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A brief guide to creating a gumshield (Rugby / MMA / etc) with non-toxic Instamorph. The resulting gumshield can be refined to be a tight 'snap' fit or a little l more loose.

The Instamorph gumshield is a stronger, more rigid gum shield than most commercially available "heat-and-bite" gumshields that I have seen and tried. This may be more beneficial for saving teeth in an impact with more focus (elbow?), But, but as any shock to the lower jaw will be more readily transferred to the 'brainy bit' of the head, this might make you more likely to get knocked out. but that is just me speculating. Id rather be knocked out and keep my teeth thanks!

DISCLAIMER: I am no gumsheild expert

STEP 1 (finally) Melt instamorph that is roughly 1 and a half times the size of your thumb (if the gumsheild is for you that is). I make an assumption that in general thumb size is proportional to jaw size ;-)

OK, the blob on the spoon in the photo is good for two or three shields!

Step 1: Shape It, Bite It.

  1. Work the 'n' shape melted Instamorph into your cakehole.
  2. gently hold and align it in all round your bite.
  3. try to ensure it goes back to the molars on both sides
  4. ensure the instamorph is still hot enough and gently bite down (transparent, no milky colour).
  5. work the outside of the shield into a smooth surface, covering all the teeth - a little gum is fine too.
  6. Work the inside of the shield into the teeth with your tongue.
  7. Dont push so hard it gets too thin.
  8. Once the shield has started to solidify, gently wiggle teeth and remove the shield.

Step 2: Remove It, Cool It

Once the shield has cooled to room temp, IT WILL HAVE SHRUNK SLIGHTLY. I haven't seen any temp-expansion figures for instamorph but the shrink can be significant enough to make it a small effort to click into place and much more of an effort to get out again! There was a comedy moment when I discovered this..... It is hard to laugh with carefully moulded lump of hard plastic holding your jaw closed.

Anyway...

Step 3: Refine the Fit.

If you wish, you can partially re-melt the surface of the shield in order to loosen the fit. I managed to loosen the bottom teeth fit more whilst keeping the top teeth fit fairly snug, so the shield doesn't fall out easily when you need to open your mouth catch your breath (which is quite often in contact sports!) , and this makes it easier to remove too.

I think this basic technique could be (and has been) used for creating mouth-held accessibility devices.

<p>Try out royaldentaldirect.com. They are a dental lab that you can order professionally made guards from. </p>
<p>Thanks, but this guard is just fine :-)</p>
<p>Thanks for this description! And though I don't have an image, I *did* make this.</p><p>But why did I bother?</p><p>I have used various mouthpieces to improve sleep, but these mouthpieces are all really one-size-fits-all (and this is true of products that are claimed to be &quot;adjustable&quot;). My head and my jaw and mouth are very much on the large side. This is probably why I have always felt that these devices weren't my size and were too small. So if you have a mouth either smaller or larger than the average, this may be another reason to make your own. </p><p>So I followed the instructions here and now have a new mouthpiece. I can immediately tell that the fit seems much better. It does *not* feel too small. The true test of course is using it over time, but the initial impression (no pun intended) is very good.</p><p>I also did one more thing: I drilled three holes into the mouthpiece roughly between the teeth to help with breathing. </p><p>While cost is not the big issue here, the fact remains that these devices cost anywhere from $50 to $100, and this DIY approach costs less than eight dollars to make, maybe less, and it *fits*.</p>
<p>Thanks for that! - Holes is a good idea! I'll do the same on mine i think.</p><p>Did you need to also re-melt the surface for a looser fit?</p><p>8$ ?! - How big is your mouth?! ;-)</p>
<p>WARNING: Instamorph clearly states on their website that their product is NOT food safe!</p>
<p>Thanks for that - I'm still alive ;-)</p>
<p>Also known as a &quot;night guard&quot; if you wear it overnight -- dentists provide them to prevent tooth grinding. The dental ones are usually pliable (silicone?), but I guess this would work too. And be much cheaper :)</p>
Is it ok to put in your mouth? I have an idea for a future project! Thanks for posting this!
<p>Thanks Constructed - Yeah its fine. It is a Non-toxic plastic. (and I'm still here ;-)</p>
Kinda looks like a mouth guard.
<p>I think possibly the Americas call them mouth guards, so thanks for that Amelia - I have added it to the title :-)</p>
Cool though

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