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Will Dentures Affect My Speech?
When you get new dentures, it can be a challenge to learn to speak properly with them. Even if the dentures fit properly, you may need some adjustment time. When you first learned to speak, you used a different set of teeth, after all. If you had other dentures that did not fit properly, partial dentures, missing teeth or worn-down teeth before this new set, your mouth learned to compensate. Now it is still attempting to compensate, even though your new dentures are in place.
Speaking with dentures
People with dentures may feel uncomfortable speaking in front of others when the dentures are first in place. It can be awkward to speak when one is not pronouncing words properly or having troubles with the S or F sounds. Additionally, the dentures may cause clicking noises or start shifting when the person speaks. There are ways to adapt to new dentures that can decrease the speech problems.
Talk to others
Patients are encouraged to speak a lot when adjusting to new dentures. Although it might be uncomfortable for them to do this in public, there are a lot of other options. A spouse or life partner can provide a sense of comfort, though they may not be able to provide as much critique as someone else. After all, a spouse knows the person well enough that understanding them is easy, even with dentures.
Read aloud or talk in front of a mirror
If a person is uncomfortable speaking to others, it is possible to practice by themselves. It can be beneficial to read aloud when enjoying a good book as it provides practice with a variety of different sounds and inflections. A person with new dentures can also practice in front of a mirror. This way, the person can see the way the mouth and teeth move. It can provide some good insight into the troubles the person is having and allow them to get better more quickly.
Slow down when speaking
If a person hears clicking noises when speaking, it is important for them to slow down and take some time. This prevents additional movements that can lift or shift the lower denture out of place. The lower denture’s stability requires extra help from the muscles in the cheeks, tongue and lips. At first, these muscles may try to kick the new denture out of place. In time, however, they will acclimate to the new positioning.
Bite down before speaking
If a person has an issue keeping the dentures in the correct position when speaking, this can be solved by biting down gently before speaking. This pushes the dentures into the right spot and can keep them there.
Practice talking with dentures a lot
The only way you are going to improve with your dentures is if you continue to practice speaking regularly. Repeat words that you have trouble pronouncing and give yourself some credit when you start getting better. Daily speech practice is going to help you improve, and soon you should be able to speak without worrying about how you sound to others. Remember to slow down and bite gently before you speak. You can also ask a dentist or someone else with dentures for advice.
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