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#88 Whitening Teeth

Yesterday, I was standing in the line at the grocery store, and someone standing near me pointed to the cover of a magazine and said to me, “Whoa, those teeth are white!” The teeth were so white that they overpowered the photograph. In reality, the problem with natural teeth isn’t that they aren’t pure white, it is that they are a bit yellow. Thus, the goal here is to brighten and whiten teeth by removing some, but not all, of the yellow.

  1. Select the teeth using one of the selection tools, such as the Magnetic Lasso, Lasso, or Quick Selection tool. This selection will later turn into a mask on your adjustment layer.
  2. Choose Select > Modify > Feather and add a 2-pixel feather to soften the selection edge (Figure 88a).
  3. In the Layers panel, click the Add Adjustment/Fill Layer icon and choose Hue/Saturation from the menu.
  4. In the Hue/Saturation dialog box, choose Yellows from the Edit menu.
  5. Use the Saturation slider to reduce the saturation of the yellows until the yellow is diminished. Don’t go too far or the teeth with look gray (Figure 88b).
  6. From the Edit menu, choose Master.
  7. Increase the Lightness to approximately 20 points (Figure 88c).
  8. Click OK to apply the teeth-whitening effect.
  9. Click in the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Press Ctrl + J (Windows) Command+ J (Mac) to duplicate the layer. Change the duplicated layer’s blending mode to Soft Light to add a touch of contrast. Lower the opacity to approximately 45% or until the contrast looks good (Figure 88d).
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