Teeth whitening is arguably the best solution to get a killer smile and boost your self-esteem. But do you know how many shades your teeth can get whiter?
No two people’s teeth shades are identical. The colour of your teeth stems from your genes, lifestyles, diet choices and any dental trauma or illnesses you’ve had. While there’s no universal way to grade tooth colour, most dentists use a shade guide to determine the whiteness of teeth and their potential shades after oral whitening.
Teeth Shades: Colour Guide
The teeth shade guide is divided into two main factors: shades and darkness.
The shade refers to the base colour, tint or hues of your teeth—not how light or dark your teeth are. While everyone’s teeth differ in colour, most people’s teeth colours can be broken down into four main colour categories or shades:
- Reddish brown
- Reddish yellow
- Reddish grey
All these colours or shades are capable of being a few shades whiter through whitening kits or just a single session of professional or in-chair teeth whitening.
The second factor in teeth shade guide is the darkness. Some traditional teeth shade guides categorise darkness into four levels, while modern guides have more finely grained sales that assign multiple levels of darkness per shade. Nevertheless, the tooth darkness grading allows dental professionals to adjust whitening accordingly.
By grading both tooth shade and darkness, dentists and oral whitening professionals can create a point of reference for a patient’s teeth whitening treatment. They can also set the expectations of the patient regarding their potential whitening results.
How White Can Your Teeth Become?
Have you seen that episode in ‘Friends’ where Ross uses a DIY whitening solution and leaves the product on his teeth for too long, resulting in a blinding white set of teeth? The episode is funny (after all, Ross’ teeth glow up in the dark!), but you probably won’t see yourself laughing if the same thing happens to you. That’s why it’s best to get dental whitening from a dentist or clinic that specialises in cosmetic dentistry.
Often, dental professionals will advise and aim for a natural white shade that looks clean and healthy, with a subtle glow. Still, many factors can impact the results, including the natural colour of your teeth before years of staining.
How Long Can You Maintain the Teeth Whitening Results?
With proper aftercare, you can enjoy your teeth whitening results for a long time. Here are some tips to help keep your teeth a few shades whiter than before:
- Avoid tooth-staining food & drinks: After a teeth whitening treatment, it’s best to avoid food items and drinks that easily stain your pearly whites. These include coffee, tea and acidic food like lemon & dark berries.
- Avoid chewy food: Eating food items that are extremely chewy can lead to having food stuck on your teeth. The stuck food particles could cause a stain or damage to the whitened surface of your teeth.
- Avoid or quit smoking: Smoking is a nasty habit that can quickly stain your teeth. If it’s the reason behind your yellowed teeth before the treatment, it’s time to kick the habit to maintain your whitening results and good oral health.
- Observe proper dental hygiene: Be on top of your dental health and teeth shades by practising good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to rid of any food particles stuck between your teeth.
- Follow up with a dental professional: After whitening treatment, it’s best to visit your go-to dentist to ensure there wasn’t any harm done during the whitening process. Also, don’t hesitate to follow up with the teeth whitening clinic for a retouch months after the treatment.
Each individual’s tooth enamel shades are unique. Still, it’s helpful that dental professionals use teeth shade guides to create a point of reference and set your expectations when you want to get a professional teeth whitening.