Listerine Oral Challenge: Success!

We've had fun with the Listerine Healthy Habits for a Lifetime Oral Care Challenge. We started the challenge three weeks ago and it is now coming to an end.

We had fun using our Reach toothbrushes and dental floss to learn how to care for our teeth with our homemade mouth model.

Since the Oral Care Challenge began, we've started taking care of our teeth as a family. The best way to teach a child something is to let them see you doing it too.

Nicholas has become a good flosser.

He likes the Reach Total Care floss because it slides smoothly through his teeth without shredding like our other floss did.

And although she isn't old enough to be able to do a good job of flossing by herself, little Rachel likes to try to do it herself because she sees all of us doing it.

The kids have fun with their mouth rinse and usually try to make funny faces in the mirror as they swish it around in their mouths.

Listerine Smart Rinse comes in fun flavors and colors with the kids' favorite cartoon characters and they even match the characters on their Reach toothbrushes. Listerine Smart Rinse if fun to use but it is also an anti-cavity fluoride rinse that protects teeth against cavities and strengthens teeth 99% better than brushing alone.

The progress calendar has been great. Nicholas loves marking that he has taken care of their teeth for the day and it is a constant reminder to him of what he needs to do. You could use any calendar with stickers on it and kids would love it.

Here are some tips from Dr. Kaneta Lott for a Lifetime of Smiles: Tips for Engaging Kids Early in Oral Care:

Ages 6-7:

Show, don't tell - Floss once a day and brush and rinse twice a day with a fluoride mouthrinse like Listerine Smart Rinse, every day. Share the experience with your child. When leading by example, kids are likely to imitate behavior and make oral hygiene feel less like a "kid thing".

Make oral care fun - Turn flossing into a funny-face contest, or make brushing a "Simon says" game by calling out different parts of the mouth. Try rinsing as a family and see who can go the longest without laughing.

Reward healthy behavior - Offer rewards for achieving brushing, flossing, and rinsing goals. Post a calendar in the bathroom and reward kids with a gold star for each day of great oral care. At the end of the month, praise kids for a job well done.

Ages 8-10:

Clean to the beat - Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all rhythmic activities. Play music to help kids enjoy oral care routines. On average, brushing should last two minutes and rinsing 60 seconds. Together, these activities last the length of a typical song.

Let kids decide - Give kids the freedom to make decisions. Identify the best toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss. They come in a variety of flavors and colors - allow kids to select their favorites and keep the bathroom stocked.

Ages 11-12:

Recruit others - Enlist older siblings and family members to encourage proper oral hygiene. Another voice for good care can be influential and make a powerful impact on kids' behavior.

Embrace the power of a smile - Kids become increasingly aware, and often self-conscious, of appearances. Remind kids about the power of a healthy smile to build their confidence. Encourage them to brush, floss, and use a germ-killing rinse to clean their whole mouth. The results will be fresh breath and a great looking smile.

For more information on how to engage children in oral care, please visit

Listerine and Reach products as well as a wealth of information about proper dental care can be found on WalMart's website.

Note: I received product 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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