Home > Color Correction, Photoshop Tips/Tricks > 10 second Teeth Whitening + Video Tutorial

10 second Teeth Whitening + Video Tutorial

Here is a common problem. Perfect capture, perfect smile, perfect skin tone, yellowed teeth…… Yikes! It’s all too common these days no thanks to coffees, sodas or cigarette smoking causing discoloration to the front teeth. As a professional photographer, we really should fix these sort of things on a clients images before presenting them to them for purchase. But hand editing dozens, even hundreds of images can be rather time consuming.

Here comes the 10 second Teeth Whitening to the rescue. (Ok, it might take more than 10 seconds, but it is very quick.)

First off, lets start with an image with a teeth filled smile. She has a great smile, but the teeth do have a slight yellow tint and it would really hurt sales NOT to fix it. And considering how much other retouching goes into an image like this, whitening the teeth is minimal time considering the results.

Before Whitening

Using the lasso tool, make a rough selection around the mouth inside of the lips. Selecting outside of the lips may result in discoloring the skin and we don’t want that. Next, with the selection still active, add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. This will auto-mask the selection to the new adjustment layer.

Rough Selection

Hue / Saturation Adjustment
On the Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, select “Yellows” from the drop down menu. (“Master” should be the default setting.) This will allow us to tweak the yellows only without causing the lips or gums to become discolored. You can then use the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders to adjust the color of the teeth to appear as white as necessary. Remember, don’t tweak too far… A good rule of thumb for the whiteness of teeth is roughly the same as the whites of the eyes. I find that using the Hue slider to adjust the color of the teeth slightly helps make them less yellow without taking out as much saturation. Don’t completely desaturate the teeth either, that doesn’t look real either. Nor does making them too light.

And here is the teeth after the quick whitening using the above method. Remember, you can always re-edit the color by opening the Adjustment Layer or changing the opacity of the layer.
Teeth after Whitening

And here is the video tutorial:
Don’t forget to click the HD button and go Full Screen for the best quality.

  1. November 17, 2009 at 6:51 am

    good fast tutorial! thnx!

  2. Auntipode
    November 19, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Excellent technique – short, sweet and effective.

    Thanks for posting it!

  3. mooney=mc2
    December 1, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    This is great, thank you!

  4. December 1, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Excellent technique! Thank you for this


  5. December 20, 2009 at 12:46 am

    good tutorial
    post more

  6. Doug
    January 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Nice. Thanks

  7. February 23, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Great tutorial, thanks!

  1. January 2, 2010 at 12:28 am

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