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How to Whiten Teeth using Photoshop

Updated on April 26, 2014

Yellow Teeth in Pictures? Now What?

So you have this absolutely photograph of yours where you look absolutely stunning - your dress is perfect, your hair style is right, posture is right for once. You would like to upload this picture to a social networking site but then you notice that your set of pearly whites are not exactly white. This makes you a bit hesitant and you end up not uploading the picture even if you look pretty good in it. Does this sound familiar? It has happened to me, it has happened to many others as well. It can be a frustrating experience when a good photograph is ruined just because of a slight discoloration. So what can one do in such cases? You know your teeth are not that yellow in real but in photographs they just tend to stick out a bit more depending on the lighting used. Photoshop can come to your rescue here. All it takes is a couple of minutes to remove that yellow tinge off your teeth in pictures using Adobe Photoshop. The quick fix procedure is not complicated at all and can be finished in a matter of minutes. This means that even if you are a novice when it comes to using Photoshop, you can still easily do this to whiten teeth in photographs. There are many techniques out there which will help you to whiten teeth instantaneously and effectively. You can try and test different techniques and see whether there's a particular method that suits your requirements more.

P.S: There are other more professional methods to whiten yellow teeth using Photoshop. The methods mentioned on this page are least confusing for amateurs (like me) and is recommended mostly for personal use.

So let's get started! For this tutorial, I am going to use the following picture that of a lady with yellow teeth.

As you can see, the picture shows her happy and smiling but the only let down if there's any is her off white teeth. How can you correct this?

Open this picture up in Photoshop and select the lasso tool.

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Select the lasso tool
Select the lasso tool

Use the lasso tool to outline the teeth as shown below. You can easily do this if you zoom in to the picture using "CTRL" and "+" keys on your keyboard.

Teeth selected using lasso tool
Teeth selected using lasso tool

Go to Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation. Increase the 'Lightness' value. You will be able to preview the effect on the picture. When you reach the desired 'whitening', you can save the settings by clicking on Ok button.

Your teeth will look much whiter after this so much so that you would wish it looked like that for real. Make sure not to increase the lighting factor too much as this would make your teeth color look abnormally white and fake.

Keen on more methods?

The technique shown above is mostly used by amateurs like me who want a quick fix for their photographs. If I wanted to upload a picture of mine on Facebook quickly but would like to remove the yellow tinge off my teeth, then this is the method I go for. But for more professional purposes, this method which would require a more tighter selection of teeth is not enough. There can be slight discrepancies in your picture if you end up selecting more than your teeth.

For people who would like to venture into more techniques, check out the videos below.

In the first technique, layer masks are being used.

In the second technique, learn how to whiten teeth the realistic way using quick mask and brushes.

There are many more methods like these out there which help you in whitening your teeth. Play around with Photoshop more to see which one works best for you and make quick fixes yourself whenever the need arises. It is handy to know your way around Photoshop so that you can edit your own photographs right in the comfort of your own home.

Technique #1 - Using Layer Masks

Technique #2 - Using Quick Mask

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    • divacratus profile image

      Kalpana Iyer 4 years ago from India

      Hi DNSiclari! :) Thanks for taking time out to read and comment. Yes, this is meant as a quick fix only and meant for personal use for people who are too overwhelmed by the various features on Photoshop (like me for example).

    • DNSiclari profile image

      Douglas and Nikki Siclari 4 years ago from United States

      The only problem with this method is that if you do not do a tight selection on the teeth you will have a definitive line where you are applying the effect. Persons that use this method should take their time and ensure a tight selection. The user also needs to be aware that depending on your DPI your image might distort if too much of a difference is applied to the teeth.

      Use this method only for personal pictures is my recommendation. If you need to get it professionally enhanced then you are either a professional that knows the methods already or you need to hire one.