Composite bonding is a popular cosmetic dental procedure that uses tooth-colored composite resin material and an adhesive to repair damaged teeth or change their color and shape. It is an affordable and non-invasive way to fix chipped, broken, discolored, or misshapen teeth and improve your smile. However, there are certain things you should avoid before getting composite bonding done for best results.
Why is it important to prepare properly for composite bonding?
Proper preparation before composite bonding is crucial because:
- It allows the bonding material to adhere properly to the tooth surface for a long-lasting bond.
- It minimizes risks and avoids potential issues during the procedure.
- It ensures you get optimal, aesthetically pleasing results from the composite restorations.
- It reduces the chances of the composite bonds staining, chipping or falling off later on.
Consult with your dentist on any specific preparations you may need to make. Here are some common tips on what you should avoid before getting composite bonding:
Avoid foods and drinks that can stain teeth
In the days and weeks leading up to your composite bonding appointment, refrain from consuming foods and drinks that can discolor or stain your teeth such as:
- Coffee, tea, cola and red wine
- Tomato sauce, soy sauce, curry and berries
- Beetroot, blueberries and pomegranate
- Tobacco and cigarette smoking
These items can leave behind pigments that get absorbed into the microscopic pits and crevices in your teeth. The stains could then show through the thin composite material, giving your restorations a yellowish tinge and affecting the final color match.
Don’t drink alcohol before the procedure
Consuming alcohol before composite bonding can thin your blood and increase bleeding during the procedure. Excess moisture from bleeding can prevent the composite material from properly bonding to the teeth. Alcohol can also interact with the anesthetics used during the procedure.
Avoid whitening treatments before bonding
Whitening treatments like bleaching strips, gels or laser whitening can dehydrate the teeth and change their shade. This makes it difficult for the dentist to match the color of the composite resin to your current tooth shade for a seamless, natural appearance.
Wait at least 2 weeks after whitening to get composite bonding done. Inform your dentist if you have used any whitening products recently.
Don’t have other dental work done close to the appointment
Try to avoid having major dental work like root canals, tooth extractions, dental cleanings or deep fillings done close to your planned composite bonding date. This is because:
- Other dental procedures can temporarily change and inflame the color of your gums and adjacent teeth.
- Your teeth may be sensitive after other treatments, making bonding uncomfortable.
- You’ll need adequate healing time before composite resin can be applied.
Ideally, there should be a gap of at least 2 weeks between your composite bonding appointment and any other major dental treatments.
Refrain from eating hard or sticky foods
Avoid eating hard, crunchy or chewy foods for a few days prior to bonding. Foods like:
- Hard candies
- Ice cubes
- Popcorn kernels
- Raw vegetables
Can chip your teeth or existing restorations and undermine the bonding procedure. Sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel, taffy or gummies can also pull away existing dental work.
Don’t play contact sports
Refrain from contact sports or activities that carry a high risk of hits or blows to the mouth for at least a week before composite bonding. Direct hits can fracture the teeth and disturb any dental work done earlier.
Wear a mouthguard if you do need to play sports during this time. Inform your dentist about any recent sports injuries to the teeth.
Smoking negatively impacts composite bonding in multiple ways:
- The heat from smoking can distort and discolor composite resin over time.
- Cigarette chemicals slowly break down dental bonding material.
- Smoking reduces blood flow, slowing the healing process.
- It increases the risk of bonding failure and future cavities.
Thus, it is best to quit smoking for at least 1-2 weeks before and after getting composite bonding done for optimal results.
Don’t have unreal expectations
Composite bonding has its limitations. While it can dramatically improve the look and feel of teeth, composite resin cannot:
- Match the translucency and light reflection of natural tooth enamel.
- Restore severely damaged, decayed or fractured teeth – crowns are needed.
- Significantly change the size, shape or position of teeth.
- Replicate the brilliance of porcelain veneers.
Go in with realistic expectations about what composite bonding can and cannot achieve for the most rewarding experience and outcome.
Preparing properly before your composite bonding appointment is vital for getting the most out of this transformative cosmetic treatment. Follow your dentist’s recommendations and avoid foods that stain, alcohol, smoking, recent dental work, and activities that can damage teeth in the days leading up to bonding. Going in with clean teeth and realistic expectations will set you up for success.
|What to Avoid||How Soon Before Appointment|
|Foods and drinks that stain teeth||2 weeks|
|Whitening treatments||2 weeks|
|Other dental work||2 weeks|
|Hard, crunchy, sticky foods||3-5 days|
|Contact sports||1 week|
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I whiten my teeth right after getting composite bonding?
No, you should wait at least 2 weeks after composite bonding before using any teeth whitening products. Whitening too soon can undermine the bond and cause early staining or discoloration in the bonded areas.
Is it ok to drink coffee before my composite bonding appointment?
You should avoid coffee and other staining beverages for at least 2 weeks prior to getting composite bonding done. Coffee can penetrate the microscopic pits in your teeth and leave behind stains that show through the thin composite material.
Can I go to the dentist for a cleaning right before bonding?
It’s best to avoid dental cleanings or procedures for at least 2 weeks before your planned composite bonding date. Other dental work can cause temporary tooth sensitivity and gum inflammation that interferes with proper bonding.
How long do I need to avoid eating hard foods before bonding?
You should stick to a soft food diet and avoid very hard, crunchy or chewy foods for 3-5 days prior to getting composite bonding. This prevents damage to your teeth right before they are repaired with bonding material.
Can I drink alcohol after composite bonding?
While you should avoid alcohol before bonding, you can drink moderately after getting composite restorations. However, you still need to refrain from habits like wine tasting or drinking dark alcoholic beverages that can cause staining.
How to Care for Your Teeth After Composite Bonding
After getting composite bonding, proper oral care is vital for preserving the longevity and aesthetics of your new smile. Follow these tips:
- Brush twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss at least once daily to remove plaque buildup.
- Avoid biting into hard foods or using teeth to tear open packages.
- Have regular dental cleanings and exams as recommended by your dentist.
- Use non-abrasive toothpaste and brush gently when cleaning bonded teeth.
- Wear a mouthguard if playing contact sports to prevent fractures.
- See your dentist immediately if you notice any fractures, cracks, staining, or bond failures.
Properly caring for your bonded teeth will help the restorations last for many years to come. Avoid habits like teeth grinding or nail biting, as these can quickly damage the bonding material. Let your dentist know if you notice any problems.
Cosmetic Bonding Cost and Value
Composite bonding is one of the most budget-friendly cosmetic dentistry treatments available today. Exact costs vary depending on how many teeth need bonding and your dentist’s fees, but average costs are:
- $100 – $400 per tooth
- $600 – $1500 per set of front teeth
- $2500+ for a full mouth restoration
Many dental insurance plans cover at least part of the cost when bonding is performed to fix damaged teeth. Despite the low upfront price, bonding provides immense value by restoring the look, function and confidence in your smile.
Should I Get Composite Bonding?
Composite bonding is an excellent option if you have:
- Mildly crooked, chipped, fractured or discolored teeth
- Small to moderate gaps between front teeth
- Worn down edges or uneven teeth lengths
- Superficial enamel defects like white or brown spots
- A budget-friendly alternative to veneers
Talk to your dentist to decide if composite bonding can help enhance your unique situation. With proper preparation and care, bonding offers an affordable way to fix small imperfections for a naturally beautiful smile.