C1 Tooth Color: Photo Comparison Guide

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

The C1 tooth color is the whitest and lightest “C” shade from the vita shade guide, but it is just one of many colors from the natural teeth color chart. This shade may look fairly white in color but it is actually a grayish color.

C1 tooth color
Shade C1

We will compare C1 tooth shade to all the other C colors as well as every other shade family. Prepare to be bombarded by images and videos of what this shade looks like.

What color is C1 tooth shade?

Even though the C1 tooth shade is considered “white”, the hue of it is actually grayish. It’s just that the value or lightness of it is fairly bright.

Below is the manufacturer instructions from VITA showing that the C tooth shades are grayish.

VITA shade guide instructions sheet


  • Color hue – the hue typically refers to the color wheel.
  • Color value – the value refers to how “light” or “dark” the color is.
Credit: virtual art academy

The diagram above shows you the difference between what the hue is and what the color is.

Yes, C1 is considered a white tooth color but it is technically a very light gray shade because that’s one of the natural colors of teeth.


C1 is technically not white per say since it is more of a grey color. However, due to the value of this shade, it is often described as white by the average person.

This shade is certainly not considered yellow because if you naturally have it, no one would think you have yellow teeth. The average color for teeth happens to be A3 which is roughly two shades darker than C1.

Color C1 is not too white because it isn’t even the whitest natural tooth color (B1).

All of the tooth shades in the VITA classical shade guide are considered to be natural teeth colors. It is only if you whiten your teeth beyond these shade ranges that it becomes unnatural. These whiter unnatural colors are called the bleach shades.

How it compares to other “C” tooth shades

The color C1 is the lightest color out of the entire family of tooth shades with “C”, from C1 to C4. Below is a photo of the entire C-color family side by side to give you an overview of what these shades look like.

C tooth colors - C1 C2 C3 C4
C color family – C1 C2 C3 C4

Below is a video showing what it looks like compared to all the other tooth shades.

Video comparison overview

Since we know you love pictures, we’ll provide close up photos comparing each of the colors to C1 individually.

Vs C2

This is what C1 looks like when compared to C2, which is one shade darker.

C1 vs C2 tooth color
C1 vs C2

Vs C3

The color C3 is two shades darker than the color of C1. The value of this shade is similar to A3 so your color is considered fairly average if you have this.

C1 vs C3 tooth color
C1 vs C3

Vs C4

We don’t see C4 too often but you’ll probably agree with us that it is a dark color for teeth. If you have C4 you should highly consult a cosmetic dentist for teeth whitening.

C1 vs C4 tooth color
C1 vs C4

C1 vs OTHER teeth colors

C1 vs A tooth shades

Compared to the C tooth shade, the “A colors” are more reddish-brownish and come in shades A1 to A4.

C1 vs A1

C1 vs A1 tooth color

C1 vs A2

C1 vs A2 tooth color

C1 vs A3

C1 vs A3 tooth color

C1 vs A3.5

C1 vs A3.5 tooth color

C1 vs A4

C1 vs A4 tooth color

C1 vs B tooth shades

In comparison, the B tooth color is more reddish-yellow and comes in shades B1 to B4.

C1 vs B1

C1 vs B1 tooth color

C1 vs B2

C1 vs B2 tooth color

C1 vs B3

C1 vs B3 tooth color

C1 vs B4

C1 vs B4 tooth color

C1 vs D tooth shades

In comparison, the D tooth color is more reddish-grayish and comes in D2 to D4. No, we didn’t leave out D1 because it doesn’t exist.

C1 vs D2

C1 vs D2 tooth color

C1 vs D3

C1 vs D3 tooth color

C1 vs D4

C1 vs D4 tooth color

Is C1 the whitest tooth color?

The shade C1 is the third whitest tooth color in the classical vita shade guide. In regards to the level of whiteness, it is eclipsed by B1 and A1.

The winner for the whitest natural tooth color belongs to shade B1.

C1 vs B1 tooth color
C1 vs whitest natural tooth color B1

The runner up for the second whitest shade is A1.

C1 vs A1 tooth color
C1 vs second whitest natural tooth color A2

Therefore, if you personally have C1 colored teeth you shouldn’t ever think that they’re too white by any means. There are people walking around teeth that are 2 shades naturally whiter than yours.

Bleached shades

Just for your information, the classical vita shade guide is for the natural shade of teeth. Due to advances in teeth whitening, there is a level of whiteness which exceeds the vita color guide.

These extra white colored teeth are called the “bleached shades” or commonly referred to as the Hollywood whites.

C1 vs 0M1

C1 vs 0M1 tooth color
C1 vs 0M1 tooth shade

As you can see in the image above where C1 is placed next to the whitest bleach shade 0M1. Clearly the 0M1 is the objective winner in who has the whitest shade of teeth.

C1 vs BL1

The BL shades are a part of a different tooth shade guide but it is commonly also used for veneers. Of course, the BL1 is the whitest one of its respective color family.

C1 vs BL1 tooth color
C1 vs BL1 tooth shade

Is C1 a good color?

In our opinion, C1 is a great color to choose for your teeth whether you’re getting veneers or whitening them. It’s whiter than the average tooth color (A3) but it is still considered natural. It’s also not as white as the whitest natural color (B1).

C1 vs B1 and A3
C1 vs B1 and A3

If you whiten your teeth to the shade of C1, it will look very natural in your mouth. The same can be said for if you were getting veneers and wanted to change the color of your teeth. The dental veneers will also look very natural if you go with C1.

Typically it is when people go a lot whiter than the natural teeth colors that the veneers begin to stand out like a sore thumb. It looks glaringly obvious that you had dental work done.

Best color should match adjacent teeth

Despite everything that we’ve said above, the best color for is what the natural color of teeth in your mouth is.

If you were getting a single crown or single veneer, you’re not supposed to pick a color that you like or think that looks good. You’re supposed to choose a shade that seamlessly blends in with your adjacent teeth.

If that color is C1 then that is great but if it is a different color, you should choose that other color so that it can match. The goal is to have your entire dentition to be uniform in color.

Therefore, whether or not C1 is the best color for you would depend on the color of your adjacent teeth!


1311 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

Email Us


Dental Services

If you're in NYC and in need of a dentist, our clinical dental practice, 1311 Jackson Ave Dental is accepting new patients.

Our purpose at afterva, is to encourage you to seek in person care with a doctor. It's not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.

A lot of nuances cannot be detected without an in-person clinical exam, which means it is near impossible to diagnose and treat virtually.

sitemap | privacy policy