By Susan Braden
Thanks to your new discount dental coverage, you finally got those braces you’ve been needing. However, your teeth feel strange, and you're having a hard time talking. Lucky for you, your speech will improve as you get used to your braces. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help avoid miscommunication with your peers.
Many dental appliances require some getting used to before achieving perfect speech. It may take some practice, but speaking easily with your braces (or other appliances) can be done. The first and most obvious solution is simple: practice, practice, practice! If you have to make a speech or go to an audition shortly after you receive your appliance, practice reciting your lines over and over again. Say them in front of another person or record yourself so as to hear what others hear. If you aren’t required to speak but would still like to adjust to speaking with your appliance quickly, ask a family member or friend to have a conversation with you. This will help you quickly and smoothly get used to talking with your new appliance.
If you are self-conscious about how you sound with your new appliance, and you just don’t seem to be getting the hang of it with practice, you can always pull the pity card. A trick that public speakers often use, quite effectively, is to let their listeners know about their “secret.” They may say things such as:
If you begin a speech or conversation like this, people will quickly understand. People will be very careful to listen to every word you say and your message will be communicated clearer than you would imagine! Speak with confidence and throw in a little humor, and people will easily be able to hear your every word, despite your new dental appliance.
Braces can be a pain and hard to adjust to, even with a discount dental plan to help lower the costs. However, you will eventually get used to them, and your speech will gradually improve as you do so. Remember, you probably sound a lot worse to yourself than to others. With lots of practice, you’ll be used to speaking with your braces in no time.