When it comes to taking care of ourselves, we often only focus on what we can see. We want our hair to look good so we wash, cut and style it. We want our teeth to be white so we brush them. We want our bodies to be fit so we do cardio and lift weights. It is simply easier to be motivated by all the things we constantly look at. Yet, with self care, we know there is so much more than meets the eye. Often times, it’s the parts of ourselves that we can’t see, where our efforts should really lie.
But why is it so hard to focus on the parts of ourselves that we can’t see? Perhaps it’s out of sight, out of mind. If we are not looking at it all the time, it’s hard to remember. Or maybe we are just too motivated by seeing results that we neglect the places where the changes can’t actually be seen. A recent trip to my dentist followed by an exciting opportunity to partner with Crest on their new Gum Detoxify Toothpaste made me realize that perhaps I need to dig a little deeper on my journey to self-care.
I have not had the best history of gum health and whenever I visit my dentist, he always uses the same analogy on me. He says, ‘your teeth are like a beautiful painting in your home. You want to hang it on the wall and show it off, but if the frame is old, dirty and decrepit, you won’t be able to display it and show it off.’ Now he’s not calling my gums old, dirty and decrepit, but I always understood what he was saying. What’s the point of having beautiful, white teeth if the frames, aka my gums, aren’t healthy enough to support them?
It made me realize that self care is a lot like this. When we hit the gym, we see fast results thanks to muscles forming and our body composition changing. But we so often neglect stretching. Stretching isn’t a fun, exciting part of working out. It’s actually boring and sometimes painful. And we cannot see the results that come from stretching. But if we keep up with our stretches, our bodies become more mobile, allowing us to both perform better in the gym and recover quicker in between sessions.
Or take meditation, for example. It can be so hard for us to sit in silence and not get bored or frustrated. And with meditation, there are no results to see. Yet, people who practice have been shown to have lower stress, better sleep patterns and live healthier lives than those who don’t.
My last visit to the dentist was just a few weeks ago and I mentally prepared myself for the “gum health” talk. I could always do a way better job and flossing. Yet this time, the art and frame analogy really stuck with me since I realized it can be applied to so many realms of my health and well being. Perhaps it was because I spent the majority of this year recovering from injuries and decided to prioritize self care, but I left knowing this was the last time I would be given that lecture.
It was also perfect timing since I had the opportunity to partner with Crest to try their new Gum Detoxify Toothpaste. I’ve actually used Crest my entire life so making the switch to a product that focuses on gum health was a no brainer for me. I’m actually surprised that more toothpastes don’t focus on gum health since 75% of adults over 30 suffer from some degree of gum disease and 21% have had moderate or severe gum health issues.
Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste has a formula to neutralize plaque bacteria that helps prevent gingivitis by cleaning below the gum line. It has this Activated Foam that works by seeking out the bacteria and getting in those hard to reach places. It then cools gums during and after brushing which helps fight inflammation.
I know I wasn’t focusing on my gum health, because like stretching and meditation, I wasn’t reminded that I needed to every time I look in the mirror. But just like Crest Gum Detoxify Toothpaste, it’s about going past the things we can see. Self care has now become about what’s on the inside and how I can support the parts of myself that I can see so they look, function and feel their best.