Creating good oral hygiene habits only takes a few extra minutes a day. Try the #Listerine 21-Day Challenge -


There is no doubt that as an adult, I’m well aware of what is good for my health and what is not. Yet 21 days ago, I shared my concerns about oral hygiene then openly admitted my faults. Driven by a combination of exhaustion and laziness, I explained that I just didn’t make time to do some of the things I insisted my daughters do. Specifically, brushing, rinsing and flossing before bed.

As part of Listerine’s 21 day challenge, I vowed to make amends and brush, rinse and floss twice a day for 21 days. I was a little apprehensive but took it on with reservation. When nighttime falls, I just want to slip into bed… And in the chill of this horrible Iowa winter, the sooner I get sweatpants and pajamas on and crawl under the covers, the better. If I could tackle this challenge under these circumstances, I knew the odds would be in my favor beyond the 21 days.

Adding antiseptic rinse to your routine offers a lot of benefits and very little extra time. -

This Listerine 21-Day challenge included the use of Listerine’s whitening toothpaste. This scared me a bit because I’ve tried other brands of whitening products and the results have been less than ideal. Within just a few days of using other products, I had experienced extreme sensitivity. Let me tell you what I discovered regarding Listerine’s whitening products and other little tidbits:

  • Not all whitening products are the same. I used Listerine Whitening Toothpaste for the entire challenge and never once had sensitivity issues. Not once. With other whitening products, this has happened within a few days of beginning use.
  • My daughters used their rinse and did so consistently without me having to remind them. I think the fact there were a few flavors to choose from helped.
  • Brushing my teeth and using rinse helped minimize my nighttime snacking. Once my teeth were clean and I had the lingering minty taste in my mouth, I was easily able to talk myself out of eating or drinking anything except water. That’s a huge bonus for me in a few ways. (1) because I like to snack and (2) because normally I would grab anything ELSE to drink before wanting to grab a class of water.
  • When I woke up in the morning, I wasn’t embarrassed about my breath. While I don’t know whether it helps with normal “morning breath” I know it made a difference for me.
  • My teeth/mouth felt cleaner all day long, even after eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, at 5pm, I felt like it wasn’t that long ago that I had brushed and rinsed.
  • It doesn’t cost much to have the right tools. As an example, despite using them twice a day for 21 days, I barely made a dent in the toothpaste and the rinse is on target to last for a month. Coupons are readily available, too!
  • True confession time… I’m horrible about flossing and thought the challenge might make me a little more diligent. Unfortunately, it didn’t help as much as I had hoped. I own a Philips Sonicare AirFloss which the dentist has said I can add rinse to. I’ve done that in the past with fluoride rinse and now that the challenge is over, I’ll go back to doing that.

As a mom, I’m a master at multi-tasking. The biggest realization for me during this challenge is that I was able to do some of this while multi-tasking. I would brush my teeth like I normal – using a Sonicare that takes exactly 2 minutes – then I would put the rinse in my mouth. While I was swishing, I did something I have to do every night anyhow… take my contacts out. By the time I finished taking out my contacts, putting solution in the contact case, putting the case away and putting on my glasses, my “swish” time was done. The only added issue was the flossing which I already admitted was my weakness. The way I see it, this extra addition to my routine took no more than 3-4 minutes extra.

Is your health worth an extra 3-4 minutes a day? Mine is!

One last thing before you go, don’t forget to share your “Swish Selfie” on the Listerine Facebook page!

21 thoughts on “Smiling: 21 Days Later

  1. i am NOT 100% at doing nightly care but try to be. one thing that helps me is doing it when the kids do, with them.

  2. It took me a long time to get into the habit of flossing every day. I have to have a certain kind of flosser or I just can’t make myself want to do it. I tried all sorts of dental floss til I found my favorite.

  3. I so feel you on wanting to just get in to bed. I used to be horrible with flossing and over time have found myself getting better and better with it. Now I brush with my oldest each night; it so helps to show her good habits and make sure she’s making some of her own. And, I no longer worry about how anxious I am to crawl in to bed that I don’t take care of my teeth first.

  4. I slack off about oral health more than I should, mostly dentist visits. I love Listerine products, especially their toothpaste.

  5. Dental hygiene is so important to me and as well as my family. I already am establishing this with my toddler. We been using Listerine for years. Really nothing compares.

  6. My husband had a heart attack just over a year ago. There is lots of evidence to suggest that heart health and oral health are closely related. Needless to say, oral hygiene has been stepped up a notch around here. Listerine is a great product.

  7. It’s true just a few extra minutes really does make such a big difference. After the 21 day challenge I found my smile to be healthier.

  8. I bought Listerine this week after seeing everyone’s posts. I am challenging myself to the 21 day challenge to see if I can get better at using it.

  9. I’m very strict on the kids oral care and keep up with their daily brushing after breakfast lunch and dinner, keep regular dentist appointments but for me I tend to slack.. had very bad experience with dentists when I was little and I rather go in for a surgery any day then to visit a dentist, crazy I know.. BUT I do love Listerine and their products and they help me baby my teeth.. I did recently break a tooth and have an upcoming appointment that I thread… wish me luck until then Listerine is my favorite routine and will keep them along my side…

  10. Good post – I’m like you. I just had my 6 month check up on Monday and I got the “You need to Floss more!”. So true. I bought the stuff to do the 21 day challenge. You’ve inspired me to get to it and try it.

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