Tips & Tricks

What Do I Do If I Mess Up My Dental Impression?

how to take your dental impression

no need to hit the panic button

If you mess up your dental impression there is NO NEED to hit the panic button. If your first teeth impression doesn’t go very well, simply contact us. We will ship out a new dental impression kit to you. Hang on to your prepaid mailer as you will be needing that to mail back your new (and better) dental impression.

Blue and white putty not mixed thoroughly | Example 3 | Common mistakes |


Here’s a list of the most common errors when taking your own dental impression and some tips on preventing the mess-ups:

  1. Attempting to take your dental impression before reading through all of the material and watching the video. Always Read our how it works page, and take a look at the instructions you receive in the mail first.
  2. Taking too long to mix the dental putty. As a result, the putty becomes hard before you submerge all of your teeth. Remember to set a timer and watch your time! Mix quickly and thoroughly for 40 seconds to 1 minute. Roll the putty quickly into a hot dog shape and place it in the tray. With your finger, smooth out the areas as needed so you have a nice, equally-distributed surface before submerging your teeth.
  3. Misjudging the tray position and hitting your teeth on the plastic wall. Here’s a great tip: practice taking the empty tray in and out of your mouth several times before actually taking your dental impression. Stand in front of a mirror and pretend that the tray is already filled with dental putty. Try to keep the tray as straight as possible. Place the tray in your mouth and then push the bottom of the tray upwards (in a uniform, even manner). If you’re taking an impression for your lower teeth, follow the same process- You would just press the tray downwards instead of up. Make sure to submerge all of your teeth.
  4. Moving the tray once the teeth are submerged. This will result in a distorted dental impression, and thus, an ill-fitting mouth guard. Remember to submerge all of the teeth and stay still for the full 3 minutes before taking your teeth impression out. Even if you’re drooling all over–KEEP STILL!  
  5.  Taking your tray out too soon. Removing the tray before the putty is completely set can cause some distortion. Remember, 3 minutes!

What does a great dental impression look like?

All of the teeth are captured. No distortion. Teeth are not hitting the edge of the tray. Wisdom teeth are not typically included in the night guard UNLESS dentist has advised that the wisdom teeth be included.

We have a high success rate of customers taking their impression correctly on their first try. Over 85% of customers take their impression perfectly the first time. Also, one of the greatest things about taking a nice, clean impression of your teeth is that we keep your dental impression/stone mold on file in the Sentinel lab! This means, we can make and remake your future night guards (as long as your dental anatomy doesn’t change).

Custom Night Guard


Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store

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