Living With Your New Bonded Tooth

Tooth bonding is a quick way to cover up chips and stains that made your mouth look bad. However, like a lot of dental work, you need to be careful while eating and be sure to practice good dental hygiene. Bonding is very strong, but it's not the strongest method of repair -- its popularity is based mainly on its simplicity and speed. So if you've gotten a tooth bonded, here's what you have to remember to successfully eat with that bonding while keeping the tooth in good shape:

Don't Chew on Very Hard Items

When you're really young, chewing on ice and hard candy may seem innocuous. But as you get older and have a longer history of chewing on those really hard foods, your teeth can begin to show evidence of damage. If you continue to chew on ice, hard candy, and other hard foods, the bonded tooth will begin to show damage, too. The bonding itself can crack and ruin the whole job.

Cut up Foods

For solid food that is not as hard as ice but still fairly tough, like apples, carrots, and tougher breads, cut those foods up so that you don't have to bite directly into them if you have bonded front teeth. The impact of the bite and the friction and shearing force of your teeth as they slide into the food can loosen or crack the bonding. Smaller pieces, such as slices or chunks, let you bite in with non-bonded teeth.

Don't Eat in a Hurry

When you chew really fast, you risk hitting something hard with your tooth. Think of hard bits of fat in salami or an unpopped popcorn kernel. That can damage a bonded molar if you bite down with too much force, which easily happens when you chew too fast. Be mindful and careful as you chew so that you avoid unpleasant surprises like this.

Reset Flossing Habits

One related strategy has to do with removing food after you've eaten: Redo the way you floss. Many people floss by pulling floss down between their teeth, but that may increase the risk of damage to bonding depending on what the bonding is like. When you get the bonding done, ask the dentist to show you how to remove floss from around that tooth. You may have to train yourself to pull the floss straight out instead of down to remove it.

Your dentist can walk you through the ins and outs of living with a bonded tooth. Don't hesitate to ask questions so you're sure of exactly what you need to do.