There might be some unexpected teething problems when you receive your new set of dentures. Sure, you can now smile and laugh with confidence, as well as being able to enjoy a wider variety of food—food that would have been difficult (if not impossible) to consume before the dentures were fitted. There is one thing that you might not have expected. Now that your new dentures are in your mouth, you might have some minor difficulties with speaking. Of course you can still speak without any issues, but your new dentures can still have an effect on the way you talk. But why is this the case? And what can you do about it?
Why It Can Happen
It's rather logical that dentures can have a minor effect on the way that you speak. Your jaw muscles now have to support the small extra weight of the denture base and the prosthetic teeth, and this can take some time to get used to. It's really a matter of allowing your jaw muscles to train themselves to support this extra weight. There is also the matter of tongue placement. Your tongue moves throughout your mouth when you pronounce certain sounds. For example, you are likely to press your tongue against your upper incisors when you make an "s" sound. The addition of prosthetic teeth in positions where teeth might have been missing can make it slightly difficult to pronounce certain sounds.
What You Can Do
Some minor issues with speaking when you receive new dentures is not anything you need to be alarmed about. It's something that you will quickly get used to as you become accustomed to the sensation of the new dentures in your mouth. Having said that, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
- Talking with friends and family members. This might seem obvious, but it's the quickest way to getting used to speaking with your dentures. It's a great way of overcoming any anxiety in a comfortable environment, particularly if you'll need to do any form of public speaking in the near future.
- Read aloud. Pick up one of your favourite books and simply read aloud to yourself. You will quickly identify words (and individual sounds) that you have trouble pronouncing. Repetition can help with individual sounds, so you might even want to try a range of tongue twisters to improve your pronunciation.
- Voice recognition software. You might already have such a system installed on your computer (or smartphone), but it can be a great way to check the clarity of your speech. Try to dictate something to your computer or smartphone, and again, you can see which words (or sounds) you might have trouble pronouncing.
Speaking clearly with your new dentures will not take long to master, and it's great to know that there are a few exercises that can help you to speed up the process.