Can Composite Bonding Be Whitened?

Composite bonding, a popular cosmetic dental treatment, offers a swift and effective solution for improving the appearance of teeth. However, the longevity and maintenance of its aesthetic appeal, particularly its whiteness, can be a subject of interest and concern for patients and dental professionals alike. In this article, we delve into the nature of composite bonding materials, how they interact with whitening treatments, and provide expert insights and recommendations for those looking to preserve or improve the whiteness of their bonded teeth. So, with that being said, can composite bonding be whitened?

Composite bonding itself cannot be altered by traditional teeth whitening practices. The teeth whitening products would not affect the composite resin, meaning the natural enamel around it would go whiter than the resin. The best solution is to get your dentist to touch up your composite bonding.

There are a few reasons why teeth whitening isn’t recommended for composite bonding. After all, the resin is not a natural body-made material, so other care may be needed to maintain it. In this article, we will look deeply into composite bonding and alternative methods other than teeth whitening to make your composite resin look fresh again. 

Should You Whiten Your Composite Bonding?

When considering the whitening of composite bonded teeth, it’s crucial to understand the intricate properties of composite materials. Unlike natural teeth, composite bonding doesn’t respond to traditional teeth whitening treatments in the same way. These resins are crafted to match the colour of your natural teeth at the time of application, but they lack the porous nature of tooth enamel that allows whitening agents to penetrate and effect change. Consequently, conventional whitening procedures, such as bleaching, can lead to uneven colouring. This disparity occurs because while your natural teeth may become lighter, the bonded areas retain their original shade, potentially resulting in a mismatched appearance.

However, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost for those looking to brighten their bonded smile. There are many ways to maintain and freshen up your composite bonded teeth.

Alternatives To Whitening Your Bonded Teeth

While traditional whitening methods may not be effective on composite bonded teeth, several alternative approaches can be considered to enhance their appearance. It’s important to acknowledge that composite bonding material inherently resists the bleaching agents commonly used in teeth whitening procedures. This resistance can lead to a noticeable difference in colour between the natural teeth and the bonded areas after a whitening treatment. Therefore, exploring other strategies is essential for achieving a uniform, bright smile.

One effective approach is the maintenance and care of the composite bonding. Regular professional cleaning can help in removing surface stains, thereby preventing discolouration. Dentists often use specialised polishing techniques that can rejuvenate the bonding material, restoring some of its original luster. Additionally, being mindful of dietary habits plays a crucial role. Consuming stain-inducing substances like coffee, tea, and red wine in moderation, and practicing diligent oral hygiene, can significantly reduce the risk of staining.

For those seeking a more pronounced change, replacing the composite bonding or getting your dentist to give it a touch-up is a viable option. This process involves removing the old composite material and replacing it with a new layer that matches the whitened natural teeth. This method ensures a consistent colour across all teeth, providing a refreshed and uniform appearance.

Another alternative is the consideration of veneers, which are thin shells designed to cover the front surface of the teeth. Veneers are resistant to staining and can be a long-term solution for those who are looking for a more permanent whitening effect.

Why Does Composite Bonding Change Colour Over Time?

Composite bonding is susceptible to colour changes over time. This alteration primarily stems from the properties of the composite resin material. Unlike natural tooth enamel, which is highly stain-resistant, composite resin can absorb colours from food and drinks, especially those with strong pigments like coffee, tea, and red wine. Additionally, the surface of the composite can become roughened through regular wear and tear, brushing, and acidic foods, making it more prone to staining. Furthermore, as the material ages, it may undergo chemical changes due to oral fluids and polymerisation processes, leading to yellowing or dullness.

Lifestyle factors also play a crucial role in the discolouration of composite bonding. For instance, smoking significantly contributes to the staining of the resin. Tar and nicotine from tobacco products are potent staining agents, leaving persistent marks on the composite material. Even certain oral hygiene products, like some mouthwashes and toothpastes, can affect the colour stability of the bonding.


Does baking soda whiten a composite bonding?

Baking soda, known for its natural whitening properties, is not recommended for whitening composite bonding. While effective in removing surface stains on natural teeth, its abrasive texture can damage the softer, more porous composite material. This abrasion can lead to increased roughness and susceptibility to staining, ultimately affecting the bonding’s appearance and longevity.

Why does composite bonding yellow over time?

Composite bonding may turn yellow over time due to various factors. The porous nature of the composite resin material makes it susceptible to staining from foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and red wine. Additionally, habits like smoking can significantly contribute to yellowing. The composite material can also change color due to wear and chemical alterations over time, losing its initial brightness.

Do whitening strips work on bonding?

Whitening strips are not effective on composite bonding. These strips are designed to work on natural tooth enamel, using bleaching agents that penetrate and lighten tooth colour. However, composite bonding material does not respond to these bleaching agents in the same way. As a result, using whitening strips can lead to uneven colouration, where the natural teeth may whiten but the bonded areas will retain their original shade.