How We Kept Our Kids Cavity-Free All Through Early Childhood ~ Heroic Habits

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.

Routine, glorious routine! How I've missed you over the summer! We are in our 6th week of school and things are finally starting to move to the beat of an even rhythm... a glorious routine. We tweak it every once in a while, but there is something so powerful about routines. Everyone seems to have an idea of what they are to be doing at a given time during the day, and they often do it without nagging from me. Take brushing teeth before bed, for instance. My kiddos have been doing this since they first had teeth. It is rarely questioned and almost always done proficiently.

Establishing healthy routines early can mean the difference between good dental health and poor dental health. Heredity plays a role too, but isn't it great when we can train our children in heroic habits, especially related to their health?

So far, knock on wood, neither of my kiddos have had to go through the unpleasantness of getting a cavity filled. I truly believe it's because we started healthy habits early on. Here was our plan of attack for keeping them cavity-free:
  • As soon as they sprouted baby teeth, we were brushing them. 
  • After they finished breastfeeding by about 6-8 months old, they both drank lots of milk up through about year 5, which provided a fair share of calcium.
  • We began taking our children to the dentist every 6 months from the time they were about 3 years old. First, so they wouldn't fear the dentist, and second, so they would be coached and encouraged in keeping their teeth healthy. 
  • We limited sugary snacks during the day, and never let them eat after brushing their teeth before bed.
  • As soon as their molars were ready, we had the dentist put sealants on to keep those grooves nice and protected. So far, they've been successful. 
  • They always brush their teeth before bed (this healthy habit and the next are currently in the process of being enhanced)
  • The kids floss their teeth occasionally ( I know we need to do better with this one.)
(Obviously, every family is different and you should consult your own dentist to keep your family's teeth in tip-top shape...this is just our experience.) Up until now, this routine has been sufficient for us. However, now that we are into the middle school years, I know we need to up the ante. My kiddos had great spacing between their baby teeth, so flossing wasn't really an issue... meaning we did it half-heartedly. Now that they are older and most of their permanent teeth are in, we have crowding. This means that there are more spaces for bacteria to grow and damage teeth if left unchecked. Not only that, but they both indulge in sugary, sticky treats more frequently than they did when they were little. Keeping on top of the plaque is key!

Our son is in braces, so it is even more important for the habits of flossing and rinsing with a protective mouthwash to be instilled. As soon as he is out of braces, our daughter will be getting some as well. While my husband and I are good about brushing our teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly, our routine could definitely stand to be improved with a good quality mouthwash and more frequent flossing.

LISTERINE is known for their outstanding mouthwash and other dental hygiene products, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to put some of them to use as we improve upon the habits we have already begun. Here are the ones I am most excited about including in our dental routine:

LISTERINE HEALTHYWHITE Sodium Fluoride Anti-Cavity Mouthrinse - years of coffee drinking have done a number on my teeth. This rinse will gently remove and prevent stains on our teeth, prevent cavities, and kill bad breath germs.

LISTERINE HEALTHYWHITE Mint Floss - Again, coffee stains don't limit themselves to the fronts of my teeth. There are plenty of stains in between too. This shred-resistant floss easily glides between the teeth, allowing me to get to particles under the gums too.

LISTERINE SMART RINSE- Just another layer of protection to reduce the chances of tooth decay for the kiddos.

LISTERINE ULTRACLEAN Access Flossers- The perfect tool for reaching in-between the back teeth and all the other hard to reach places.

Finally, the LISTERINE POCKETPAKS are the perfect on-the-go weapon against the germs that cause bad breath.

Just as we seek to instill healthy heroic habits in our families by providing solid nutrition, plenty of opportunities to stay active and ample rest, it's important to keep our smiles healthy too. So, as we strive to improve our dental hygiene in the coming months, here are the habits I'm hoping to instill in our family's routine:

  1. Brushing teeth at least twice daily, if not more. Hubby and I are already doing this, but the kids typically only brush at fail, right? I need to help them make brushing their teeth in the morning a priority also. They don't smell like sweet babies anymore and neither does their morning breath.
  2. Flossing every day...not just when we have something wedged between our teeth, or right before the dentist appointment.
  3. Use LISTERINE  mouthrinses to help prevent cavities and minimize stains.

Are you needing to revamp your dental hygiene routine too? You can find LISTERINE products at these locations. Also, check out their Youtube page featuring Healthy Habit Heroes!
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1 comment:

  1. Great tips! We have not had as much luck with the cavities and such here (I blame my husbands genes)...but my son did get much better when he got his braces - same sentiment as you expressed protect that investment! daughter...I keep working on her!


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