If you think about it, teeth area a big deal that are connected to many childhood and even adult milestones. Getting your first tooth, losing your first tooth, braces, cavities, and more.
My teeth have been a big part of my self confidence. I have never had a cavity but ever since stopping my retainer when I was in junior high, I have had a space between my teeth….living with the constant “helpful” comment from a friend that let me know that I had food in between my teeth. I have also, since FOREVER had horrible gums, because I never made flossing an important part of my routine. I remember my dentist lecturing me as a high schooler and even as an adult. I would “be good” and floss for a few weeks after said lectures, but the message never really sunk in. But as a mom to a child that I know is already starting to deal with her own self esteem demons, I am bound and determined to reduce the impact of teeth on her self confidence.
So when the opportunity to take part in the LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® Sweet Smart Oral Care Challenge arose, I jumped…not just because we need better oral hygeine habits in our house, or because oral disease has become the number one chronic childhood illness in the United States (though that is important too), but because I knew I had the chance to help my daughter develop a routine that might save her a lot of tears and insecurity down the road.
This challenge comes from the makers of LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® , who are are teaming up with the non-profit organization, National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, known as America’s ToothFairy®, to build awareness to families about the importance of protecting their teeth each day. We are a perfect challenge family…because I will be honest, we floss…occasionally. And by occasionally I mean, a few times a month. And using a rinse? A few times every few months…maybe.
If the promise of better self esteem because of a brighter smile is not enough to convince you, how about some facts*?
Did you know that brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth?
- 44 percent of American kids will suffer from pediatric dental disease before they reach kindergarten
- Of the 4 million kids born each year, more than half will have cavities by the time they reach 2nd grade
- 43% of Americans lack dental insurance
Principessa is super excited about the challenge, although admittedly, she was not happy about the timing because part of the idea she concocted for her Halloween costume was to let her teeth get dirty and dark so that she would appear more like a mad scientist (even if that idea would never have gotten the green light from me). The timing is also appropriate for us as we are very focused on matters of teeth because Principessa will have her first consultation with an orthodontist in a few weeks.
So our challenge is to brush, floss, and rinse, twice a day for three weeks in the hopes that in these 21 days we will create a new habit that is sustainable and that will promote better oral health.
Principessa is excited about her challenge to try the Reach floss that is like a squeegee. You can wrap it on a floss holder and then, because what is a better teacher than concrete evidence…we will be able to see the food on the floss. One thing that I foresee happening (a lot in the beginning, for both of us) is bleeding while we floss.
DR. KANETA LOTT, pediatric dentist, tells us that “Clean teeth do not bleed. If your gums bleed, or your children’s gums bleed, it means they are more than likely not clean. It takes five days of good brushing, flossing and rinsing to get clean teeth. The bleeding is a telltale sign to you that you aren’t cleaning your teeth well enough. We should not cut back, we should step up the process – not brush harder, but brush better, and floss, and use a rinse. Bleeding will diminish and go away.”
The day that we floss and do not see blood, will be a definitive marker of progress for us.
We are ready….are you? Does your family brush, floss, and rinse twice a day every day? Join in along with us to create new habits to be Sweet Smart and protect our teeth every day.
Disclosure: The LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® Sweet Smart Challenge is a two part sponsored campaign by Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products division of McNeil-PPC Inc, and The Motherhood. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
*Facts and statistics from AmericasToothFairy.org