Surface modification of semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) often causes a drastic reduction of photoluminescence quantum yield (QY). Here, we report an efficient way to improve photoluminescence (PL) characteristics of silica-coated QDs using the combination of light-induced PL enhancement (photoenhancement) and the small molecule reducing agent, dithiothreitol (DTT). The photoenhancement process in the absence of a reducing agent is usually accompanied by a blue shift and broadening of the PL spectrum as well as a subsequent rapid PL quenching due to the competitive photo-oxidation process. The addition of DTT augments the degree of photoenhancement and inhibits the spectral shift and broadening. The photoenhancement assisted by DTT reported here should provide a simple and useful means of preparing stable, highly luminescent water-soluble silica-coated QDs that have PL QYs comparable to those exhibited by organic-soluble QDs.