Last Spring, Jayden and I participated in the Oral Care Challenge with Listerine and The Motherhood and it has been one of the best things we’ve done. It made me more conscious about rinsing with mouthwash, something I did not do on a regular and it introduced Jayden to rinsing at the age of 3. On the first day of the challenge, I remember teaching Jayden how to rinse with Smart Rinse and he grasped the concept quickly. The first time Greg saw him rinsing was monumental. A reenactment shall we?
Me: Come look.
Greg: How does he know not to swallow it?
Me: Um, I told him not to.
Greg: I’ve never seen him do this before! Look at our little guy!
We stared at him through the entire rinse like he was an exhibit. It was so intriguing watching our
baby big boy swoosh away.
Since then, Jayden has been enthusiastic about brushing and rinsing, but one area that we need to improve in is flossing… and brushing before bedtime. We recently took him to the dentist and everything looked great. He had a tiny bit of plaque and was encouraged to floss, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on as we join in on another oral care challenge dubbed the Sweet Smart Challenge.
In a recent briefing I attended, I learned some alarming stats about children’s oral health in America. Oral disease has become the #1 chronic childhood disease. Oral disease can lead to serious illnesses which affects a child’s overall well-being. A child in pain is obviously unable to eat nutritious meals that are important for their growth and development.
- 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
In 2011 alone, over 50,000 kids received critical oral health services (screenings, fluoride treatments, cleanings, sealants, restorative services) through America’s ToothFairy. These stats baffle and sadden me. As parents, we have got to make more of an effort towards preventative measures.
Aside from practicing good oral hygiene, we’ve been selective with Jayden’s diet, avoiding things that will get stuck in or damage his teeth. He has developed discipline when it comes to the common things that are supposed to “entice” kids like candy, juice, and sweets. He barely licks the icing off cake!
The dentist is anti-juice and that is one thing we’ve been stingy with before even taking him to the dentist. As an infant, he drank water in his sippies. Juice is more of a treat and we buy it every once and a while. And the juices we choose to buy contain both fruits and vegetables with no added sugars. His drink of choice is “cold water” and he loves it. It makes me proud because I drank/ate some of everything growing up aaaand I ended up with a lot of cavities.
I am ecstatic to be taking the Sweet Smart Challenge by teaching Jayden healthy habits and using my blog as an avenue to promote them. I will be posting an update on our progress next month. See you then :-).
I received products and compensation from Johnson & Johnson and The Motherhood as part of my participation in the Sweet Smart Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are my own.