Three weeks ago, I announced that my family had agreed to take the Listerine "Healthy Habits for a Lifetime" Oral Care Challenge. I must admit, that I was not 100% sure that my family, consisting of 2 adults, 2 five year olds, and an 8 year old, would make it the whole three weeks flossing, brushing, and rinsing twice a day everyday. Even though we had a couple of bumps in the road, all five of us managed to complete the challenge.
Prior to the start of the challenge, our three children brushed regularly twice a day (although we have caught them trying to skip it now and then), but the only person in the house that flossed and used mouthwash was my husband. I really did not know what to expect as far as the amount of resistance we would get towards flossing and rinsing.
To raise the odds of our completing this challenge as a family, we told the children that we would take them to a movie of their choice (parent-approved, of course) as a reward if we succeeded. The Listerine products and Reach toothbrushes featuring some of their favorite licensed characters also made the experience more fun. I have to say that I was surprised at how excited our children were to participate and how seriously they took this challenge from the start.
(Click any image to enlarge)
Any worries I had about our children flossing were erased by their mastering the use of Plackers Kids Flossers fairly easily. Our 8 year old son and I both used the easy-gliding Reach Total Care Mint Floss. What I was really most worried about was how well our children would handle the taste and the logistics of using the Listerine Smart Rinse Fluoride Rinse. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. Although they did say that this non-alcohol rinse for children did burn a little, it was not so much that they refused to continue to use it. What made this step even easier are the kid-friendly bottles. They are specially designed so that a child can squeeze the mouthwash up to the built-in cup through a straw and the cup automatically releases any excess back into the bottle, leaving only the correct amount of mouthwash every time. Still, we needed to monitor our younger children because sometimes they would not squeeze enough mouthwash to fill the cup up to the line.
The end-result is that, over the past 3 weeks, our children have developed a habit of flossing, brushing, and rinsing twice daily. They even feel strange not having done it if they had forgotten. Like with brushing, we did have one or two instances when one of the younger children tried to skip their new routine, but they always ended up doing it anyways since they were being monitored closely. If you would like to get your family into a better oral care routine, start off by printing the chart and markers below. If my family could do it, so can yours!
TO PRINT: Click on the desired image to enlarge. Then right-click and select print. Use your browsers back arrow to return to this page.
I also have to mention that I was a little worried that I would be the weak link in the chain. I had not tried to floss in a very long time because my teeth were always very crowded, even after having five teeth extracted as a teenager. I was so surprised that I was able to use the Reach Total Care Mint Floss without much difficulty, even in the tightest spots.
Another problem I have is an overly sensitive tongue. I cannot even eat cinnamon candy without getting burnt patches on it. I think the Listerine Total Care Zero Anticavity Mouthwash saved me. It contains no alcohol just like the children's mouthwash. Even so, this rinse still burned my tongue a little and I had to brush my tongue with a tiny bit of cold water after each use. I was thrilled that there was a mouthwash made for adults with sensitive tongues like me.
For some great tips about how to achieve Healthy Habits for a Lifetime, visit Walmart.com, where you can also find exceptional prices on Listerine products and Reach toothbrushes.
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 are my own.
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