How do I whiten my teeth? The first step.

How do I whiten my teeth? The first step.

Classic Vita Shade Guide - Tools to whiten my teeth.
Classic Vita Shade Guide

There are so many ways to brighten your smile, but the least expensive and the most conservative way is to whiten your teeth. So what is the first step? I would recommend measuring where you’re at before you start. If I may explain.
Have you ever been on a diet? How do you know if it’s working? You measure. Before you start on the diet, you jump on the scale. And as time progresses with your diet, you jump on the scale to check if the pounds are coming off. How often do you jump on the scale? Every other day? Once a week? Before you start your diet, how many pounds are you hoping to lose? How many pounds would be a reasonable goal? The same types of questions can be asked when whitening your teeth.

How do dentists measure color?

Classic Vita Shade Guide Explained.

One tool that dentists use to measure color is a shade guide. There are numerous shade guides. But the most widely used by dentists is the Classic Vita Shade Guide. The way the guide works is that it is broken down by “families.” The Vita Shade Guide has 4 “families” or colors.
The four families are browns (A1 through A4), yellows (B1-B4), grays (C1-C4) and reddish grays (D2-D4). Within each family, the color is then categorized from light to dark.

As a dentist, I know that The yellows and browns are easier to whiten than the grays. I also know that we’re going to see bigger results when the patient starts in the 4’s. It’s so much fun taking a patient from an A4 to an A2. Or if a patient comes in and they already are a B1, Which is a very light color, I know that we can improve on the color, but the change may not be as dramatic.
Instead of arranging the tabs by color grouping, another way is to arrange them from lightest to darkest. : B1, A1, B2, D2, A2, C1, C2, D4, A3, D3, B3, A3.5, B4, C3, A4, C4

Vita Shade Guide Lightest to Darkest - Tools to whiten my teeth.
Vita Shade Guide Lightest to Darkest

Now that you have this information and have decided to start whitening your teeth; and you also know what color you’re aiming for, It’s time to go to work.
Please give us a call.  We would love to measure your color and explore the possibilities of your new whiter smile


  1. Short but very useful information, I like the way you use a four family shades tray which is more useful to understand, thanks for sharing.

    December 29, 2016 at 2:06 am Reply
    1. Dr. Swatee, Thank you so much for stopping by, we appreciate all visits from our dental colleague.

      January 1, 2017 at 8:36 am Reply
  2. I like your writing style Norman
    I´ve discovered your blog a couples of hours ago and I´ve been reading it from that moment
    As for the whitening, it´s a safe and effective treatment in the right hands and executed with patient (some cases need more time than other)
    Greetings from Caracas

    November 22, 2018 at 1:16 pm Reply

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