I’m pretty proud of my smile but it doesn’t come without some confessions and some things I’ve learned along the way. And I’m pretty sure confession is good for the soul so here goes.
1. I hated brushing my teeth as a kid. When my mom would ask me if I brushed, I would flat out lie and tell her yes when I hadn’t.
2. Because of my faux brushing as a kid, I’m wiser about monitoring my son’s brushing.
3. Now, I won’t even look at you unless I’ve brushed my teeth.
4. I wore braces twice. The first time was from ages 9 to 14. The second time was from ages 31 to 33. Both times sucked.
5. I had an underbite as a kid which was the primary reason for my braces.
6. I developed an aversion to dental floss because the only kind available was the green mint floss that seemed to rip into your gums.
7. As an adult, I discovered Glide dental floss and fell in love with flossing.
8. I hate dentists that scold me.
9. I used to get my teeth cleaned every 6 months but stopped going two and half years ago when I got laid off and lost my dental insurance.
10. We have had new dental insurance for a year now but I still haven’t gone because my longtime dentist isn’t covered by my plan.
11. I have never taken my five year old son for a dental check up.
12. At this point, I’m scared of what they might say to me (re: scolding).
13. After I graduated college, I had a dentist tell me that if I bought a Sonicare toothbrush, I’d probably never need to floss again. I laughed at the idea of a $100 toothbrush.
14. I’ve been using a Sonicare toothbrush for years but I’m tired of how expensive the replacement heads are.
15. I hate mouthwash.
So there you have it. My top 15 dental confessions. I definitely don’t do it all right and I’m pretty lucky that I only have 4 (?) cavities. I’ve never had a crown or a root canal and I’m terrified of both. But teeth are super important in so many ways. In fact, my husband’s beautiful smile is what first attracted me to him.
Makes sense that when I was invited to the LISTERINE Healthy Habits For A Lifetime Oral Care Challenge that I would say yes. Although I’ve overcome many of my confessions, I still need to take better care of my teeth. And there is the issue of #11 (please don’t scold me!)
But LISTERINE? I know, I know. You’re thinking about #15. It’s true. I hate the burn. It makes my eyes water and I almost never last for 60 seconds of swishing.
However, I like a good challenge and usually that’s the best way to get me to change my habits. And truth be told, when I change my habits, the whole family seems to follow suit.
I received a nice care package of goodies to kick off the challenge. My son was only slightly disappointed that my package contained oral care goodies but the disappointment wore off when he saw the Batman and Phineas & Ferb toothbrushes and mouthwash. And just because I like to torment him a bit, I told him the Barbie toothbrush was actually for him. (We ended up giving the Barbie toothbrush and mouthwash to his friend).
I found some Reach toothbrushes, LISTERINE, and a whole assortment of dental floss. My husband quickly walked off with the standard LISTERINE bottle. He loves the burn and couldn’t wait to use it. To each his own.
And that’s usually how things are done around here. Randomly.
But after I had a chance to sit in on a call with several dental experts (dental hygienist, dentist, pediatric dentist), I decided it might be time for a little routine. Some of the facts were surprising.
- Nearly 75 percent of American adults suffer from various forms of periodontal (gum) disease* and don’t know it.
- Brushing your teeth alone misses the germs in 75 percent of your mouth.
- The REACH® TOTAL CARE Multi-action toothbrush has multi-directional bristles that thoroughly clean teeth from all directions, removing up to 90 percent of plaque.
- Adding a 30-second rinse with LISTERINE® Antiseptic to your morning and nighttime routines, along with your usual brushing, has been proven in a clinical study to help reduce up to 70 percent more plaque and 36 percent more gingivitis than brushing and flossing alone.
- Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease affecting children in the U.S.
- In fact, 50 percent of children will have a cavity or filling between the ages of 5 and 9.
- The surgeon general reports that 51 million school hours are missed each year because of dental-related illness.
So what am I doing for the challenge? I’m taking the experts’ advice and I’m getting the whole family on board. We’re focusing on three things every morning and evening: brush, floss, rinse.
How will I get my son to do that? I will show instead of tell.
How will I get my husband to do that? I’ll just keep nagging him until he does it..
I’ll report back mid-March to let you know about our beautiful smiles, which products we loved, and what challenges we faced. In the meantime, why don’t you make me feel better and make a dental confession yourself?