2014 07/10

brushing…flossing…mouth washing…oh my!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for LISTERINE. I received samples for this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

We’ve officially been back to school for a month now. Honestly, most days it feels like we’ve been back for a solid six months. So you’d think we had our School Day Schedules down to a science now. Nope. Not even close!

Every day we are still scrambling to get out the door on time. Regardless of how early I get up or how early the kids get up, it always happens. And, in such a scramble, some things just don’t happen. Beds go unmade. Toys are left out. Permission slips are being signed in the car. It happens. But the one thing I am not budging on is brushing teeth.

And it’s the one thing my kids challenge me on. Every day.

It’s quite baffling because they happily go through the brushing routine before bed, but mornings…not so happily.

But I won’t budge on this. Dental/oral health care is super important to me and I know that ingraining healthy habits into their minds now, while they are young, is the key. So, I’m hitting them with the One-Two-Three LISTERINE Punch (not actually hitting them):

1. Repetition & Routine

Yes, I know that reminding my kids every single morning to go brush their teeth before school is going to become a pain for all of us, but that’s ok. Because if I keep reminding them, eventually they’ll just realize that it’s not something I’m budging on. Making the bed? Yes. It can stay unmade all day. But those teeth? Nope! They will be clean.

And if we build it into our daily schedule, it will {hopefully} become a habit they just do. Without prodding. And without complaints. Maybe?

2. Make it fun

This is especially key with the younger two. They love their character themed toothbrushes and toothpaste. And all three think mouthwash is the coolest thing ever. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because it makes them feel more grown up? Doesn’t matter. I’m just going to use it to my advantage! For example, in the evenings, when they are more willing to go through our tooth-brusing routine, then that’s when I add in flossing. We have more time and I can take that time and help them. (This is also for my sanity because otherwise, if I leave the flossing up to them, they treat the floss like rope and start tying each other up with it.)


I then save the mouthwash for the mornings. They look forward to being able to use it after they brush and it’s a great way to pick-up where their very speed-brushing left off.

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Not only do they love seeing their favorite characters on the LISTERINE SMART RINSE bottles and the fun colors, but I love that it provides 12 hour cavity protection while they are away at school eating who knows what sugary stuff! And the soft, springy design of the LISTERINE Gentle Gum Care Floss makes flossing those little gums so easy and gentle!

3. Lead by example

This is a tough one. Don’t misunderstand…I am just as diligent about my own dental care. It’s just that my kids are usually asleep by the time I do my brushing/flossing at night and are still sleeping when I do it again in the morning.

So how do you “be that example”? Well, for me, it’s as simple as fresh breath.

The kids always know that I’m going to walk out the door in the morning with my to-go mug of coffee. Because mama needs the morning coffee! But this year I’ve also been sure to grab my LISTERINE POCKETPAKS right along with my coffee mug.

Abbi asked me the other day why I slip one of the POCKETPAKS into my mouth as we pull into the school parking lot each morning. I responded, “Simple, it gives me fresh breath. I don’t want to be breathing coffee-breath onto your teacher or principal or another parent if they need to talk to me this morning.” She agreed….coffee breath is not good!  “It’s a lot like why I have you brush your teeth in the morning. You don’t want to be breathing egg breath on your friends and teacher, do you?” And click! Fresh breath = important.


It’s a long road yet. By no means are we rocking the brushing, flossing, mouth washing routine. But we’re trying. And we’ll keep trying.

And I’m sure that by the time we get this down to a semi-science, one of the kids will end up getting braces and a whole new oral care hurdle will be thrown at us! Que sera sera!

For more information on LISTERINE products for you and your kids, visit listerine.com or find LISTERINE products in your local stores. And then check out their newest video series — Healthy Habit Heroes with one of my 90s crushes Ian Ziering.


How do you encourage your kids to rock the brushing, flossing, mouth washing world? I’d love to hear your tips & tricks!!

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