When you get new dentures, it can be hard learning to talk with them. Even if they’re great-fitting, neuromuscular dentures, it may take time to get adapted to them. Often, it’s because you had learned to talk with an entirely different set of equipment. If you had poorly fitting dentures before, or partial dentures, worn teeth, or missing teeth before you got dentures, your body learned to compensate, and now it’s trying to keep compensating, even though you’ve now got the right tools for speaking properly.
If problems speaking make you uncomfortable about going out in public, here are a few techniques you can use to practice your speech at home so that you’ll get over the worst of it and be fully prepared to speak clearly when you do go out.
Technique 1: Talk to Your Spouse
If you and your spouse are still living together–and still on speaking terms!–they’re a great conversation partner. They will probably be happy to listen to you and critique your speech so that you can get better.
The only problem is that the two of you might know each other so well that you don’t have to actually hear the words to understand one another, so you might not get as good a critique as a stranger might give.
Technique 2: Talk to Yourself
You may not be a regular public speaker, but the odds are pretty good that you’ve practiced a speech or presentation in front of the mirror at some time in your life. Try doing it again, but just let yourself speak freely.
The advantage of this technique is that you can see yourself in the mirror, which may be able to help you get better faster. The disadvantage is that there’s no one else to critique your speech.
Technique 3: Read Aloud
Reading aloud is another good way to practice your speech without having anyone to talk to. Try to find a text that will stretch your vocal range, either some poetry, tongue twisters, the King James Bible, or Shakespeare. This will have you practice with some challenging words that will make pronouncing everyday conversation a piece of cake.
The disadvantage of this is that, unless you’re reading to someone, you won’t have anyone to tell you how well you’re doing.
Technique 4: Call Customer Service
To play the role of an amoral 1980s stock trader for The Wolf of Wall Street, actor Jonah Hill had to put on very large (and unnaturally white) false teeth. When he first got them, he couldn’t speak without a terrible lisp. To try to get over this, he practiced by calling customer service representatives to talk. He would keep them on the phone for hours using whatever tricks he could come up with.
This is a common technique used by dialect coaches, and it’s something you should consider. Although you won’t get actual feedback, you’ll be able to tell from their responses how well you’re doing.
Technique 5: Talk-to-Type Software
Have you long been thinking about writing a memoir or family history? Well, there’s no time like the present to start, only don’t type it–talk it. Voice recognition software may make it a lot easier for you to complete the work, but it will also tell you how clearly you’re speaking.
The only downside here is that it may learn to understand you faster than you learn to speak clearly.
The breaking-in period for dentures is typically pretty short. It will likely only take a few days of good practice to overcome the limits and speak clearly.
If you are looking for quality dentures please call (803) 781-9090 to learn more about life with dentures.