One of the biggest adjustments patients must make after receiving dentures is learning to talk again. Many patients get used to talking with missing teeth, which makes talking with dentures more difficult than they were expecting. Patients often have a difficult time pronouncing their S’s and F’s. Additionally, patients will sometimes experience clicking sounds when they try to talk, which requires a strengthening of the muscles in your lips, tongue, and cheeks. You may need a denture repair to correct the problem but if not, consider these tips to help along the way.
- Practice with Purpose – The best way to train your brain to properly speak again is by practicing with your new dentures in. If you’d like, you can begin by practicing in the mirror. If you are having problems pronouncing certain words, slowly sound them out. Once you feel comfortable in front of the mirror, begin speaking with your spouse, a sibling, or someone else you can trust. This may seem embarrassing or intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. You should be able to trust them to listen and properly advise you with informative feedback.
- Read to Yourself Aloud – You can read from anything you choose – a book, a magazine, or even this blog post if you’d like. Reading aloud will allow you to practice with your dentures in. It will also take you out of your comfort zone. It’s one thing to be able to pronounce words that you control, but it’s another to pronounce words that you don’t know are coming. Reading aloud can provide a challenge that will significantly speed along the process of learning to speak with your new dentures.
- Ensure Your Dentures are Fitting Properly – Be sure you are inserting your dentures properly. Before speaking, you should bite down on your dentures and swallow. This can help lock your dentures into position so that they are not loose in your mouth. If you do not think they are fitting properly, ask your dentist to look at your dentures. Even the slightest inconsistencies can dramatically alter the way your dentures rest in your mouth, which has a direct impact on your speech. If your dentures are fitting properly but keep slipping, your dentist may advise the use of a denture adhesive to help keep them in place.
- Choose a Dentist with a Full-Service Dental Lab – As mentioned above, if you’re struggling to get acclimated with your dentures, there’s a chance that your dentist will need to perform a denture repair. If your dentist does not have a full-service dental lab, this procedure can take days, if not weeks. A long delay can set back any progress that you had made. However, a full-service lab allows your dentist to perform a denture repair instantaneously, typically in less than an hour. Any required denture repairs should be slight, putting you on the path to fluent speech in no time.