Professional teeth whitening can drastically improve a smile’s appearance. It is the most requested cosmetic procedure. We see beautifully, white smiles everywhere. It’s only natural being envious of error-free teeth with a brilliant white finish. Similarly, tooth bonding is often used to hide or fix imperfections to reveal a gorgeous smile. But can these two services work hand in hand? Will your dentist advise whitening bonded teeth?
In this article we’ll also get to the bottom of whether professional teeth whitening services work on bonding material.
Pros and cons of teeth bonding
Dental bonding is an incredible service. Dentists will implement this treatment to restore smiles. Bonding can correct issues like cracks and chips that affect the appearance or can worsen over time. As a cosmetic procedure, bonding can be used to fix minor imperfections you aren’t happy with, such as improving the tooth’s shape.
The most significant drawbacks of teeth bonding are longevity and staining. Bonding isn’t forever. Most patients can expect tooth bonding to last seven to ten years. When it comes to stains, bonding material behaves differently. Your natural teeth will discolor faster than composite resin. The bonding material will stain, but it takes much longer for the process to happen. The result is varying shades throughout the tooth.
For many people, the look is not something they are happy with. The first thing you might try is teeth whitening systems at home. This can include using whitening toothpaste. However, you’ll quickly learn tooth enamel is quite different from the bonding material. The results of at-home treatments can be patchy and even make bonding material more prominent. This is certainly not the result most would have hoped for.
Does whitening bonded teeth work?
Firstly, there are a few materials used for tooth bonding treatment. The most popular is composite resin. Bonding is very similar to having a cavity filled. Most bonding materials are similar, but they aren’t all created equal. Most of these aren’t affected when exposed to whitening. However, in most cases, whitening services simply won’t remove stains. But why do your teeth stain and the bonding material doesn’t?
Teeth are composed of enamel. Enamel is a porous surface. Because of its porous nature, stains will set much easier. We can witness staining from high-colored foods and drinks, or smoking, for example. Those that have been avid wine drinkers for years or have been smokers may notice that their smiles have slowly become less vivid. Their natural teeth have more shadow or yellow tinge. That’s because the enamel sucks up color and stores it. Bonding doesn’t work this way. Instead, discolorations sit on the surface of the material. Stains are slow to form and often sit on the surface.
Your dentist will match the color of the bond to your natural teeth. If you’re unhappy with the shade of your teeth at the time of bonding, the resin will match it. Because bonding can’t be lightened, teeth whitening services are infectious. You’ll find that the bonding material stays the same shade while your natural tooth lightens.
When should you whiten your bonded teeth?
So how can you achieve a flawless smile that is perfectly lightened and free of stains? The answer is rather simple. The best approach, for those that have tooth bonding, is to remove and replace the bonding. Once the bonding is removed, teeth whitening should be performed. Most dentists recommend bonding be reapplied within one to two weeks. Having bonding placed so soon after tooth whitening can ensure an exact match. No more splotchy smiles!
Would you love to avoid stains and keep your bright white smile? Have you recently had teeth whitening? Are you considering brightening your smile? Take a look at these top tips for avoiding unnecessary discolorations.
Be consistent about oral hygiene
You should also stay on top of brushing and flossing at home. Brushing twice daily can stop many stains from setting. Visiting the dentist for bi-annual cleanings is also a must to preserve your pearly whites.
Avoid high staining foods
There are many foods and drinks that have a propensity to stain. These can include some of your favorites too. Coffee, wine, tea, and soda are among the top contributors. If these are impossible to quit, using a straw can minimize contact with your teeth. Foods that may stain your teeth are those that are highly acidic, like tomatoes. While giving up spaghetti can sound like a chore, avoiding heavy amounts of red sauce can keep your teeth whiter.
Avoid added dyes
Check the back of products and scroll to the ingredient list. Most foods and drinks now contain added dye. Things like Red-40, Blue Lake-5 can all tinge your teeth. Red is one of the hardest colors to remove and it has high staining properties. You might be surprised at how many foods and drinks have added colors.
You’ve probably heard this a few times if you are a smoker. Quitting smoking has a world of benefits, not just for your oral health but overall. Smoking will stain your teeth, turning them dull yellow or even a gray hue. Before having teeth whitening services, you should consider giving up tobacco products. Not only can you expect amazing results, but they will last longer too.
Wanting a brighter smile is understandable. But, it’s essential to know that composite resin, used for bonding, doesn’t behave the same as your tooth’s enamel. You can’t lighten bonded teeth. If you’re considering teeth whitening, removal and bonding prior is the best method. With removal and replacing, you’ll have beautiful, consistent results. Those that need bonding but would also like to whitening should whiten one to two weeks before having bonding performed.
If you’re interested in cosmetic dentistry procedures like teeth bonding and teeth whitening, Image Dental is here to help. We are proud to offer both cosmetic solutions in our office. To get started, schedule an appointment online by clicking here or give us a call at (209) 955-1500.