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.
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!