What Shade of White is Okay for My Teeth?

There is such thing as over-bleaching or over-whitening your teeth. This is why it’s important to get your teeth whitened by a professional. If you end up over-bleaching, the side effects can negate the positive effects of having a white smile. Your gums and teeth can become very sensitive making it difficult to eat cold, hot, hard, or chewy foods. Your teeth will also be more prone to staining because you have basically stripped your teeth of its natural defenses against things like coffee, tea, acidic foods, other colored foods. You may also end up with a smile that is so white, it almost looks translucent and is very unnatural.

Teeth at the most colorful end of the spectrum come in four general colors. Reddish brown, reddish yellow, gray, and reddish gray. The cleaner your teeth are, the more neutral they will be (in the yellow, tan, grey-yellow range.) Most natural teeth are still a few shades short of true white. From the darkest/most colored, to the whitest shade, there are approximately 12 shades to choose from per color. When choosing the right shade, you may immediately jump from one end of the spectrum to the other but it’s not always the right choice for you.

Gradual bleaching sessions make it a little easier for your teeth and gums to handle the strong chemicals. You will feel less sensitivity because you aren’t using an extreme amount of bleach. As long as you maintain a strong brushing and flossing regimen in between sessions, you shouldn’t have any problem seeing great results at the end. However, some people need to have their teeth whitened right away – maybe for a wedding, business related event, or any other special event. If that is the case, ask your dentist to approximate what the safe number of shades whiter will be for your teeth. Your dentist is the best person to help choose the right shade because he or she knows your teeth the best.

Dr. Lorraine Burio of Candlewood Dental Care has been treating patients in New Fairfield, CT and the Danbury, CT area for over twenty-five years. If you have any questions, call our office at 203-746-1200 or make an appointment here.