An Addition To Your New Year’s Resolutions: Improve Oral Care

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Rosie and I have been participating in the Listerine Oral Care Challenge for the last month.  It has improved our oral care habits and “habit” is the key word.  Because of the Oral Care Challenge, flossing and rinsing has become a twice-daily habit for me, and we’re closer to making it a habit for Rosie.

The simplicity of 1-2-3, appealed to me.  I have to admit that first-thing-in-the-morning and last-thing-at-night are not my sharpest thinking times of the day.  By having a 1-2-3 routine, it made proper oral care easy.  I also left the “tools” out on my counter top for the first two weeks, avoiding the out-of-sight, out-of-mind trap.  What is the “1-2-3” steps?  Brush, floss, rinse.  Brushing just doesn’t do the whole job.

I knew about the importance of flossing (didn’t do it regularly, but knew I should) but I didn’t know how important rinsing is and what a difference it makes.  I read different statistics but they all were overwhelmingly convincing.  Listerine sources said, brushing and flossing alone only cleans 25% of your mouth.  Marjorie Jeffcoat, DMD, Professor of Periodontology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia said, you’ll slash your risk of gum disease by 60% if you use mouthwash twice a day.

Listerine sent me a sample of their different mouthwashes and there is truly such a wide range that I’m sure everyone can find one they like.  There are different oral care tools for different ages and stages, different taste preferences, and different strengths.  Go to to learn more.  My favorite is Listerine Smart Rinse for Kids, but I’m working my way up to Listerine Total Care Zero and then Listerine Antiseptic.  My primary goal was to establish the habit.  To make it second nature to rinse and I went with the better tasting rinse to get there.

I loved the Reach Total Care Dental Floss.  It wasn’t as thin a string as I had used in the past and didn’t cut into my fingers so much.  And after about a week, it was so easy and quick to floss.  For me anyway, habit is truly the key.  For the first few days, it was awkward and slow, but got easier every day.  Now it’s second nature.

That’s my experience with the Listerine Oral Care Challenge – it truly helped me make 1-2-3 oral care part of my daily routine and a habit.  Yay!

Rosie’s experience has been fun to watch.  I told her about the challenge when I first heard about it and we started before our samples arrived from Listerine.  She tried but it wasn’t very exciting.  Then our samples came and she loved trying all the new things!  I highly recommend putting together a little “tool kit” for your kids with new oral care products to try.  Some suggestions are character tooth brushes, Reach Total Care Floss (easy packaging and soft, gentle thread), Reach Access Flosser, character Smart Rinse (Barbie or Phineas and Ferb).

Teach by example.  We’ve all heard that, but it was amazing to watch it actually happen with Rosie.  At first, she didn’t do the 1-2-3 steps very consistently.  But I noticed as she watched me do it, she got better and better!  The Listerine product guide said flossing was for ages 9 and older, but Rosie’s pediatric dentist has been recommending it since she was four.  She loves using the Reach Access Flosser and thanks to this challenge, is know very good with the Reach Total Care Dental Floss as well.  (Even says it tastes like Peppermint Ice Cream).  She just turned six, which is the age Listerine recommends as being able to start rinsing.  The rinses have anticavity fluoride and your child needs to be able to do the rinse-and-spit well without swallowing.

Honestly, we’re not at 100%, but we are much, much better than we were when we started and still improving!  I highly recommend creating your own “tool kit” and starting today!

For more information, visit the Listerine website, there is so much interesting info!


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Listerine and received a sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.


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