Thursday, 1 September 2011

Get your teeth into it!

This week I’ve been spending a lot of time at the dentist with my husband (poor baby!), and it’s got me thinking about – teeth!

When we think of voiceover, we often think of talent, ability, characterisation and so on – but how often do we think of our gnashers? 

So a few quick teeth-related DOs and DON'Ts for voice artists!

If you’re thinking about a career in voiceover and if your teeth impact on your speech in some way, DO consider dealing with that before you get started. I had a friend who wanted to voiceovers, but bad orthodontia when she was young had left her with gaps that gave her an unfortunate ‘shushiness’ – that is, slushy Ss. This was charming in her everyday speech, but it didn’t work so well for her professionally. Vocal ‘quirks’ can limit you - a clean sound is best - and most versatile! You can always add ‘slushiness’ or other vocal effects if you need it for a character.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, but DO avoid tongue and lip piercings if you want a career in voiceover – why risk it?

If you’re already working as a voiceover and need orthodontia, DO consider looking into removable devices like Invisalign – it can be difficult to compensate for a fixed brace. Talk to your orthodontist to see what’s available.

If you opt for veneers, DO give yourself time to get used to them. I know a voice director who swears she can ‘hear’ new veneers!

DON'T schedule dental work before a session – sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people do it. Don’t! It’s unprofessional. Schedule dental work for days you’re not in studio.

DO wear a mouthguard if you play rough sports or if you’re a teeth-grinder (like me!).

DO look after your instrument! Besides being good for your general health, taking care of your teeth is good for your career as a voice artist. Healthy teeth and gums mean less down time. Floss, brush and have regular checkups. 

Photo by Didby Graham.


  1. Indeed, dental procedures can affect the voice, and it pays to know that stuff in advance if you need to talk on the job. In any case, healthy teeth are good for any kind of job. It means that you keep your body healthy, which is always a plus in one's personal and professional life.

    Bianca Jackson

  2. You're absolutely right, Bianca! Thanks for stopping by... :o)

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