I am admittedly not a flosser.
I rarely floss my own teeth, and I rarely floss my kids’ teeth.
There. I said it.
And though I am past the point of lying about it to our dentists, I still do feel really guilty about it.
It’s just that there are so many things to do and remember as a parent, that I just. Can’t. Do. It. All.
None of us can.
So when I was invited to take my little familia on a 3-week Oral Care Challenge, I thought that maybe it would assuage my feelings of guilt for being a loser mom on the oral care front. And being that it’s a candy-filled month I thought I absolutely had to jump on board—especially with all the candy we put away over here.
The very cool thing is that I agreed to do this only because every other family who reads can also jump on board from their very own homes. All it takes is a few oral care items found at almost any grocery store and a concerted effort on the whole family’s part to make this work.
Here’s the skinny. . .
- 3-Week Oral Care Challenge: We’re rockin’ the Listerine Smart Rinse Sweet Smart Challenge, and so far, we’re only on day four.
But so far, Maddy, Owen, and Cora are totally digging it.
The Oral Care Challenge is not that involved. All we’re required to do is brush, floss and rinse every day, twice a day for three weeks.
Floss (gah!) twice a day for three weeks? Could we do it? I wasn’t sure, but I accepted the challenge.
I added ‘Floss & Rinse’ to Maddy, Owen, and Cora’s Morning and Evening Schedule, and I set us up for the challenge. Each child was able to pick a brand new toothbrush and his or her very own bottle of Smart Rinse. Woot! We never used this before—so it was totally exciting for us all.
I pulled out our flossing friends—the little helper guys that our dentist gives us that usually just sat abandoned in the medicine cabinet. I set them up, and we were rockin’ and rollin’.
As part of the Challenge, we had access to a chat with Fern Ingber, Founding President and CEO of America’s ToothFairy and picked up a few important—and scary facts on oral care and children:
- Oral disease has become the #1 chronic childhood disease.
- 44% of American kids will suffer from pediatric dental disease before they reach Kindergarten.
- 43% of all Americans lack dental insurance.
America’s ToothFairy is a nonprofit focusing on the elimination of preventable childhood dental disease, and with the help of Johnson & Johnson, helped over 50,000 kids receive oral health services.
Teachmama Morning Evening Questions 2.0 — updated!Pediatric dentist Dr. Keneta Lott also shared some new-for-me information on oral care:
- Parent should brush their kids’ teeth until the age of 8 years old.
- Brushing should last 2 minutes and rinsing should last 60 seconds.
- Even brushing without toothpaste is something—and kids need to do it every day, twice a day. Dr. Lott’s kids brushed with water but flossed and rinsed with fluoridated mouthwash and never had cavities.
- If teeth are touching, then kids need to floss.
- Gummy bears, raisins, taffy, and potato chips stick to teeth and are the worst for good oral care.
- Dark chocolate candies contain tannins which help protect teeth so they’re better for you.
- Sugar-free gum is okay to chew and actually may help keep teeth cleaner if chewed after meals.
I learned a whole lot that I never knew before, and though I’m totally out of my comfort zone here with the rinsing and flossing, I’m ready to try it.
Consider joining our family in the Oral Care challenge along with us–and we’ll all move into a candy-filled month together!
Fyi: This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Listerine Smart Rinse and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own, influenced only by my three little non-flossers and my non-flossing self.