Taking care of your mouth is so vitally important. And it’s about more than eating comfortably. Uncared for teeth can lead to dental disease — a gateway to a host of other health challenges. So when The Motherhood contacted me about participating in a program that promotes dental health, I was all in.
For the next three weeks, the kids and I will be participating in Listerine’s Oral Care Challenge, which challenges us to brush, floss and rinse twice a day. The kids and I will be marking our progress on a calendar in our kitchen, and encouraging each other. But frankly, it might be me who needs the most encouraging. I have the brushing down — but the flossing? Not so much. And rinsing with a mouthwash after that? That rarely happens. So I love the idea of this challenge since it brings me so far from my comfort zone. And the kids? They are so excited to get started.
To kick off the challenge, I participated in a conference call with oral experts. Dr. Kaneta Lott, a pediatric dentist, explained that brushing alone isn’t enough. You need to combine it with flossing and rinsing to truly benefit your teeth. Using a fluoride-based rinse, she said, provides 12-hour cavity protection and strengthens teeth too. Sounds like a great reason to try it, right?
We also heard from Fern Ingber, Founding President and CEO of America’s ToothFairy, who shared a few sobering statistics:
- Oral disease has become the number 1 chronic childhood disease.
- 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
America’s ToothFairy is a nonprofit that strives to eliminate the unnecessary onset of dental diseases in kids. This Halloween you can also Trick or Treat for America’s ToothFairy — all donations will go toward the child-helping programs that America’s ToothFairy supports.
You can learn more about child oral care at ListerineKids.com.
Disclosure: I am receiving compensation as well as a box of Listerine and Reach products to participate in the challenge. All opinions are my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.