Are you a professional presenter who now has dentures which have caused you specific speech difficulties, and make you feel uncomfortable doing any speaking engagements? Your dentist no doubt warned you about having to adjust to a foreign object now in your mouth; but you are in shock over the unexpected sounds that you hear. You find your confidence level spiraling downward.
If you find yourself now sounding as if you have a lisp or a whistle, loss of breath power, or a tongue that seems lost in your mouth cavity; then here are three key solutions to rehabilitate your speech.
Key #1 Muscles:
Since your gums recede and your mouth and jaw muscles need to be exercised to regain its strength and agility, use these as a warm-up each morning.
· Massage your cheeks in a circular pattern both directions for 20 seconds
· Repeat the word “jaw” 5 times allowing your jaw to relax and drop loosely
· Repeat “oo-eee” 5 times allowing the lips to purse and then smile
· Exercise your tongue by moving it inside your mouth from ear to ear, flip it up and stretch it back, flip it under and push the middle out, stick it out of your mouth and circle you lips.
Key #2 Articulation:
It takes time to get use to having this denture covering your palate, or roof, of your mouth. You must re-train your main articulator, the tongue, and the jaw muscles to do their job. You are use to feeling your tongue touch the front (alveolar ridge), mid (hard), and back (soft) areas of your palate to make your speech sounds. Since your denture is now taking up some space in your mouth, the tongue does not have to stretch as far, so you need to exercise it on the particular sounds (phonemes) of the “t-d”, “f-v”, “s-sh”, and “l.” Try these simple tongue twisters daily three times each until you feel that your tongue has finally got the message:
· Tiny-tot Tad tasted very little treats
· Fair is foul and foul is fair
· Sister Sue sews shirts, shorts, shoulder straps for soldiers
· Lillory, lallory, lollory
· Read aloud an article from the newspaper or online
Key #3 Breathing:
Focus breathing with your diaphragm, not up in your upper chest or neck area, in order to increase your breath power. Start with the following exercises as if you are directing the air a short distance in front of you, such as across the dinner table; then increase the distance to the end of a room; and finally, project the sound into the next room.
· Count to 5 blowing out one imaginary birthday candle after each count
· Repeat: “Welcome to my home” projecting your voice to a farther distance each time
· Repeat aloud the opening speech of one of your presentations
If you practise these key exercises then you will find that your confidence will grow and your speech will be more accurate. If you give a workout to your tongue and how the breath is flowing over the tongue, your whistling sound will only happen on the correct sounds.
A few sessions with a speech coach can help you keep on track if you are a procrastinator. Getting out socially to practise speaking will boost your skills and confidence level. Be sure to check with your dentist with any further problems in case an adjustment is necessary for the sizing and fit of your dentures, which will affect your speech.
Source by Brenda C. Smith