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What Is The Whitest Shade Of Teeth?

Updated: Jan 23

For an all natural smile, the whitest tooth shade is B1 and that is based off the VITA shade system, which is commonly used in North America. This color shading system was created for dentists to identify and match the correct shade of your restoration to the rest of your dentition.

For example, if you were getting a porcelain crown made, one of the first things that your dentist would do is pull out the VITA shade guide. He would then proceed to compare it to the rest of your teeth. This is done so that the crown could be made to match the color of your adjacent teeth.

Here is what the VITA classical shade guide looks like. It has a total of 16 different shades that can be used to match your teeth. Some are whiter while others are darker. It is an entire spectrum of shades that your teeth could potentially be.

vita classical shade guide

If you look at all of the various tooth shades in the guide, you'll quickly realize that the B1 tooth shade is the whitest and lightest one out of them all. The darkest tooth shade would be the A4.

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The second whitest tooth shade

The B1 tooth shade is definitely the whitest but the A1 tooth shade is also quite white. However, if you were to compare them side by side, the B1 definitely does appear just a little bit whiter. That makes the A1 tooth color the second whitest tooth shade.

Here is what A1 vs B1 tooth color looks like side by side:

A1 vs b1 tooth color side by side comparison

With that being said, they're both still fabulous choices if you're to choose one as a veneer color. They're both still considered very natural looking. After all the VITA shade guide was made based on the naturally occurring tooth shades in the population.

The most common tooth shade

Yes, this article is dedicated to the whitest tooth shades but we do want to give you an idea of what the most common or average shade of white is. The most common shade that we see for patients is the A2 shade at our practice but the overall population is A3.

This means that the vast majority of the population is not walking around town with teeth as white as B1. They're mostly darker than that. Perhaps that is why people always want to whiten their teeth so that they can reach the B1 level.

Just for reference this is the whiteness level of the B1 to A2 range in descending order:

  1. B1

  2. A1

  3. B2

  4. A2

In essence, the A2 is about roughly two shades darker than the B1 color. You may think that is too dark for your mouth but A2 actually looks very natural and pretty white as it is if you compare it to teeth in your mouth.

Here is a real picture of what the A2 color looks like in the mouth when compared to other teeth:

what the a2 shade looks like in the mouth

You may disagree but the A2 shade actually looks pretty good. It is definitely very natural looking. It will blend right in with the rest of your teeth. People wouldn't even be able to tell that you had work done if you went with A2.

People may wonder and question if you had dental work done if you had teeth as white as B1. That is something you should take into consideration when you're choosing your shade.

Do you want people to know that you had cosmetic dentistry done or do you not want people to know? The choice is yours to make.

Is the B1 tooth shade too white?

You may be surprised but in our opinion, the B1 shade is definitely not too white by any means. The reason why we say that is because there are shades that are even whiter than B1.

Although these whiter shades are not natural like the B1 color though. These shades are what we call the "bleached shades" or the "hollywood white" shades. They're definitely not natural by any means but some people desire a super white smile so they do get veneers in these bleached shades.

Just to show you a comparison of what the bleached shades look like compared to the darkest teeth shades. Here is a photo of them side by side.

bleached tooth shades vs the darkest tooth shades side by side comparison

That is a huge difference in whiteness if we do say so ourselves. The hollywood white shades are on the left and the dark tooth shades are on the right.

Of course the bleached shades would like extra white next to the dark ones but how big of a difference are they compared to the whitest natural tooth shade of B1?

Here is what the least white bleached tooth shade vs B1 looks like:

B1 tooth shade vs darkest bleached tooth shade

You can definitely tell that the bleached shade is whiter than the B1 tooth shade. This is the reason why we do not think that the shade B1 is too white because there are shades whiter than it!

Just to drive the point home even further, here is what the whitest bleached shade looks like compared to the B1 shade:

B1 tooth shade vs the whitest bleached shade

The whitest bleached shade of hollywood white is also whiter than B1.

Hopefully that satisfies your curiosity of all of the shades of white for teeth. If we were to rank them in orders of descending whiteness it would be as such:

  1. 0M1

  2. 0M2

  3. 0M3

  4. B1

  5. A1

Here is what the darkest bleached shade 0M3 looks like in the mouth:

0m3 darkest bleached shade in the mouth


The whitest tooth shade that is natural is B1 followed by A1. However, both of them are still not the whitest shade of teeth if you include the unnaturally bleached shades such as the hollywood whites.

The bleached shades come in three shades that are even whiter than B1. Nonetheless, for most people that are trying to get veneers for whiter teeth, B1 is a great natural choice.

Although the public figures and celebrities may opt for something even whiter such as the 0M1 shade. It may look extremely white and it may appeal to your aesthetics but we just want you to know that there is no human on this planet that walks around with teeth that white... at least not naturally. Nonetheless, your cosmetic dentist will still do it for you if you ask for it!

Just so that you know, traditional teeth whitening won't get you to this level of white.



David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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