“I wanted to see what would happen if I didn’t give up” - littlestlady.com

Learning to Look after Ourselves

Hello poppets,

How are we today?

If you follow me on social media you will know that I recently shared a Reel showcasing some of my favourite Revlon lipsticks from Mym Beauty . It Brought lots of lovely (and unexpected) comments about my teeth, which sparked todays conversation!

Don’t get me wrong (post school days) nobody had really said anything bad about my teeth, but those school days of having them picked apart certainly left a scar that took some healing.

Now…

You see, I was never taught to look after my teeth. It’s funny to hear from friends and loved ones how they had it ‘drilled into them’ by their parents (quote from a friend) on the importance of looking after them. To brush twice daily, for a certain amount of time and to not get too carried away with the sugar. For me, nobody really mentioned anything about looking after my teeth. I mean, my mother certainly didn’t, but even when it came to my grandma who was most prim and proper and keen on looking her best, she never seemed to encourage it either.

Not only was I not really taught to look after my teeth myself, but I also didn’t have any regular dentist trips which meant nothing was ever done about how crooked my teeth sit. I have a slight overlap on my front two top teeth, but when it comes to the bottom, let’s just say there’s a lot going on.

They haven’t caused a great deal of trouble to me in terms of pain but do cause a little discomfort from time to time due to how they sit. In terms of how they look, they’re something I have grown to accept and am happy to say they now don’t bother me in the slightest.

When I first realised how important it was for me to be looking after my teeth I really went all in. It became this act of love and service to myself. I bought myself an electric tooth brush, looked up how it was done and vowed to look after myself better than what I had been taught.

Self love is so important

I grew to love my teeth’s crooked ways and how they sat, but one thing that did always bother me was that they had various spots on them due to calcium deficiencies through out my life and also as a whole were just generally discoloured. I carried this want to whiten my teeth for a long time, but had this idea in my head that it was almost unnecessary and to be honest the cost was a little out of my budget when I was living on my own from such a young age.

As I grew older and even more so after I left my final therapy my want to smile only grew. To be honest, before that point I couldn’t tell you what my smile was like, but as I grew to only have more to smile about in life I realised that my smile was just full on cheese. The strongest form of cheddar. Just.all.teeth.

As I got more comfortable in myself and supporting myself, I decided to bite the bullet. I mean I didn’t really spend a lot of myself. I didn’t smoke, I didn’t drink and my hobbies include me occasionally buying a pack of pencils. It was a case of “Why the heck not?!” I used to buy the little Crest whitening strips and whiten my teeth at home. They were actually pretty good and were just enough to whiten my teeth a little and mask the various spots that covered them. I was also glad to be able to do them in the comfort of my own home as spending money on myself still came with so much guilt (I’m sure if you’re a trauma survivor you will know that feeling all too well)

Since moving to New Zealand and only going down my healing journey more I decided to up my game and find myself a whitening specialist to get my teeth to where I wanted them. I threw off all that guilt as after many years of thinking about whitening and occasionally using the strips I was sure it was something I definitely wanted to do.

I started visiting the wonderful Terri Logan a whitening consultant at The White Smile Company to have my teeth whitened using a laser. Honestly, Terri Is LOVELY. To be honest, part of my reasoning for buying at home kits wasn’t only due to that guilt but also due to being embarrassed about my teeth. I can’t even put into words how comfortable Terri made me feel from the get-go. The discolouration of my teeth and spots that covered them was shrugged off as not a problem in the slightest and I was quickly reassured that she had seen many teeth much the same. You know when you meet someone and find yourself feeling like you have known the person for a long time, yeah well it was that sort of a deal.

Upon first seeing Terri I also had some custom trays made. Not the cheap Ali Express mouth guards, but custom made bleaching trays made from impressions of my own teeth (Fancy, right?!) They allow me to occasionally top up my whitening at home and I tootle along and visit Terri when ever I feel I need a top-up of the laser treatments. On my last visit to Terri my teeth went a whole 12 shades lighter and from the top coloured pictured to the bottom!

Lots of people have asked me if I whiten my teeth and for me its a funny topic. I think its this weird thing in my own head of still not realising that I have got to the place I have. To go from a place where I didn’t think twice about looking after and caring for myself to now it being something that is incredibly important to me.

I have seen a lot of mental health advocates talk about teeth and looking after ourselves and a lot of comments I’ve not been too sure about. You see, wether our lack of looking after ourselves comes from having no idea we are supposed to or from our struggles with mental health, it is still so important. For me, its that thing of balance which I REPEATEDLY talk about on my blog. Who cares if your teeth are a crooked and wibbly wobbly. Who cares which direction they’re pointing and if they’re not as straight as ruler, but if they’re going bad that’s a sign of not looking after ourselves. Its not even about what they look like and what others think (because again, who cares?!) but when it comes to things like teeth, its that pain that can come with it.

Ouch! (and double ouch when it comes to teeth)

For me making it this act of love and service to myself is what helped me. I recognised that I had not been taught to look after myself as the person that was supposed to teach me these things didn’t care about herself and that’s so incredibly sad. I am at a place where I want to look after myself and treat myself with the love and respect that I once wasn’t shown.

Start by taking a bit of time out of your day to just do something. Run yourself a hot bath, brush your teeth or if thats too much just simply run a hot flannel over your face. On my darkest days thats what my grandma always used to tell me to do and despite swearing black and blue that it wouldn’t help, it always did. These things take time to become routine when they’re so rare to us, but you’re worthy of looking after yourself and showing yourself that love.




littlestlady


If you would like to book an appointment with the lovely Terri, head to the links below!

The White Smile Company
Book an appointment with Terri

Laser Whitening allows you to go 6-12 shades lighter in just one sitting and custom trays allow you to gradually build up results from the comfort of your own home.

– The White Smile Company

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