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How To Take Great Dental Impression


  • Step 1: clean your teeth.

    Dentists say everyone should brush twice per day. Surveys suggest that about half of us only brush once per day. If you only brush once, do so silent nite right before you make your at-home dental impressions.

    Food stuck in your teeth can move into stop snoring your dental impressions. That could confuse the silent nite team making your aligners. Is that bump a tooth? A popcorn kernel? Your team won't know, and that could make your aligners less effective and perhaps less comfortable.

    Prepare your teeth by:

    • Brushing for two minutes. Use a soft-bristle brush, and don't press too hard as you move the toothpaste around your teeth.
    • Flossing. Ensure that no tiny food particles sit between your teeth. Use floss between all of your teeth to reach every nook and cranny.
    • Rinsing. Use a mouthwash, and swirl it around your teeth. Tiny particles you dislodged with your work should go down the drain when you spit.

    Step 2: check the tray size.

    An at-home dental impression kit comes with two sets of trays. You'll mail these plastic pieces back after they are filled with hardened putty.

    You'll use one tray at a time, and while they may not feel comfortable inside your mouth, they should fit properly. The right tray will:

    • Cover your teeth. Pull your lips back, and you shouldn't see your teeth peeking out over the top of the plastic lip.
    • Feel roomy. The tray shouldn't touch or pinch your teeth when it's empty. You'll need room for the putty.
    • Fit well front to back. Your back teeth shouldn't hang out of the back end of the tray.

    If your trays feel too small or too large, email the company before you get started with your impressions. You might need a new set sent to you before you begin.

    Step 3: mix your putty.

    Putty hardens around your teeth, but it shows up soft and pliant in your impression kit. Typically, you'll start the formal impression process by mixing two types of putty.

    To complete this step:

    • Empty both types of putty into your hands. Scoop out the white putty and blue putty into the palm of your hand.
    • Squeeze them together. Mash the two colors together rigorously until the putty in your hands is one uniform color of blue.
    • Watch the clock. Don't mash putty for longer than 30 seconds, or it will begin to harden.
    • Roll and fill. Push the putty between your hands until it's one log-like shape that you can press into one impression tray.

    Step 4: align and push.

    Your tray is filled with putty, and you're ready to showcase your pearly whites.

    To finish this step:

    • Align. Find the center of the tray, and line up your center teeth with that space.
    • Push with your thumbs. Push your teeth into the tray until the putty covers your gumline. Stop before the bottom of your teeth hit the tray.
    • Center. Ensure that both sides of your teeth are pushed evenly into the putty.
    • Don't bite. You might be tempted to push down on the trays with the strength of your jaws. Resist the urge! Biting pushes your teeth to the bottom of the trays, and that makes your impressions less effective.
    You don't have to be a dental expert to make perfect at-home impressions of your teeth. But you will need patience and precision to do the job right.

    Step 5: watch the clock.

    The putty should harden a bit before you remove your teeth, and that takes time. Remove the trays too early, and you won't have a firm impression. Leave the putty on too long, and it's hard to remove.

    Set a timer for 3.5 minutes.

    Step 6: control your gag reflex.

    Do your dental impressions the right way, and stop snoring the putty will push against the top of your mouth and into the back of your throat. You might be tempted to gag or choke. Prepare for that and take action.

    You can lower your gag reflex by:

    • Sitting up straight. Saliva won't run down the back of your throat if the top of your head is pointing at the ceiling.
    • Leaning forward. If you still feel as though you might gag, put your feet on the floor and tip your head toward the floor.
    • Controlling your breathing. Focus on breathing in through your nose on a count of 10.
    • Distracting your mind. Look out the window, or watch your cat play. Take your mind off your mouth, and the sensation might fade.

    Step 7: remove your tray.

    When your timer dings, it's time to take the trays away from your teeth. The putty will harden, so you might need to wiggle or tap the tray to loosen it. Then pull with gentle pressure to slide the materials away from your teeth.

    You can do this!

    • If using plastic disposable trays and it needs to be widened:
    • Use a small gas flame torch, for 5 seconds run the tray over the flame – and use a guaze to widen the tray.
    • Make sure to cool off the tray before putting it back in the mouth.

    Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to serve as dental or other professional health advice and is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any condition or symptom. You should consult a dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.