11 Top Exercises for Speaking Confidently With Dentures

Dental Dentures in Richardson, TX, Gentle Touch Dentistry Richardson
By Gentle Touch Dentistry Richardson

Speaking with dentures can present unique challenges. Adjusting to new teeth can affect how your tongue and lips interact, impacting the way you pronounce sounds and speak clearly. This can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and hinder effective communication.

However, clear speech is vital for confidence and social interaction. It allows you to express yourself effectively, connect with others, and participate fully in conversations.

The good news is that specific exercises can significantly improve your speech with dentures. By strengthening the muscles involved in speaking and practicing proper tongue and lip placement, you can overcome these challenges and regain confidence in your communication.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the difficulties associated with speaking while wearing dentures, the benefits of speech exercises, and provide you with 11 effective exercises to help you speak clearly and confidently.

Understanding Speech Challenges with Dentures

When you have missing teeth, the structure of your mouth changes. This can affect the way sound travels and vibrates, impacting your speech in several ways:

  • Mumbling and slurring: Missing teeth can alter the way your tongue interacts with your lips and gums, making it harder to form precise sounds and articulate words clearly.
  • Difficulty pronouncing certain sounds: Sounds like “s,” “th,” and “f” require specific tongue placement against the teeth. With proper support from teeth, these sounds can become smooth and clear.
  • Clicking sounds: Dentures may sometimes shift slightly while speaking, causing clicking noises that can be distracting and disrupt speech flow.
  • Changes in voice quality: The way sound resonates in your mouth cavity can be altered by dentures, leading to changes in voice quality, such as nasality (voice sounding like it’s coming through the nose).

It’s important to remember that these challenges are temporary and can be improved with practice and the right exercises.

Benefits of Speech Exercises for Denture Wearers

Speech exercises offer numerous benefits for individuals wearing dentures, helping them overcome the challenges mentioned earlier and experience significant improvements in their communication:

1. Improved clarity and articulation: By strengthening the muscles involved in speaking and practicing proper tongue and lip placement, you can achieve clearer pronunciation and articulation, making your speech easier to understand for others.

2. Increased confidence in speaking situations: When you can speak clearly and confidently, you are more likely to participate actively in conversations and social interactions. This can lead to a significant boost in your self-esteem and overall confidence.

3. Enhanced enjoyment of communication: Clear and effortless communication allows you to enjoy conversations with friends, family, and colleagues on a deeper level, fostering stronger relationships and improving your quality of life.

4. Potential psychological benefits: Overcoming the challenges of speaking with dentures can lead to a sense of accomplishment and improved self-esteem. Additionally, clear communication can reduce anxiety and stress related to social interactions.

By dedicating time and effort to speech exercises, you can unlock these benefits and experience a significant improvement in your overall communication experience while wearing dentures.

11 Top Exercises for Speaking Clearly with Dentures

Here are 11 effective exercises designed to strengthen your speech muscles, improve tongue and lip mobility, and help you speak clearly and confidently with dentures:

A. Warm-up and Relaxation Exercises:

These exercises help improve overall muscle control and coordination, preparing your mouth for speaking practice.

  1. Mouth Stretch and Relaxation: Open your mouth wide and hold for 5 seconds. Relax your jaw and facial muscles. Repeat 5 times.
  2. Jaw Relaxation and Positioning: Gently move your jaw down and up, feeling the stretch in your jaw muscles. Repeat 10 times. Then, slightly open your mouth and hold your jaw in a comfortable, relaxed position.

B. Lip, Cheek, and Tongue Strengthening Exercises:

These exercises target the specific muscles involved in speech production, improving their strength and control for better articulation.

Lip, Cheek, and Tongue Strength Exercises:

  • Smile widely for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
  • Puff out your cheeks and hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
  • Stick out your tongue as far as you can, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat 10 times.
  1. Lip Closure and Pronunciation:

Purse your lips together and say “mmm” for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

Close your lips tightly and blow out air through your nose for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

C. Tongue Mobility Exercises:

These exercises enhance tongue dexterity, allowing for precise sound formation and improved pronunciation.

Tongue Twisters: Choose tongue twisters that challenge specific sounds you find difficult, such as “She sells seashells by the seashore” or “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.” Practice saying them slowly and deliberately, gradually increasing speed as your tongue becomes more coordinated.

Blowing Exercises:

  • Blowing: Take a deep breath and blow out slowly through pursed lips, making a sustained “ssss” sound. Repeat 5 times.
  • Straw blowing: Blow through a straw into a cup of water, creating bubbles. This exercise helps strengthen your lip and tongue muscles.

Tongue Placement Exercises:

  • Practice placing your tongue in the correct position for specific sounds, such as the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth for “t” and “d” sounds.

D. Speech Practice Exercises:

These exercises train your speech muscles and help you practice clear pronunciation in different situations.

  1. Voice Projection: Sit or stand tall and project your voice while saying simple phrases like “Good morning” or “How are you?” gradually increasing volume without straining.
  2. Reading Aloud: Start with familiar passages, reading slowly and deliberately, focusing on clear pronunciation and enunciation. Gradually progress to more challenging texts as your fluency improves.
  3. Conversation Practice: Engage in conversation with a trusted friend or family member, or record yourself speaking. This allows you to hear your own voice and identify areas for improvement.

E. Additional Tips:

  1. Consistency and Patience are Key: Regular practice is crucial for improvement. Aim to perform these exercises for 10-15 minutes daily, and be patient with yourself as progress takes time.

Addressing common concerns:

“I’m worried about sounding artificial.”

  • Focus on clarity and natural articulation rather than achieving a perfect “pre-denture” voice. With practice, your speech will become natural and comfortable.

“My dentures don’t fit well, affecting my speech.”

  • Ensure your dentures fit properly, and consult your dentist in Richardson if you experience any issues. A well-fitting denture is essential for clear speech.

Remember: These exercises are most effective when combined with proper denture care and maintenance. Regularly visit your trusted Richardson dentist for checkups and adjustments to ensure the optimal fit and function of your dentures.

Additional Considerations and Resources

Seeking professional guidance:

While these exercises offer a valuable tool for improving speech with dentures, consulting a speech-language pathologist (SLP) can provide personalized guidance and address specific speech difficulties you might encounter. They can:

  • Evaluate your speech patterns and identify areas for improvement.
  • Develop a customized exercise program tailored to your needs.
  • Offer additional strategies and techniques to enhance clear communication.

Support groups and resources:

Connecting with other denture wearers through support groups or online forums can provide valuable support and encouragement. Sharing experiences and learning from others who have successfully overcome similar challenges can be motivating and helpful.

Addressing underlying medical conditions:

Certain medical conditions, such as neurological disorders or muscle weakness, can contribute to speech difficulties. If you suspect an underlying condition affecting your speech, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, clear and confident communication is achievable with the right support and dedicated practice. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed, and embrace the journey towards improved communication with your dentures.

Take away

Speaking clearly with dentures is a skill that can be learned and improved with practice and dedication. The exercises and tips outlined in this guide can equip you with the tools to overcome the challenges associated with speaking while wearing dentures.


  • Consistency is key: Regular practice is essential for seeing improvement.
  • Be patient: It takes time to develop muscle memory and improve coordination.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek professional help: Speech-language pathologists can offer valuable guidance and support.

Focus on the positive: Celebrate your progress and embrace the confidence that comes with clear communication.

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