The Listerine 21 Day Challenge: More Smiles Across America

I happen to think that taking care of one’s teeth is very, very important. Not only do I have a storied dental history that includes lots of drama and adventure (I wrote about it here), but these days I get my teeth checked and cleaned every three months, alternating between my dentist and my periodontist. I love brushing my teeth and I do floss (thanks for asking).

One thing I’ve never gotten into the habit of using is mouthwash, for no reason other than laziness, really. That’s why, when The Motherhood asked me if I wanted to take part in the Listerine 21-Day Challenge AND also “by the way, did you know that brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth?”, I thought “Oh my gosh, I’d better do this!” As an added bonus, I get to tell YOU how you can help connect up to 210,000 children with needed oral health services this year. More on that in a minute.

Oral care has never really been an issue in this house. Both boys had braces, and I have been through multiple gum graft procedures, so we’ve always put an emphasis on taking care of our mouths. That’s probably also why, when I received a huge box of assorted Listerine products to use during this challenge, my eighteen-year-old son J sidled up to me and said, “Heeeey….what’s all of THAT for?? Are you gonna be needing all of that?” My kid is excited about mouthwash. Proud mom moment!

Adding a thirty-second Listerine rinse twice a day should be pretty easy for me. (I can do without one extra minute a day of goofing off on Facebook, you know?) It does take up to three weeks to develop a new habit, hence the 21 days in the challenge, and I’m going to make it easy for myself by leaving the bottle (I’ll be using the new Listerine UltraClean) on the counter next to my toothbrush. Listerine tells me that my gums will be up to five times healthier in two weeks and up to NINE times healthier in four weeks. I’ve got a periodontist appointment coming up so I’m pretty excited to be able to report back to you on what he says about my mouth after I’ve got a couple of weeks of rinsing under my belt.

Here are some interesting facts from the fact sheet that came with my products:
~ There are more germs in your mouth than there are people on earth. (EWWW.)
~ Oral disease is now the most chronic childhood illness in the United States.
~ Part of the problem is that as many as 130 million Americans lack dental insurance, including 15.4 million children.

It’s tragic, but we’re going to do something about that right now.

For every person who signs up for the challenge just like I am, the Listerine Brand will make a contribution to help Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America program toward their goal of connecting 210,000 children with needed oral health services in 2013. All you have to do to join in is visit the Listerine Facebook page and click on the “Listerine 21 Day Challenge” graphic just below the header. Sign up there by following the prompts, and decide whether you want to adopt a “pet mouth” to help keep you on track, if you only want reminders, or if you will trust yourself to remember your twice-daily rinses. You can even print out a coupon that will decrease the cost of your first bottle of mouthwash: BONUS!

So, what do you say? Are you in? Great oral health for you, more smiles for the kids out there…sounds like a win-win. Join me!

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 21 Day Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.