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It’s pretty easy to create custom fangs for your next cosplay. You can use a non-toxic thermoplastic and mold your fangs from scratch. With this method, you can also create bottom fangs, a snaggle tooth, or even large tusks (links above).
Warning: Do not eat anything while wearing fangs and it’s best to use a straw to drink. You don’t want them to get knocked loose and become a potential choking hazard. The fangs are, however, reusable. So you can remove them when you eat and then reapply the fangs afterward with denture adhesive.
Making thermoplastic fangs
To make fangs that go all the way around your tooth, you’ll want to use moldable thermoplastic. This is a type of material that looks like small bead dots to start. When you heat them, they melt into a putty-like material that you can use to mold into whatever shape you want. As the thermoplastic cools, it turns into a hard plastic again.
You can use this thermoplastic material to make a custom fang that molds around your tooth and fits your mouth perfectly. You can also use it to mold bottom teeth and tusks while still being able to close your mouth comfortably.
- Non-toxic thermoplastic (such as Polly Plastics or Instamorph)
- Denture adhesive
- A heatgun (or hot water)
- Optional: silicone beaker (to use when melting the plastic beads)
Before you start: safety with thermoplastic beads
Always make sure to test the thermoplastic material outside of your mouth and familiarize yourself with it before molding your fangs. You want to make sure you understand how it works so that you don’t accidentally hurt yourself or get anything stuck in your mouth. That being said, it’s a pretty easy and safe material to use, so it’s unlikely you will run into any problems.
When choosing a brand of thermoplastic, make sure it’s a non-toxic brand that’s safe to use for products that you would eat and drink with.
You will also notice the melting instructions on most types of thermoplastic beads recommend using hot water. I found that I had a lot more luck using a heatgun to melt the plastic beads together. However, this does produce a lot more heat, so be careful when you first touch the plastic after heating it up. You also might want to wait a moment until the clear putty cools just slightly before molding it in your mouth so that you don’t burn your gums.
Will the plastic fangs get stuck on your teeth?
I have never had a problem with getting the thermoplastic stuck on any of my teeth. It cools and hardens slowly, so it forms a hard-ish gel texture before cooling into a completely hard plastic. This gives you plenty of time to remove the tooth from your mouth before anything gets stuck.
However, if the thermoplastic fang does get stuck to your tooth while you are molding your fangs, swish a hot liquid in your mouth to soften the plastic. It doesn’t need to be scalding hot liquid (you don’t want to burn your mouth), but it should be the temperature of a warm cup of coffee or tea (about 150ºF or 65ºC).
How to make fangs
Since most people have a slight overbite, fangs on the upper teeth are a little easier to make. All you really have to do is form the putty over your canine teeth and form them into a point. If you want the fangs to easily show when your mouth is closed, all you need to do is make longer fangs.
- Heat up the thermoplastic. I prefer to use a heatgun to heat the thermoplastic since I find this works better, but you can use hot water and follow the package instructions if you want. I like to place the small beads in a silicone beaker so that they don’t all fly away because of the wind from the heatgun. As you heat the thermoplastic it will start to stick together and turn clear. As it cools, the plastic will become opaque and white again.
- Take a small section and shape it around your canine tooth. Once your thermoplastic is heated (but cool enough to touch), take a small section, and mold it into a little triangle. Then sink your tooth into it and start to form a point. Make sure to bite down so that it’s comfortable with your mouth closed and make the tooth longer if you want it to show outside of your mouth.
- Reheat the plastic as necessary until you are happy with the shape. If the plastic cools and begins to harden before you’re finished forming the tooth, you can simply reheat it and continue until you’re happy with how it looks.
- Trim the area around the gums if necessary. If the area around the gums is too wide or tall, you can also take a pair of scissors and trim it until it fits better.
- Allow the fangs to cool completely. Once you’re happy with the shape, set the tooth aside until it is completely white and opaque. You can work on the next fang while you wait.
- Apply the fangs using denture adhesive. You will probably have to use some denture adhesive to give the tooth better holding power, but sometimes the fang will be form-fitting enough that it can stay on its own. To use denture adhesive, dry your tooth with a tissue and a small dot of adhesive into the fang. Then press it against your tooth for 10 seconds. NEVER use glue that is not meant for use in the mouth.