Posted on 07. May, 2009 by in Basics, Photo Editing


bomb-funkWe can greatly improve every portrait in which the subject is smiling by applying a little digital tooth whitening. In this easy to follow tutorial you will be whitening teeth in minutes.
We will  first select the teeth and soften the selection, to avoid a visible line between the areas that are lightened and the rest of the image. Although there are many ways to make a selection in Photoshop, using the Quick Selection Quick Mask works well when making a detailed selection such as selecting a person’s teeth

Roll Over Image



greenOpen a image and  Zoom in to make a selection.

1Select the Quick Selection Tool.

2Make sure that the Add to Selection and Auto-Enhanced are selected.

3Start making your selection.

4After you are done click on Refine Edge.

5Play with the setting to get the desired result the most important option here is Feather in our case we enter 1px.

6To get a live preview of the edge refinements press F cycle through the preview modes.

7Click OK

8Now click the Hue and Saturation Button in the adjustment panel.

greenNote: that a new adjustment layers is created and the selection is hidden. If the adjustment panel it’s not showing go to Window-Adjustments to show the panel.


9In the Hue/Saturation option select Yellows.

10Click and drag the Saturation slider slowly to the left to remove the yellow, in our case a value of -80 works just fine.

11Click and drag the Lightness slider slowly to the right  to brighten the teeth.

12Select Master form the menu.

13 Click and drag the Lightness slider slowly to the right  to complete the effect.


greenThe technique that we used here is a non destructive way to complete this effect and only available on Photoshp CS4 but there are a couple of  ways to achieve the same results in Photoshop, we are going to use the whitening processes in another tutorial coming up in the next couple of days, this time we are going to use a more traditional technique. So stay tuned.

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  1. tom

    07. May, 2009

    another great tip, thanx dude!

  2. tom

    08. May, 2009

    another great tip, thanx dude!
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  3. photo retouching

    08. May, 2009

    A nice bit of photo retouching on this easy to follow tutorial.

  4. teejnits

    08. May, 2009

    Great post! Thanks for the tips… Any chance you have a post about straightening a set of teeth without a few years of dentist visits?

  5. blob

    11. May, 2009

    not true about cs4 – i’ve just done this with cs2 and it’s exactly the same effect :) only diference is that you need to make a new adjustmensts layer – difference of 3 clicks :P
    oh and insdeadof quick selection i ussed lasso.. that’s it.

    great tip! simple and very effective :) simply fantastic :D

  6. keith

    29. May, 2009

    yes, same technique works, well, with all versions of PS. UI is different in cs4 but other than that – hue/sat is hue/sat & is available in early versions of PS too.

  7. tutorialslounge

    17. Jul, 2009

    you giving white smile in this tutorial, really nice work.

  8. robb

    22. Jul, 2009

    i can’t believe it is that easy.
    nice tutorial there.
    kudos for sharing.

  9. Sergiu

    05. Nov, 2009

    hope she is not your girlfriend, because after this tutorial she will dump you for sure! :)) nice tutorial.

  10. soleh

    30. Dec, 2009

    WOW ! this is the first tutorial work for me :) thxxxxxxx

  11. Daniel Meadows

    08. Feb, 2010

    Curves also works very well, pull the blue midtones up to decrease yellow and increase the RGB midtones for lightness if necessary.

    Retouching and Digital Art

  12. lennis

    20. Mar, 2010

    really useful!!! ^^

  13. naie

    29. Mar, 2010

    8D thx ! loved it !

  14. [...] Whiten Teeth to Improve a Smile in Photoshop CS4 [...]

  15. Anke

    28. Apr, 2010

    really cool way of doing it, loved it! Thanks

  16. maria

    09. Jul, 2010

    thanks…it was a great tip :D :D

  17. Frank23

    23. Sep, 2010

    That was a great tutorial on teeth whitening. I will definitely have to try that out.

  18. Heather Buckley

    01. Nov, 2010

    Very interesting indeed!

  19. Diego

    25. Mar, 2011

    Many thanks it was great tip

  20. sum1

    21. Jun, 2011

    nice tut.. it would be great if you can attach the image as well.

  21. Lhanré

    14. Jan, 2012

    Thanks for this

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