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How Do I Know what Shade My Teeth are?

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There's no one standard system in the dental field to measure and determine tooth colour. Nor is there an exact answer to how white your teeth can become-every person's situation is unique. One commonly used reference tool, however, is a shade guide.

One of the more common shade guides divides tooth colour into four basic shade ranges:

Tooth Shades

  • A (reddish brown)
  • B (reddish yellow)
  • C (gray)
  • D (reddish gray)

Within each range are different levels of darkness - which results in a chart detailed enough for almost everyone to find their exact tooth colour on the guide. 

To use such a guide, simply match your current tooth colour to the corresponding color on the chart. This gives you a starting point as you determine how much whiter you'd like your teeth to be. 

How white should your teeth become? That depends. 

There's no one right way to whiten your teeth. Some people want an instant and dramatic change, while others prefer more gradual whitening such as the type that results from a whitening toothpaste or gel. Final results depend on your natural tooth colour, how stubborn any stains are and the treatment you choose. Keep in mind that: 

  • A change of just two or three shades can make a noticeable difference in just about anyone's smile
  • Each whitening procedure has its advantages and disadvantages. Laser whitening and other dental-office bleaching procedures, for example, may produce the most dramatic results, but may cost significantly more

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.