Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Floss, aka the Listerine Oral Care Challenge *Sponsored*

CC rinses with Listerine Smart Rinse after brushing and flossing.
When it comes to brushing, I've had varying degrees of luck with CC. While she brushes on her own or with my help twice a day, she also tends to want to rush the process. After all, there are toys to play with and books to read.

Cute toothbrushes and her own personal (and pink!) timer have helped keep CC interested, but I've also wondered how to get her more engaged. And that's just brushing. What about flossing and rinsing?

Just in time for National Children's Dental Health Month, I've joined Listerine and Reach for their Healthy Habits for a Lifetime Oral Care Challenge.

That means the whole family will brush, floss and rinse twice a day every day for three weeks! The good news: We've already started! Our challenge: Keeping it up!

CC jumped on board immediately once she saw the generous box of oral-care products that Listerine and Reach sent to us. She loved checking out the variously colored kid-friendly Smart Rinses. Barbie pink. Phineas & Ferb blue. And Batman green.

For me, it was learning that 50% of children will have a cavity or filling between the ages of 5 and 9, according to the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. Eek! And did you know that brushing alone misses around 75% of your mouth?

That's why flossing and rinsing are so important.

So, you might ask, is it OK for my little one to rinse? I mean, isn't that stuff harsh on your teeth, and what if she swallows it?

According to pediatric dentist Dr. Kaneta Lott, kids should start rinsing between the ages of 5 and 6. Before that, they might not be able to spit out well.

Also, based on laboratory tests, using Listerine Smart Rinse Anticavity Fluoride Rinse, which has no alcohol, helps strengthen teeth 99% better than brushing alone. Not bad!

So, how can you encourage your kids to enjoy -- or at least get into the habit of -- flossing, brushing and rinsing twice a day?

1. Make it fun! Make it a game, says Dr. Lott. Challenge your child to see who can brush the longest. Make funny faces while rinsing, and see who can rinse the longest without spitting.
2. "Show, Don't Tell." Brush with your child to show that it's not just a chore for her.
3. Give your child fun, kid-friendly products. (CC really went for this one!)
4. Reward good behavior. A calendar with stickers works wonders! That's what we're using.

One day down!
And CC is very proud!

(Disclosure: I received products and compensation from Johnson & Johnson and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the Oral Care Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post, however, are my own.)


Unknown said...

This is great! We need to do something about the brushing and flossing cause I get lazy to do flossing myself and even more to tell Adrian to do it. Another chart is always great!!

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