Oral Care Challenge : Ready, Get Set, Go!

When I got asked to join the Listerine Oral Care Challenge, it was a no-brainer.  My own teeth have been the bane of my existence.  As a child, my dental visits were few and far between, as I aged I fell victim to dental carries and a few crap dentists who seemed a little too drill happy, both to my teeth and my wallet.  To make matters worse, as a grown adult, post-pregnancy, I had over $10,000 worth of dental work done due to weakening of the teeth.  The dentist even had the nerve to blame my 28 months of breastfeeding for calcium depletion… the nerve!  The bill itself was enough to scare me from ever going to the dentist again.  And really, going to see a dentist only when something hurts is not a good thing.  While I have since found better care, it still isn’t an easy place for me to go.  In fact my anxiety is at its all time high when visiting the dentist.   My newly discovered favorite form of treatment is nitrous oxide otherwise known as laughing gas.

Worried that my own experience with the dentist would taint that of my own children, I am eager to take this challenge head on.   Since learning that 50 percent of children will have a cavity or filling between the ages of 5 and 9 and the surgeon general reports that 51 million school hours are missed each year because of dental-related illness, I am scared. If prevention is worth its weight in gold, I needed to get going ASAP.  With my daughter at 4 years old and my son at 2 years old, neither of which have seen a dentist yet nor have very consistent dental hygiene habits, we might be on a road to trouble.

After participating in the Healthy Habits Kick Off call I was feeling a little disgusted and also very inspired.  Disgusted because I found out that brushing your teeth alone misses the germs in 75% of your mouth.  Yuk!  First things first, I picked up the phone and made dentist appointments for the kids.  I was very proud of myself for taking this first step.  Next it was time to unpack my Listerine Gift Pack.  I was thrilled to find Character themed products which made the introduction all the more easier.

J was thrilled to bits with his Phineas and Ferbs rinse and toothbrush, while A was giddy with glee over her new Barbie rinse and toothbrush.  M is still too little for a rinse but I couldn’t leave him out, so he got his very own Batman toothbrush, otherwise fondly known as “Man!”  We were off to a good start.

The good thing is that my husband has been firmly making sure that J & A brush their teethes, not just at night but first thing in the morning.  That was a habit that never stuck with me as a kid.  Having the character rinses definitely makes things a lot easier if not a little more troublesome.  A wants to brush and rinse her teeth all the time now.   I’ve had to put my foot down several times.  Really!  It could become a real problem.  The baby just loves to copy his older sibs and this time, it’s a good thing.  If they’ve got good oral hygiene, he is sure to follow suit.  As it stands, he has his own cup and toothbrush and loves to spit out water.  I mean who doesn’t!  He loves to stand side by side with them as they brush.  It’s really too cute for words.

I also found the time to dig out a toy timer from a now defunct game which will act as a 2-minute brush timer and 1-minute rinse timer.  I was so excited!

With the kids squared away, it was time to examine my own dental hygiene.  You’d think with my history, I’d be neurotic about my dental health habits… but I’m not.  I still never brush my teeth in the morning, unless I’m coming off a night shift.  Sometimes out of pure exhaustion, I skip the flossing and just brush.  Sometimes I’m soooo lazy, I don’t even use the Listerine rinse.  Working the night shift 3-4 days a week doesn’t help either, my times are always turned upside down.  That’s the problem with being a mom whose candle is being burnt at both ends.  I learned though from the call that, oral care has advanced so much that it takes just minutes a day to improve your oral care routine and establish a healthy habit that will benefit you for a lifetime.  The sooner you improve your oral care, the more money you will save. Fortunately, Walmart offers LISTERINE® and REACH® products at affordable prices!

This is a fresh start for everyone.  With new tools in hand, we are going to start creating some healthy dental habits.  Won’t you join us?

Visit www.walmart.com/AHA/Listerine/Reach to access to tips from leading dental experts and find great values and prices on oral care products.

{ disclosure: I received products and compensation from Johnson & Johnson and The Motherhood
as part of my participation in the Oral Care Challenge but have been a long-time loyal user of Listerine & REACH products. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post and any post on this site are always my own. }