With Halloween literally around-the-corner, the need to brush, floss, and practice good mouth care becomes an essential of our day here at the Musings from Me house. I can’t stop the kids from eating candy, but I can ensure that they thoroughly brush their teeth.
Since the times the children were 3 to 6 months I would wipe their gums or use a tiny flexible tooth brush that I placed on the end of my finger. I hoped to instill in the children the fundamentals of good hygiene. At some point — around 18 months — the children started taking fluride drops. We have well water and the kids needed the fluoride drops for continued healthy teeth.
My kids are good at remembering to brush. My husband is a little tyranical when one of the kids forgets. He’s been known to take money away from kids or toys. In our house it is better to brush than risk losing a dollar!
We were proud to be part of the Listerine Oral Challenge for the past couple of weeks. We tried a variety of mouth care products from Listerine and Reach: mouth wash, toothbrushes, flossers, and even a pre-bursh rinse, Agent Cool Blue. The pre-brush rinse was a hit with the 6-year-old. He felt grownup using the same type of mouthwash that Daddy uses. If you want to participate in the Challenge, go to www.listerinekids.com and sign up!
My kids get super excited when the dentist gives them another toothbrush. Do your kids get excited? They loved using the Reach toothbrushes. The Reach Access Flossers were a new experience for my kids — we’re sued to stringed dental floss.
As part of the Listerine Oral Challenge, we were given a calendar and cute tooth stickers to make sure we stayed up-to-date on our flossing and brushing and gargling. This was awesome! Yes, I used the word awesome to describe a chart, but the chart reminded me to floss. I’ve got to admit the tooth stickers were cute, too!
Did you know that 6- through 8-year-olds should brush, floss with parental supervision, and rinse? Whereas, kids 9 and older can manage their own oral care. I like the idea of supervising a 6- to 8-year-old as the last thing you need is cavities on the next dental visit!
Tips from Dr. Kanetta Lott, a leading pediatric dentist, including insights such as:
- Show, don’t tell. Lead by example, as kids will imitate your behavior and make oral hygiene feel less like a “kid thing.” I agree — my kids learnt to floss by watching me floss first.
- Reward healthy behavior. Offer rewards for achieving brushing, flossing, and rinsing goals. Reward kids with a sticker for each day of great oral care. Kids love reward charts of any kind!
Have you heard about the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation — http://www.ncohf.org — an organization committed to delivering comprehensive oral healthcare to economically disadvantaged children. I’m saddened that in the U.S. we need an organization like this, but it is needed as there are children without adequate dental care.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by MomCentral on behalf of Listerine and Reach and received Listerine and Reach products for the Oral Care Challenge and a gift certificate to thank me for taking the time to participate.
I’ve used a Gripit Floss Holder – http://www.gripit.biz – for 35 years to keep my teeth and gums healthy. I keep an extra one for the grand kids to use when they spend the night. These handy devices come with their own floss supply that can be advanced in seconds and refilled from local drug and grocery stores. Gripits last a lifetime so using them you know you are not clogging landfills.