When you get dentures or are recovering from oral surgery your mouth changes and you suddenly are surprised by your struggle to speak clearly again. However, you can adapt. It simply takes practice with a few key exercises of your speech muscles: tongue, lips, teeth, palate (roof of mouth), and jaw.
Here are three key exercises to practise so your speech can adapt to the new shape within your mouth.
#1Key Warmup with the Tongue: Your tongue tip must be re-trained to touch a new upper location around your denture device to hit the gum line behind the upper teeth. Start a short phrase, “Tittle tattle, tittle tattle, tittle tattle,” and repeat it five times.
The tongue likes to dance and flip with the upper palate or roof of your mouth. So, give it twirl with this phrase, “Lillory, Lallory, Lollory” five times.
Rest between your practice sessions while recovering from any surgery.
#2 Key Warmup with the Lips: A simple way to stretch your lips is to smile and then pout several times to limber them up. Repeat aloud, “boo” and “hee” together: “boo-hee” five times. A good tip is to massage your face and cheek gentle before you start your exercises to loosen any tight muscles.
#3 Key Warmup with the Jaw: A tight jaw will not allow your speech to be heard clearly so you must open you mouth widely. To loosen up you jaw focus on relaxing it and gently move it up and down, and side to side. Then you can try taking a huge yawn to feel that air hit the back of your throat and feel your jaw stretch way out.
If you have some favourite tongue twisters, then now is the time to use them. Speak slowly while saying any to achieve better accuracy. That’s more important than how fast you can say them.
There are more exercises for all your speech muscles in “Speak With Confidence: Even With Dentures” with tips on avoiding whistling sounds, mumbling, and more.
Here’s to Keeping Voice Fit!
Brenda C. Smith