If you could only change one thing about your appearance, what would it be? Losing that last pesky half stone? Thicker hair? For me, it was whiter teeth. So I paid a visit to Cult Beauty expert and celebrated cosmetic dentist Tim Bradstock Smith at the London Smile Clinic. The London Smile Clinic is about as far from a traditional dentist as you could possibly imagine. It’s a very chic, glossy set up – chill out music, leather sofas, a fridge full of fizzy water. As I filled out my forms, I covertly watched a glamorous blonde woman waiting for her final appointment. Her teeth looked amazing. I was filled with hope. Flicking through the comments book was even more encouraging – it was full of grateful scribbles from very satisfied patients, saying how their beautiful new smiles have changed their lives – landing them that promotion, boosting their confidence etc. It’s all designed to make you feel completely at ease – as if you were paying a visit to the hairdresser’s, rather than facing the dentist’s chair.

But before I got anywhere close to my Bright Smile appointment, I had to endure a sobering session with the hygienist first. I’ve always been pretty smug about the state of my teeth – after all I go to the dentist every 6 months for a check up and there’s never anything wrong, I only have a couple of fillings and it’s generally all good – right? Nope. Apparently I still had lots of plaque from not brushing or flossing properly. Oh. One hardcore clean later and my teeth and gums were scarily clean, and ready to be whitened a few days later.

According to Dr. Tim, everyone is born with slightly different coloured teeth, and what you eat and drink (red wine, coffee, curry) also contributes to their colour. Some people have a yellow base, while others have a grey or brown undertone. Most opt for the Bright Smile in-chair whitening treatment, as the results are instant (and who doesn’t love a bit of instant gratification?) At £795 it might not be cheap, but you’re also given the at-home kit to maintain your teeth’s whiteness. If you choose the at-home kit on its own, that costs £425 and it takes 2 – 3 weeks to achieve the same result as the in-chair option. (The ultimate results are exactly the same; it just takes a little longer to get there.) The in-chair treatment takes up to 2 hours, consisting of four 20-minute sessions with the whitening gel and light on your teeth. During this time you can watch a DVD on some amazing sunglasses (gadget-fans will love these). You then take your own customised gel trays home with you to top up the treatment for a few days afterwards. You can also use them to get a boost of whiteness before a big event like a wedding. The whiteness lasts as long as you maintain it by avoiding things like red wine and coffee. You should be on a ‘white diet’ for the first 24 hours after the treatment (don’t eat or drink anything that you wouldn’t want on a white shirt!)

The results are impressive – I can’t stop grinning and most importantly, I’m determined to maintain the whiteness by brushing and flossing diligently and avoiding coffee and red wine (which quite frankly will be good for my purse and my weight.) Oh, vodka’s fine though. Good.

The London Smile Clinic, Ground Floor East, 40-44 Clipstone Street, London, W1W 5DW Tel: 020 7255 2559 www.londonsmile.co.uk