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.