Many ghouls and monsters have been trendy in books and movies for quite some time (werewolves and zombies and mummies, oh my!), but none have enjoyed quite the charisma and enduring popularity of vampires. You too can be a vampire for the night with the right wardrobe, some pale makeup and, of course, the all-important fangs and "fang glue." An ideal adhesive holds the fangs securely to your real teeth for the night but releases easily when the party is over.
Choosing the Right Fangs
The simplest fangs come as a set complete with incisors between the fangs. They're easy to use because they simply slip on over your own teeth, but they usually don't look especially realistic. They're also awkward for talking or drinking, which can take some of the fun out of your evening.
You can get more impressive fangs as individual teeth from a costume or cosplay shop. They're available in different sizes and shades of white, so you can usually find a pair that will match your own teeth fairly well. These will often come with their own specialized fang glue to secure them in your mouth.
If you've left your costume preparation to the last minute and don't have the option of getting to a specialty shop, you can improvise a surprisingly good pair of fangs from a package of press-on fingernails. Choose nails slightly larger than your real canine teeth and use a paring knife and then a nail file to shape them. For these, you'll need to find your own glue option.
Applying Costume Store Fangs
When you purchase your fangs, they'll often come with some form of fang glue and instructions for using that adhesive. It may be supplied in the form of a ready-to-use liquid or paste or as a mixture you need to combine in order to create a quick-setting adhesive. In the case of the popular Scarecrow brand, for example, you'll be provided with a dry powder and a liquid to stir into it.
First, stand in front of the mirror and hold the fangs to your real teeth to check their positioning (if you can't see yourself, congratulations – you're already a pretty convincing vampire). Next, mix up the adhesive according to the supplied instructions and apply it to the back of the first fang. Hold the fang to its tooth, pressing just enough to hold it in place for the amount of time specified in the instructions. Once it has set enough to hold its position, repeat with the second fang.
Fang Glue for DIY Fangs
The best option for adhering your DIY fangs is denture adhesive, sold in every pharmacy and department store under a number of well-known brand names. One important thing to remember about these adhesives is that they're intended to hold dentures to the user's gums, not to actual teeth. You'll need to adjust the cut of your DIY fangs so they extend just slightly to your gums, where your over-the-counter fang glue can do its thing.
First, dry your tooth and the area of gum directly above your canine. Apply a small dot of the adhesive cream to the top of the fang where it will meet your gums. Press the fang into place, adjust it quickly if needed and then hold it gently in place for 15 to 20 seconds until it feels secure. Repeat with the remaining fang.
Fang Tips and Warnings
Your fangs aren't meant to be functioning teeth, especially the DIY ones, so don't try to eat with them in. You run the risk of staining them, having them fall out or worst of all swallowing them. If you're going to eat, take them out beforehand and put them back when you're done. Commercial fangs are usually intended to be removed and replaced; for DIY fangs, drop the tube of adhesive in your pocket or purse and reapply as needed.
If you have veneers or braces on your teeth or if you've recently had any dental work done, you should probably not stick fake fangs to your real teeth. You can use the less-persuasive slip-on fangs as an alternative or simply rely on your costume and makeup to do the heavy lifting.
- Bell Harbour Dental: How to Apply Vampire Fangs With Dental Adhesive Beads
- Chicago Costume Company: How to Wear Vampire Fangs
- Craig Armstrong, DDS: Should You Use Costume Teeth This Halloween? The Truth of Those Fake Teeth
- Halloween Online Magazine: Vampire Fangs
- DentalCareMatters: A Guide to Denture Adhesives