How To Whiten Teeth in GIMP {in 60 Seconds}

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Yellow teeth are a thing of the past once you know how to whiten them in GIMP.

In this step-by-step GIMP tutorial, I’ll show you how to whiten teeth in 60 seconds or less.

Ready to master teeth whitening?

Awesome! Let’s do it…

Table of Contents

Step 1: Download and Open the Provided Photo

open image

I’ve located a portrait with yellow teeth you can download to practice what you learn. Or use one of your own photos. Next, open the image into GIMP.

Step 2: Select the Teeth

make a selection

The first step for whitening teeth is to make a selection of the teeth. There are several tools you can use to achieve this. For this project, I prefer using the Free Select tool.

The Free Select tool is similar to the Lasso Tool in Photoshop. To make a selection with it, draw around the outside edges of the teeth. Make sure to complete the selection by finishing where you started.

As you near the starting point, you’ll see a yellow circle appear. This is your indication that when you release your mouse button, the selection will be complete.

Pro Tip:

Make sure to remove the gums and lips from your selection. Otherwise, the edit needed to create the white teeth will be applied elsewhere.

If you selected areas outside of the teeth, use the Quick Mask mode to remove the selection as needed.

Step 3: Teeth Whitening Non-Destructively

Whiten Teeth

Before we apply an edit to whiten her teeth, let’s duplicate the image layer. This way, if the final results are not to your liking, you’ll still have the original photo intact.

Click on the “duplicate” icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to make a copy of it.

Now, let’s access our editing tool by going to Colors and selecting Hue/Saturation. Lower the Saturation to around -50. If you remove too much Saturation, it will look fake.

Whiten the teeth even more by increasing the “Lightness” to around 5. Again, too much, and you’ll have fake-looking white teeth.

You’ve now converted yellow teeth into white teeth! But, we’re not done. Check out the bonus step to enhance the teeth even more.

Step 4: Bonus White Teeth Edit

retouch teeth

Take a closer look at her teeth, and what do you see? It looks like she has some cavities building on the side of her teeth.

Or they’re just hard shadows? Either way, I’d like to tone down the darkness in those areas to make them whiter.

Duplicate this layer to apply your next edit to it. This time, we’re going to use the Dodge & Burn tool.

The Burn tool will make parts of the image where you apply the brush darker. The Dodge tool will make the areas brighter.

Grab your Dodge/Burn tool with Shift + D or locate it on the GIMP toolbar. Make sure to switch the tool to Dodge via the Tool Options.

Also, make sure to adjust the “Force” option lower (also in options). Otherwise, it will make the teeth too bright at its default setting. For this image, I’ve set the Force to 5.

I’m using a soft-edged brush for the brush, and it’s slightly smaller than her teeth. Click and drag over the areas that need to be brightened.

You may need to do this several times to blend in how bright that area is with the rest of the tooth/teeth.

Now What?

If you’re new to brushes, I’d recommend checking out my GIMP tutorial on how to resize brushes. Oh, and I also have a tutorial on how to install premade brushes!

To learn more about using GIMP, check out my Youtube channel.

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