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Create an Easy Photoshop Action for Teeth Whitening

Whether you're a portrait, wedding, or event photographer, you undoubtedly encounter this issue: nobody has perfect teeth. But there is a perfect way to streamline the fix: create a Photoshop action.

What is a Photoshop Action?

If you're already familiar with actions in PS, you can skip this paragraph. An action is a preset for an editing command, involving one or more editing steps. Actions are sometimes sold online in packages, but there's no need to buy them — anyone with Photoshop can create actions for their ease of faster editing. Some common examples of useful actions are:

  • Convert To Black & White
  • Levels Up/Down +1/-1
  • Increase Red/Blue/Green
  • Increase Contrast
  • Pre-set image sizes (great for printing, or standardizing your web files)
  • Teeth Whitening

I Created an Action for Teeth Whitening Years Ago and It Remains a Handy Editing Tool Today. Here's How I Made It:

Please keep in mind that this was done on Photoshop CC. Other versions such as Photoshop Elements may look slightly different.

  1. Right click on your main layer and duplicate it.
  2. Enter Quick Mask mode (shortcut key Q).
  3. Create a masked selection around the teeth. Try not to select the lips, only the teeth.  Use the quick mask brush on a soft setting.
  4. Exit Quick Mask mode. You now have your teeth selected.
  5. Create a new Action from the Actions Panel. Title it "Teeth Whitening".  You are now recording your Action.
  6. Go to dropdown menu Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Select the Yellow Channel.  Lower Saturation of this Channel, and increase Lightness. Lightening avoids the teeth turning dull and gray.
  7. If the teeth are still dull and gray-looking, go to the dropdown menu Image>Adjustments>Levels and bring some of the mid and low Level sliders up to increase brightness.
  8. Press the Stop button on the bottom of the Actions panel. Collapse the action and now this edit is available for you anytime.

Actions are a useful tool for creating editing shortcuts. For future use, simply make your selection and press Play (bottom of Action Panel) with the action selected. Especially for large sets or model proof galleries, this will be a huge time-saver!

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Arun Hegden's picture

simple and neat. :)

Scott Mason's picture

Thanks Arun!

chrisrdi's picture

Damn you guys are straight up gangsters. OG's my dudes. I was trying to figure this out yesterday. Thanks pimps.

Scott Mason's picture

Haha! Anytime, Chris.

John Skinner's picture

Create dupe layer, change blend mode to screen, add a HIDE mask, paint in the teeth and adjust opacity. DONE.

Scott Mason's picture

There are a million ways to do one thing in Photoshop, and your comment is further proof :)