My husband has some dental issues that are genetic. I have a long-standing fear of dentists (Thank you, again, Dr. Gordon, for traumatizing me as a small child. Boo, on you!). The combination has us very diligent that our children learn the importance of good dental care from a very early age. Dental care is one of those non-negotiable things in our house. Even with all of this, I will disclose here and now that I am NOT always great about flossing…or rinsing. I’m a firm believer in being a model of behavior I want to see and am going to work very hard during the next few weeks to create a new habit- one that includes both flossing and rinsing every time I brush. This is why we were eager to try the LISTERINE® SMART RINSE® Sweet Smart Oral Care Challenge. We’ll be tracking our family progress on a calendar for the next few weeks- the challenge is to brush, floss AND rinse twice a day- ALL of us (well, rinsing for those of us over the age of 5) and keeping track. They say habits are formed in 21 days so here’s hoping we create some awesome new habits together!
Anything to get kids excited about and understanding the importance of good dental care is something I want to be part of- and if it helps someone else to learn about or reaches someone new and helps them learn, then I consider that a pretty awesome day. I was able to take part in a virtual chat with FERN INGBER, Founding President and CEO of America’s ToothFairy and DR. KANETA LOTT, pediatric dentist last week. Some of what they shared was very surprising- and alarming. Here is some of what I learned from them!
Oral disease has become the #1 chronic childhood disease.
Anyone else find this very alarming? My jaw dropped when I read that. We need to spread the word. There are so many programs and products out there that make this EASIER on us all- we just have to use them, take advantage of them, and spread the word. The #1 chronic childhood disease. Scary. (I can remember with each of my kids a phase they’d go through where they would freak out and not want their teeth brushed. It makes me wonder if this is where a lot of oral issues start- because we all know it’s a lot easier to give in to a screaming toddler. I wanted to many times. I have in fact…but not with dental care. Teeth get brushed, at least twice a day. Period).
- 44 percent of American kids will suffer from pediatric dental disease before they reach kindergarten
- Of the 4 million kids born each year, more than half will have cavities by the time they reach 2nd grade
- 43% of Americans lack dental insurance
- All in all, 16 million kids suffer from untreated dental disease
- Kids should be brushing for at least 2 minutes and rinsing for 60 seconds
- Even babies’ teeth should be flossed- as soon as they have teeth that touch together
- If a pacifier falls on the floor and the parent “rinses” it in their mouth (guilty many many times over) you can give the child your periodontal disease
- We need to help our kids brush until they are 8. Especially those back molars- they can be hard to reach…I’ve heard so many parents tell stories of how they make brushing a game. Hunting animals in your child’s mouth- being a superhero with a toothbrush and beating up sugar bugs….the list goes on- but it strikes me that so many of us realize the importance of good dental care.
Find FREE songs to help your kids brush that entire 2 minutes at www.disney.com/phineasandferbmusic or www.barbie.com/listerinekids.
In 2011 alone, over 50,000 kids received critical oral health services (screenings, fluoride treatments, cleanings, sealants, restorative services) thanks to Johnson & Johnson’s contributions to America’s ToothFairy.
One way to get involved this season: Join Trick or Treat for America’s ToothFairy. Just set up a virtual page for Halloween, invite friends and family to join you, and take on the opportunity to help raise money to care for a child in need.
Will you join me and take this challenge? Let’s get our families into GOOD dental habits now, and not later!
This is a compensated post with The Motherhood. Opinions are my own.