Do you need to learn how to whiten teeth with Lightroom? This is a common need for photo editing, and fortunately, it’s an easy process. Here are the two best methods for learning how to whiten teeth with Lightroom and some additional information on saving presets for later use.

Option 1: Use A Preset To Whiten Teeth

Using a preset is the easiest way to whiten teeth in Lightroom for most situations. You may need to use a different whitening effect while editing unusual photos, but the developers are familiar enough with this part of the photography editing process that it’s the best choice most of the time.

I recommend trying the preset first even if you’re experienced with Lightroom and have a lot of personalized presets ready for different situations. If the preset doesn’t work out, it can still help you determine the best way to adjust your settings and tweak things to get the best final result. This is often easier than trying to select a personal preset to start with.

Step 1: Select The Whitening Preset

Start by going to the Develop module within Lightroom, where most of your editing tools are. Click your brush, then use the drop-down Effect menu to select the Teeth Whitening function. This generally loads the Lightroom preset right away, although you can choose other options if you want to.

Remember that the whitening preset in Lightroom may not be appropriate for special situations, such as a visible golden tooth. In cases like that, do all of the regular teeth first, then edit the other area to see how it looks compared to the others. Never to unusual spaces first since while they may look good on their own, they may not look good alongside your other edits.

couple hugging

Step 2: Choose A Brush Size

Next, choose the brush size for your photo in the Brush Panel. This is a mixture of personal skill and judgment. Larger brushes whiten teeth faster, but smaller brushes give more control and tend to create a better final look. There’s no universal answer for this part of learning how to whiten teeth in Lightroom. Instead, adjust your brush as needed for the photo.

Remember, you can change brush sizes anytime you need to, so don’t limit yourself to one choice when working to whiten teeth in Lightroom. I often start with a small brush for detailed edging work, then switch to a larger brush to fill in the gaps.

Step 3: Choose Whether to Use Auto Mask or Not

Auto Mask is one of the most useful tools when you want to whiten teeth in Lightroom and have the final whitening effect look good. Or, rather, it’s helpful when it works. Unfortunately, it only functions appropriately for teeth whitening when you have clean edges on your picture, and most teeth are too uneven for it to work well.

I recommend testing Auto Mask for each picture in Lightroom until you develop the judgment to determine whether it’s likely to work in any given situation. Once you have that knowledge, you can improve your workflow and start spending less time checking things on your photos. Our goal is to improve efficiency, so don’t spend time on features unless you need to.

Step 4: Use The Brush To Paint Over The Teeth

Finally, use your brush to paint over all the teeth in the picture. Lightroom provides virtually instant changes with things like this, so it’s easy to see the final results. For situations with unusual lightings, such as times where some teeth are more lit up than others due to reflections, you may want to avoid brightening all the teeth.

woman smiling

Option 2: Use The Adjustment Brush Tool

When deciding how to whiten teeth in Lightroom to improve your photography, it’s essential to consider all of the tools at your disposal for teeth whitening. Outside of the preset tool for whitening teeth, the best option is this brush. You can use this brush for editing photos where the Lightroom presets don’t work as well for whitening teeth.

Step 1: Click The Adjustment Brush Tool

When looking at one of the photos you want to edit, start by going over to the Develop module as before, then click the Adjustment Brush tool. This is usually located in the bottom right area of the histogram. If you haven’t changed the settings, you can also access it by pressing K.

Step 2: Choose The Brush Size

Next, select the brush size you want to use for the Lightroom whiten teeth features. This is functionally identical to using the preset tool and involves the same principles.

However, I prefer using a larger brush to start teeth whitening with the brush instead of the preset. The brush isn’t as accurate as the preset most of the time, so if your settings are wrong, doing a large area first will make it easier to see that there’s an issue. You can go back and do the detailed work after the quick check.

Step 3: Change Your Brush Settings

When you want to whiten teeth Lightroom has many options, but the brush settings are the most important. The best settings when deciding how to whiten teeth in Lightroom are a small brush with low feathering. Teeth already contrast with their surroundings, so little feathering helps create a sharper, clearer image.

The settings in question are close to the bottom of the panel, a short way above the Auto Mask and Density options. Look for them after you’re done with your teeth whitening.

Step 4: Use The Brush To Paint Over The Teeth

As before, paint over the teeth with your brush once you finish adjusting your settings. If you don’t like the final result, undo your work, tweak the settings, and then brush again until you’re satisfied.

woman with red lipstick

Saving A Brush Preset After Creating It

It takes far too long to select your options every time after you learn how to whiten teeth in Lightroom. Personalized presets solve this problem, especially if you do a lot of photography under similar conditions and can predict how teeth are likely to look.

Step 1: Select Your Brush Adjustment Effect

When deciding how to whiten teeth Lightroom has plenty of options. The first part of saving a brush preset is selecting the effect itself. After whitening teeth Lightroom can save your current settings as a new preset that you can access with more than one click.

Don’t try to save many presets at once. Instead, save a new preset each time you make one after a photography session. This minimizes wasted time and focuses your efforts on the settings that are the most useful.

Step 2: Click The “Save Current Settings as New Preset” Button

After selecting your settings, click the button to save them as a new preset. This is the easiest part of the entire process. If you don’t see this button after you whiten teeth in Lightroom, you’re probably on the wrong panel or module.

Step 3: Click on “Create” To Save The Preset

Finally, click the Create button to save your teeth whitening preset. How many presets you save is up to you, but I recommend having only as many as you want to use regularly.

If there aren’t enough, you should add more. If there are too many, you may end up spending more time searching through them than using them, which just slows you down. Consider starting with a few common presets and adjusting those for each image, rather than trying to save every combination you could start with.