We all know Halloween is coming and with that usually means lots of sweet, sugary treats. I recently attended a live chat session with other bloggers to hear helpful tips and facts on oral health from Fern Ingber founder of America’s Toothfairy and pediatric dentist Dr. Kaneta Lott.
I always knew good oral health was important but I was surprised at some of the stuff I learned. Like the fact that oral disease has become the #1 chronic childhood disease. Wow!
America’s ToothFairy is a nonprofit organization focused on the elimination of children’s preventable suffering from dental disease. They work with community-based organizations, civic groups and others. America’s ToothFairy has reached more than 1 million kids, 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, but the need continues to be great.
Did you know?
- 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
Did you also know that brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth?
Yuck, that’s leaving a lot of food and germs in there if you aren’t following up with flossing and rinsing.
After hearing the bad news, we got to hear great advice and oral care tips for kids from Dr. Lott and how we can get our kids to practice good oral hygiene:
- Parents should not share cups or utensils with their children (ie. pre-tasting or blowing on food before feeding baby), as this can actually transmit the bacteria that causes cavities.
- Parents should brush their children’s teeth until age eight to demonstrate good brushing behavior.
- You can make brushing into a game – make funny faces, play music, use a calendar and give a star for every day that your child brushes without prodding.
- On average, brushing should last two minutes and rinsing 60 seconds – which is about the length of a short song
- Anytime a child gets braces, they should be rinsing twice a day. Braces have a tendency to trap food around braces, adhere to teeth, and cause more cavities.
Listerine Smart Rinse should be used by kids ages 6 and older and provides 12-hour cavity protection and strengthens teeth 99% better than brushing alone. For all purchases of Listerine Smart Rinse at Walmart, you can download a song that your kids can brush/rinse to. Find songs at www.disney.com/phineasandferbmusic or www.barbie.com/listerinekids.
For more information on helping kids with their oral care routine, you can visit www.ListerineKids.com, and you can shop for Listerine Smart Rinse and other oral care products at Walmart or www.walmart.com
Armed with my new knowledge and products from Listerine and Reach, I was ready to tackle the Listerine Smart Rinse Sweet Smart Oral Care Challenge and get my family on track to a lifetime of good oral health. We’ve actually tried this oral care challenge last year but have since fallen off the wagon and haven’t been as diligent. As before, flossing seems to be the main obstacle.
So the plan is to focus on getting everyone in the family flossing every day! And we’ll be able to keep track on our new laminated Listerine chart, with magnets and dry erase markers (genius!).
You can get your own family involved and keep track of your brushing, flossing and rinsing throughout the month of October and see how you do. I’ll be back to post our own results at the beginning of November.
Another 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.
Disclosure: I received products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the LISTERINE SMART RINSE Sweet Smart Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.