How to Fix Teeth in Photos


Some people are sensitive about how their smiles appear in photos. In a photograph, crooked or broken teeth can appear worse than they do on a day-to-day basis. You might want to do some digital dental work so you won't grimace every time you see that smile on your wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Photo-editing software that has a cloning tool
  • Digital photos or scanning equipment
  • Tablet (optional)

How to Fix Teeth in Photos

  • Acquire a digital image. You can transfer images from your digital camera, or you can scan images from film or prints to your computer.

  • Open the desired photo in your editing software.

  • Make a copy of the original layer. Do all of your digital dental work on this copy, not on the original.

  • Zoom in on the teeth you want to fix so that you can work with them easier.

  • Select the cloning tool and define the region you want to clone. Typically this will be the largest spot on the tooth you want to fix.

  • Clone from bits of teeth that are straight and unbroken. For instance, if you are repairing a chip at the bottom of a tooth, clone from the bottom of an unbroken tooth.

  • Use the paintbrush tool to make additional repairs if you can't get the exact results from cloning. Be sure to use the dropper tool to select colors that match.

  • Use the dodge tool to lighten teeth that are dark. Be careful not to dodge too much, or the teeth will be washed out.

  • Use the sponge tool to desaturate yellowed teeth.

Tips & Warnings

  • Using a tablet can help you work more precisely and faster than you would with a mouse.
  • This type of editing is tricky, and it might take several practice sessions before you have the results you want. Practice on several different photos until you get the hang of it.
  • Never do editing directly onto the original photo. Always make a copy. Otherwise you might make changes to the original that you're unhappy with and that can't be undone.
  • Make sure the person whose teeth you are editing is OK with the change and won't be offended.

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  • Photo Credit Teeth and Mouth image by Sujit Mahapatra from
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