When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, dental bonding is one of the least complicated and most convenient ways to achieve noticeable results. After a bonding treatment, you won’t need to follow any strict guidelines other than a sound oral health routine. However, there is a bit more to the story. The composite resin used in dental bonding isn’t as hardy as your natural teeth and can be worn down over time or damaged outright in a single bite. Other risks such as allergic reaction are rare but also possible. So to make sure your bonded teeth look great for years to come, read on for information and tips about dental bonding care. Dental Bonding – Before and After at Bunker Hill Dentistry Risks Associated with Dental Bonding The risks of having teeth bonded can be divided into two camps: rare and common. Rare Experiencing an allergic reaction to the bonding resin is quite rare, as is developing an infection from a dental bonding procedure. Virtually the only way an infection could happen is if bonding were to be applied over a preexisting infection and continued to grow beneath the resin, in which case it would have to be treated with a root canal or extraction. Common Wear and tear on your bonding is going to happen over time. Typically this is a gradual process that takes years, although chips and other damage can happen accidentally. Staining of the composite resin is another routine risk that can be largely avoided and/or reduced with proper care and routine dental cleanings. Immediate Post-Treatment Phase Dental bonding’s recovery time is one of its best features–there isn’t one! Immediately after treatment you can go about your day, eating, drinking, driving, working, etc. as normal. That being said, some patients may have some tooth sensitivity for a few days after their appointment. If so, simply avoiding very hot and very cold foods and hard or crunchy foods is a simple way to reduce discomfort while eating until it passes. You may also take over-the-counter pain medication, if needed. For most patients, the only effect you will notice after having teeth bonded is a different feel to your tongue and lips when you close your mouth at first. This might affect your speech in the first few hours as you adjust to the new feel, but this effect will be short-lived, as well. Long-Term Care Be kind to your teeth and dental bonding, and they will be kind to you over the years. Here are the dos and don’ts of living with dental bonding: Things to Do: Brush twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, whether manual or electric. Floss at least once per day with string floss, not floss sticks. Make arrangements to visit the dentist for routine cleanings every six months. Wear a mouthguard if you engage in any sports in which impact is a possibility, whether a contact sport like football or a sport with accident risk such as cycling. These can be purchased over-the-counter or custom-made by the dentist from a mold of your teeth. For optimal oral care, be sure to check out our caring for teeth guide. Things to Avoid Problem foods: Hard or crunchy food that can chip the resin such as nuts, hard candy, and pretzels. Teeth-staining foods such as tea, red wine, berries, and sports drinks. Teeth-staining products such as tobacco. Acidic foods that erode composite resin and enamel, such as soda and juice. Mouthwash is not an effective replacement for brushing and flossing, and there’s even a real question as to whether alcohol-based mouthwash is linked to oral cancer. What is known is that mouthwashes with ethanol can damage the composite resin of bonding, so make sure yours is alcohol-free if you must use mouthwash. Toothbrush bristles come in soft, medium, and hard varieties. Brushes with hard and even medium bristles are abrasive on composite bonding and shouldn’t be used. Abrasive toothpastes such as those that contain activated charcoal for whitening are also too hard on composite and enamel for everyday use. Teeth are made for food; leave non-eating activities such as opening packages, popping bottles, or removing tags from clothing to tools made for those purposes. The same rule applies to common bad habits such as biting nails and chewing pens. How Long Should Bonding Last? Dental bonding commonly lasts between 5 and 10 years, although exactly how long depends on a few factors. The area of the bonding in the mouth can affect how long the fix lasts, although obviously there’s nothing you can do about this. But there are several things that are within your power to do to maximize bonding’s life. You’ll need to consistently follow a thorough dental hygiene regimen. If you grind your teeth, you’ll need to wear a night guard to protect and cushion your teeth against the damaging effects of this unconscious behavior. And of course, avoid the foods we listed above. Learn how to make your bonding last longer. Who Are We? Bunker Hill Dentistry - Full Service Dentist in Houston, TX Dr. Le and his wife and office manager Ann Le Specialists – Led by Dr. Le, a dentist experienced in both cosmetic and general procedures, including bonding. Serene setting – Our office is designed to provide a calm, relaxing environment to help put your mind at ease during treatment. Take a tour. Client satisfaction – We have one mission – total client satisfaction. “Care, Comfort, Convenience” is our guarantee to every client. More about Bunker Hill Dentistry. Reception room at Bunker Hill Dentistry State of the art – We utilize the most advanced technology such as the i-CAT 3D x-ray machine, All-On-4® implants and an anesthesia-delivery wand, for faster and more accurate diagnosis and treatment. Conveniently location – Located in Memorial, just a short drive from Houston’s city center. Find us on the map. Repairing Bonding Not only is composite resin well-suited to fix chips or fractures in natural teeth, it can typically be reapplied in the same way to fix chips in the bonding itself. From the patient’s perspective, the process is the same: a quick procedure with resumption of normal activities immediately afterward. Bonding and Other Dental Treatments Here’s how bonding interacts with some other common dental restorations: Bonding and Teeth Whitening: Unfortunately, whitening doesn’t work on composite resin. If you wish to have your teeth whitened, this needs to be done before a bonding procedure so that the dentist can match your bonding to your other teeth’s (new) color. Bonding and Braces: Braces can be done on bonded teeth, although bonding is often used to fill gaps, such as between the two front teeth, that braces can’t adequately resolve. In that case, it’s better to wait to have the bonding done until after the braces are removed. There’s also a small risk of bonding coming off when removing a bracket from a bonded tooth. Bonding and Invisalign: Because there’s no adhesive involved that could stick to the resin, Invisalign aligners work fine with bonded teeth. Bonding and Veneers: Veneers are an alternative to bonding; the two wouldn’t be used together. Veneers are typically recommended for making more significant corrections to teeth than bonding can achieve.