26 FEBRUARY 2005, Page 46

Q. My daughter, aged 19, is proposing to take out

a student loan in order to have her teeth whitened. It is not the borrowing of money I object to so much as the fact that her own teeth are not in any way discoloured. Please help quickly, Mary, as I am certain her natural look really could not be bettered.

E.O., London SW18 A. Since ‘Frankenteeth’, as they might be dubbed, look Tippex-white under strobe lighting, ask your daughter to attend a few discos and spot the flashers before she goes ahead. Like toupees being blown off in the wind, bleached teeth can cause great embarrassment when they are unmasked as artifice. Even in daylight hours the most expensively whitened teeth can jar in a face. Clearly Nature knew what she was doing when she selected natural tooth colourways. Demonstrate this to your daughter in your own home by modelling a gumshield out of white paper and jamming it into your mouth. These measures should cause her to think again before saddling herself with a new complex.