with full or partial dentures is awkward, as some words can be difficult to pronounce. You may experience specific problems with “T”, “S”, and “F” sounds. Practicing these sounds with vocal exercises will make pronouncing them second nature.
One way to do this is to practice tongue twisters or poetry lines involving difficult-to-pronounce words to improve your communication with dentures.
5. Count from 50 to 80
While speaking with dentures, counting from 50 to 80 out loud daily will also help you practice difficult-to-pronounce words and sounds. Those numbers contain many of the sounds that are difficult to pronounce with dentures.
Problems When Speaking With Dentures
Here are some common problems that you may face when speaking with dentures and their best possible solutions:
1. Clicking Sounds
As you learn to talk with dentures, you may notice clicking sounds while you speak. Dentures do not contain nerves that help you to detect movement like natural teeth. Therefore, you may be unaware of how far away your upper and lower teeth are from one another and accidentally bring them together much sooner or harder than intended. This creates a clicking sound with dentures when you speak.
To overcome this issue, try speaking more slowly to accurately determine the force and the space necessary to maintain between your dentures to speak clearly and prevent them from clicking.
Generally, denture teeth are positioned a bit differently in your mouth compared to your natural teeth. This may alter the way you must speak and affect the process of learning to talk with dentures. For example, while pronouncing the letter “S”, you may find that it sounds more like an “Sh” or “Th.”
You may also have difficulty pronouncing words containing “V”, “Th”, and “F” sounds. Once you learn how to hold your tongue correctly to produce those sounds, the lisping will subside and you will become more at ease with speaking.
3. Slurred Speech
As you learn to speak with dentures, you may experience excess salivation or slurred speech. This is a common problem that affects every new denture wearer to some degree. Generally, these issues will subside once your salivary glands get used to having a foreign object in your mouth.
Dentures designed with teeth that are too long or too short for your mouth can result in a lack of sufficient space to allow you to pronounce words clearly and correctly. If you notice this problem, discuss it with your denturist. There are things that a dental professional can do to the dentures to address this issue.
4. Poorly Fitting Dentures
Another concern that you might face while learning to talk with dentures is that the shape of your gums and bone change with time, especially with immediate dentures. Over time, bone and gum tissue shrinks, and your dentures may not fit as well as they once did. Your dentures may require an adjustment, a reline, or complete replacement with new dentures.
Visit your dentist or denturist immediately if you notice that your dentures no longer fit properly. Avoid the temptation to perform any DIY home remedies available on the internet, as you may ruin dentures that could otherwise be improved by a reline or a simple adjustment performed by the denturist.
How Long Does It Take To Learn To Talk With Dentures?
Generally, it takes anywhere from two to four weeks to speak reasonably well with new dentures. You may also notice that sore spots or excess salivation have diminished by this time. Using denture adhesives (recommended by your dentist) to help your dentures feel more secure allows you to talk with greater confidence and comfort.
It is easy to overcome denture-related speech issues and speak more clearly with dentures by practicing the tips mentioned in this article.
If you are in the market for new dentures or you want to better understand the process of learning to use dentures and resolving denture-related speech problems, contact the expert denturists at European Denture Center today. We create custom-designed dentures that conform to your gums and fit properly at delivery, minimizing the need for time-consuming adjustments.