Talking about Teeth

This great printable is available as a free download in lots of color combos from 30 Handmade Days! (Click on the picture to go to the downloads)

Do you have some teeth you want to keep? Are you up for a challenge?

I used to have great teeth! Really. I’m not sure I had a single cavity in my adult teeth…until I bore children.

Right now, BSB and I are facing potentially thousands of dollars of dental work for the two of us. And did I mention we don’t have dental insurance? So when the opportunity came to take The LISTERINE® Healthy Habits for a Lifetime Oral Care Challenge and blog about it, I figured that this was one I should not pass up.

In order to participate in the challenge, my family was sent a box full of products from Listerine and Reach that will help us reach our goal of Brushing, Flossing and Rinsing 2 X a day for the next 3 weeks!

Here are the great products they sent to help BSB and me and the children to all be successful in the challenge. Pretty much, they took away all of our excuses.

The rinses and brushes look so fun for the kids. (Phineas & Ferb is a favorite show in this house).

And they must know I’m a wimp, sending this “less intense” Listerine. BSB uses the old-school, full-strength, straight-up yellow Listerine. I cannot. I’m hoping this will be more palatable for me!

We even got a calendar to track our progress!

But before jumping in head first to this challenge, it helps to get a little more information about what we are doing and why. I was fortunate to get to listen in on a conversation with general dentist, Dr. John Dodes, and pediatric dentist, Dr. Kaneta Lott.

I was really excited when they took time to answer the question I had submitted:

I wanted to know if it is possible to repair tooth decay through good oral care, or if drilling and filling (etc.) is the only option. I was happy to hear that the new school of thought in dentistry is that decay of the enamel that has not yet reached the dentin can recalcify through proper care. It used to be that they would pull out the drill for any kind of decay, but more and more dentists are practicing less invasive procedures. So what I’m really hoping from this challenge is that the list of work to be done in my mouth will diminish by a little bit, and I can be spared the expense and pain of some of the fillings I was anticipating. Of course, I am also hoping that my children will develop better oral hygiene habits, that will spare us some trips to the dentist.

Here are some of the other things I took away from our chat with the dentists:

* Guess what! The order in which you do it doesn’t matter! You can floss, brush, and rinse in what ever order you like! They do recommend, however that if you are using a Floride rinse, you do it right before bed, and don’t rinse eat or drink after. That way the teeth have the longest time to receive the benefit of the fluoride. I think I will start by flossing (since it takes the longest) while watching a show or doing something else, and follow with brushing and rinsing. Because, really? Who has time to stand in front of the mirror making funny faces at themselves why flossing for 5 minutes every night?

* Children should begin flossing as soon as their teeth grow together to the point where they are touching. If they aren’t good with regular floss, have them use a floss pick. (I’m a grown-up and I think the other is supposed to be better, but I prefer the pick, too.)

*Rinsing counts! I guess I thought you only needed to rinse when you had bad breath, but apparently brushing alone misses the germs in 75% of the mouth. Rinsing gets most all of them. While it could never replace them, it seemed to me, that rinsing might be able to compensate for a multitude of brushing and flossing sins. This is going to be the biggest change for me in this challenge! I’m anxious to see what difference it makes.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can visit to get more tips on how to establish better oral care habits for your family.

So what do you think? Can this smile be improved upon? I’ll be back in a few weeks to let you know how it went. How are your family’s dental habits? How do you make time for good dental care? Have you come up with any creative ways to make it fun for your kids! I’d love your ideas and input as we get going on this challenge!


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 are my own
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  1. […] LISTERINE® Healthy Habits for a Lifetime Oral Care Challenge. I wrote about the reasons to focus on good dental habits in this post, at the beginning of the […]

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