Did you know nearly 75 percent of American adults suffer from various forms of periodontal (gum) disease and don’t know it? That’s a scary thought if you think about it for a moment and it was even scarier when I became part of that statistic. After years of neglecting my teeth and gums from lack of dental insurance I sat in that not-so-cozy dental chair and listened as my dentist said, “you have periodontitis.” Wait, what, I have what??? My dentist went on to explain and followed it up with a very expensive treatment plan. So expensive in fact that I had I scraped together $100 every 6 months for the past 10 years all of my current dental issues may have been avoided.
The dental nightmare I’m experiencing right now is something I never ever want my children to go through. That’s why I teamed up with The Motherhood to take part in the Listerine Oral Care Challenge. Simply put, it’s a challenge for my family to really take notice of oral care habits and work to improve them. Last week I attended an online webinar with fellow moms and dentists to get facts and answers about common oral care questions.
One thing I was really surprised to learn is that brushing your teeth alone misses the germs in 75 percent of your mouth. It’s important to add flossing and rinsing to your regimen to get your teeth as clean and healthy as possible (along with regular dental check ups). And thanks to a big box of oral care products including Reach Total Care Floss, Reach Toothbrushes (with fun characters for kids) and Listerine Smart Rinse, we’re getting our kids on the right track.
Although it doesn’t neccessarily matter what order you do the flossing, brushing and rinsing, we’re now following the advice of Dr. Kaneta Lott, DDS (pediatric dentist) who suggested that we floss to remove particles between teeth, follow it with brushing and finish it off with a quick rinse. At night time it’s important that kids go straight to bed without any water so the Smart Rinse stays on the teeth to continue killing germs throughout the night.
Our oldest daughter was really excited to share her pearly whites and loves brushing her teeth. The whole process is a lot more fun now that she has character toothbrushes.
One area we really needed to improve for our kids was making oral care fun! Starting this week I set up a tooth brushing chart where the girls (and I) can track their brushing habits and when they reach a chart full of stars I have a small trinket bucket full of toys that they are rewarded with. This is a great way to get kids motivated and if you’re looking for ideas it’s as simple as visiting your grocery store and popping a few quarters into the little toy dispensers.
How is your family keeping oral care fun for the kids?
Disclosure – This is a compensated discussion on behalf of The Motherhood, Listerine and Reach. Opinions expressed are my own.