Every year in the United States, millions of women and men opt for dentures to replace missing teeth. Dentures have helped countless people eat better, speak better, and feel more confident about themselves. And while dentures are an affordable and time-tested option for replacing natural teeth, they can take a little getting used to, especially if you’ve never had dentures before.
One concern many people have is how well they’ll be able to speak with their new dentures. The good news is, adjusting to dentures doesn’t usually take long, and with a little practice, you can even speed up the process.
At Novi Family Dentistry in Novi, Michigan, Abir Faraj, DDS, wants patients to feel confident and self-assured about their new dentures. In this post, she offers some tips to help you speak comfortably and normally with your beautiful new smile.
1. Read aloud
One of the best ways to get used to anything new is to practice — a lot. When it comes to speaking with dentures, reading aloud is a great technique. Reading gives you a chance to “try out” lots of sounds and sound combinations.
What you read doesn’t matter. Pick whatever interests you and read it out loud, paying attention not only to pronunciation issues, but also how your dentures respond during speech. If specific sounds are tripping you up — such as the letters S or F — tongue-twisters can be a great way to focus on one specific sound.
2. Practice speaking in front of a mirror
When you first get dentures, they’re going to feel a little odd in your mouth. Many people feel their dentures look obvious to other people, especially when they’re speaking. Talking in front of a mirror can help you feel more confident about how you look when you speak.
3. Talk to yourself
Talking to yourself is a good way to identify pronunciation issues, but it can also help you learn to get used to the way your dentures feel and respond during speech. If you’re not comfortable talking to yourself around family members, try taking some long drives. This can give you the opportunity to talk to yourself without being overheard by others.
4. Talk to your computer
Nearly every computer — and most smartphones — offer a talk-to-text feature that can help you learn how well you’re being understood when you speak. In talk-to-text, you speak to your computer (or phone), and the computer types what it hears.
By reading what your computer types, you can pinpoint areas where you need some practice. The one potential issue here is that eventually, the talk-to-text feature will learn your speech patterns, so over time, the feedback you get might not be as accurate as talking to a human.
5. Talk to customer service
Long customer service calls are something most of us try to avoid at all costs. But actor Jonah Hill used these calls to his advantage.
While preparing for a role that required him to wear overly large dentures, Jonah called unsuspecting customer service agents and talked to them for as long as possible about whatever service they were offering. These calls gave him direct “human” feedback on how well he was being understood, enabling him to identify areas where his speech needed improvement.
Get comfortable with your new dentures
Today’s dentures are made of lightweight materials for a fit that’s more comfortable and more secure than your parents’ or grandparents’ dentures. With a little patience and practice, you should be able to adjust very quickly.
To learn more about dentures and how they can help restore your smile and improve your oral health, call 313-646-7903 or book an appointment online at Novi Family Dentistry today.