How to Create a Fake Tooth out of Putty

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Fake teeth are commonly used in dental schools to demonstrate cleaning techniques.
Fake teeth are commonly used in dental schools to demonstrate cleaning techniques. (Image: Morguefile.com/Susie Holderfield)

Learning how to create a fake tooth out of putty can come in handy for Halloween costumes, art classes or movies that need makeup effects. You can make vampire fangs, buckteeth or perhaps something more realistic. They key is acquiring alginate, a naturally occurring carbohydrate used in food additives that makes up anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of brown algae. A good way to master the process is to start by replicating your own tooth.

Things You'll Need

  • Alginate
  • Porcelain cup and plastic spoon
  • Mouth guard
  • Paper towel
  • Dental floss, toothbrush, and toothpaste

Mix alginate according to manufacturer recommendations in porcelain cup with plastic spoon. You need about one tablespoon.

Pour the finished mix into mouth guard.

Bite down gently on the mouth guard to create an imprint of your teeth. Do this over a paper towel to allow any overage to drip down. Do not swallow the material!

Wait until alginate putty sets. Usually this only takes about three minutes, but depending on the brand you chose, it may take up to five. Gently probe the mouth guard with your tongue to get a feel of the alginate. If it feels pretty rubbery, it is time to remove the mold.

Open your mouth and lift the mouth guard off your teeth. Try doing this in a straight motion to avoid any snags or rips, especially if the alginate went in between tight fitting teeth.

Set aside mold. Brush, floss and rinse your teeth. Remove any alginate that might have stayed behind in your mouth. Although the material is rated as food grade and thus not toxic, it makes for a rather weird feeling if you keep it in your mouth and begins to gradually disintegrate because of any foods you are eating.

Gently dab dry the mold of your teeth with a paper towel.

Allow mold to set completely. In the meantime, mix another smaller batch of alginate putty. You are now going to create a fake tooth out of the putty using your very own cast!

Pour the mix into the mold you fashioned. Fully set alginate will not bond to itself, so you should have no problem removing the putty tooth once it has a chance to set.

Cut apart the set of teeth and excise just the one tooth you want to use.

Paint tooth using professional tooth paint, which is also used on dentures. Your finished product is now an example of how to create a fake tooth out of putty.

Tips & Warnings

  • When purchasing alginate, opt for the slightly more expensive formula that contains clay filler versus the cheaper one. The latter does not set as strongly as the former.
  • As you bite down to create the mold, do not bite down all the way to the bottom of the mold. Try to keep a bit of space between the tip of your teeth and the bottom of the mouth guard.
  • When allowing a child to use the fake tooth, make sure he is old enough to know not to bite down on it.

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