How to Take a Dental Impression for Your Mouth Guard
For The Best Fit
When ordering a mouth guard that is custom fit to your teeth, a dental impression must be taken.
If you’re going through a dental office, a professional will take a nice, clear impression of your teeth.
If you’re purchasing online, you will get a kit sent to your home, and the impression part is up to you. It’s not rocket science, but it does take some prepping by familiarizing yourself with the process before you begin.
The fit of your mouth guard or night guard for teeth grinding depends on how well you take your dental impression. In this article, we break down the process into easy steps to ensure that you take a perfect impression of your teeth for your new custom fit mouth guard.
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What the Impression Kit Contains
1. Plastic tray(s).
2. Mixing putty (usually purple and white, or blue and white).
This putty is a base and a catalyst. When mixed together, it becomes hard after 1-5 minutes (depending on which type you get –fast set or slow set– as set times differ).
3. Written instructions and/or video.
For the purpose of this article, we’re going to go with the most common “working” and “setting” time(s) for the putty instructions.
1. Read the instructions thoroughly and watch the video (if supplied)
As stated above, the fit of your mouth guard depends on how well you take your dental impression. Taking your own dental impression requires focus. Pay attention to the directions. Make sure you’ve set aside time so that you’re not rushed and can focus on the task at hand.
Take several minutes to read through the instructions and make sure you feel comfortable enough with the process before you start to open your putty packs.
Be sure to wash your hands and brush your teeth
Try in each tray that you received. Choose the tray that fits. A little bigger is better. You want to avoid hitting the teeth against the plastic.
2. Mix white and blue putty together for 40-60 seconds (or how long instructions say to mix)
Have A Timer Ready. Get Ready To Mix The Putty!
The most common error that we see when attempting to take your own dental impression is letting the putty get hard before submerging the teeth.
It is very important to pay attention to your time. Work fast! Mix the putty quickly and thoroughly, folding and kneading to get as much of the white blended into the purple as possible. Watch that clock!
Different brands and putty types have different “working” and “set” times. If the putty has a working time of 2 minutes (for instance) you must quickly mix, roll into a hot-dog like shape, place in the tray and submerge ALL the whites of your teeth within that time frame. Otherwise, it will harden and you will not be able to submerge your teeth.
The “set time” or “setting time” will be however long you must hold the tray in place once teeth are submerged in putty. As stated above, our impression putty has a 40-60 second “working” time (this is the time you are mixing the putty, rolling it into a hot dog shape and placing in the tray). The set time for our impression putty is 3 minutes.
3. Roll Into a Hot-Dog Like Shape. Place Putty in Tray.
Roll into a hotdog like shape.
With the palms of your hands, roll the putty into a hot-dog shape. Place putty in tray. With your fingers, spread the material evenly (making sure to cover the sides of the tray too). Don’t spend too much time here. Remember, it’s getting harder by the second.
4. Submerge ALL Teeth In Putty
Make sure you press the putty-filled tray into your teeth, covering ALL of your whites. Do not bite down. Hold in place for however long is indicated on your instruction sheet. For Sentinel Mouthguards, it’s 3 minutes. Do not walk around. Do not move the tray. Just stand completely still holding the tray in place. Be sure all the whites of the teeth are covered evenly and completely.
5. Remove, Rinse, Pat Dry and Mail Back
After removing your dental impression, give it a quick water rinse and very gently pat dry. Place the impression in your mailer, and return it to the company.
6. All set! Mail in your dental impression and we will get to work!
How To Make A Dental Impression For Your Night Guard or Mouth Guard
A few common questions:
“I messed up my dental impression. How can I get a new kit?”
Here at Sentinel Mouth Guards, we supply one free redo kit if you mess up. Simply contact us to request your redo kit. Remember to hang on to your prepaid mailer as you will be needing it to mail back your new dental impression.
“I have missing teeth. Is that a problem?”
Not at all. We make night guards for all types of dental anatomy.
“I have loose teeth and/or some loose dental work. Can I still take my dental impression?”
No. Sentinel Mouth Guards is not liable for any damages resulting from the use of our putty system. If you have loose teeth or loose dental work, you will need to get those issues resolved before purchasing our product. Good, solid teeth are a must!
“I bought the kit, but now I don’t want it. Can I return it?”
We have a 90 day, no questions asked return policy. You can return your impression kit for a full refund if you are within 90 days of purchase date.
“What type of impression putty does Sentinel Mouth Guards use?”
We use VPS regular set impression material. The working time is 2 minutes, and the set time is 3 minutes.
Additional tips and best practices:
Some online mouth guard companies will give you a couple of different trays to try in. If this is the case, choose which tray fits best. It’s better to be a little larger than too small (you don’t want any of your teeth hitting the sides of the tray).
If you’re having to stretch your lips a bit, try putting on some chap stick or Vaseline to avoid them cracking.
Practice putting the plastic tray in your mouth and taking it out. Your teeth should not be right up against the sides of the tray. Remember, you will be filling this tray with putty and submerging your teeth into the putty. So, you’re not going to want your teeth hitting the sides of the tray.
We hope you learned how to take your dental impression. Taking your own dental impression is easy squeezy! Not to mention you save a lot of money by going through an online night guard or mouth guard lab compared to paying a dentist.
We hope this guide helps you feel confident about taking your own teeth impressions. If you have ANY additional questions or concerns, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. Thank you!