Although Winston Churchill has been described as a lion for his role in leading Britain during WWII, he himself was more humble. “I was not the lion, but it fell to me to give the lion’s roar,” he said with his characteristically clever phrasing. And, it turns out, the lion’s roar had a lisp, thanks to Churchill’s specially made dentures.
The Power of Churchill’s Distinctive Voice
Churchill had been in government for many years before the outbreak of WWII. He traveled around the country speaking for many years, and people came to know him by his voice, which had always included a lisp. Although many people are self-conscious of their speech “defects,” Churchill embraced his for its distinctive qualities. It became part of his persona, so that people remembered not just his words, but how they sounded as he spit them out.
His lisp helped to make him human, helped create the rough, earthy persona he cultivated and maintained throughout his public life.
A Nation Held Together by the Voice on the Radio
After the summer of 1940, Britain stood alone against Germany. The seemingly unstoppable power of the Nazis was turned against the tiny island nation, including their new and fearsome machines of war, with names that would come to be regarded with fear and trembling: Panzer, Stuka, and soon the V-1 and V-2. A campaign of terror was unleashed on the British nation, and as their cities turned into flaming rubble, they turned on the radio and listened to the voice of Churchill, reassuring them and inspiring them.
Many of his speeches are immortal, with quotes that are readily recognized today, such as “ we shall fight on the beaches ,” “ this was their finest hour ,” and “ never was so much owed by so many to so few.” If you listen to these clips, you can recognize his characteristic lisp.
Preserving His Voice with Dentures
When Churchill had to have partial dentures due to numerous lost teeth , he was concerned that his dentures might eliminate his lisp. As a result, he had his dentures specially made to preserve it.
The dentist who made these dentures was also called upon to maintain them. This was no easy task, because whenever he was exasperated or frustrated, he would take them out and throw them.
Through the bitter disappointments and unfortunate turns of the war, this was likely quite often, so it’s no surprise that Churchill demanded his dentist stay in London. When the dentist was called to serve in the army, Churchill personally tore up the orders because he considered the maintenance of his dentures to be vitally important work for the country.
Preserving Your Voice with Dentures
Unlike Churchill, many people have the opposite worry, that dentures will give them a lisp. But just as dentures can be made to preserve the natural features of Churchill’s voice, so they can be made to preserve your natural speech. In particular, neuromuscular dentures fit very well so that after a brief adjustment period , you will speak as clearly as ever.
To learn more about your denture options, please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC today.