Support/Getting Started/Using the Kit

Tips and tricks for providing your sample

23andMe
posted this on July 17, 2012 09:23 AM

Some individuals occasionally have difficulties providing the quantity of saliva required for our analysis. Make sure to review the instructions included with your kit and our article about providing your saliva sample.

If providing adequate sample volume is a challenge for you or someone you are assisting, the following may help increase saliva production:

  • Gently rubbing the outside of your cheeks
  • Making chewing motions with your mouth
  • Adding a small amount of sugar to the tip of your tongue
  • Smelling or imagining sour foods such as lemons
  • Thinking about your own favorite food

Biting or scraping your cheeks is not recommended; keep in mind that the majority of the cells analyzed in your saliva sample will not be epithelial cells from your cheeks but white blood cells that are found naturally in your saliva.

Collecting saliva within 30 minutes

The full saliva sample should be collected within 30 minutes and the funnel contents should be released into the tube immediately. This buffer prevents DNA from degrading over time; waiting longer than 30 minutes or delaying the release of the buffer solution may decrease the yield and quality of your DNA.

If you are unable to produce the required amount of saliva within 30 minutes, you can release the buffer into the tube first, then add your sample on top of the buffer until it reaches the top of the tube. In this instance we recommend removing the funnel lid and rinsing it with water after the buffer has been added, then reattaching it to the tube to spit. Once the buffer has been released, you can provide your sample over a longer period of time if necessary. Please note that if the buffer liquid is spilled you will need to request a new kit.

Assisted collection kits

If an individual can produce saliva but is unable to actively spit, we provide the option of an assisted collection kit. These kits include a sponge used to absorb saliva from an individual's mouth, which is then squeezed out into the collection tube using a groove in the funnel lid. 

dry mouth
having trouble spitting
 
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