March 2, 2015

Listerine Oral Care Challenge

Disclosure: I received LISTERINE® Brand products and a Walgreens gift card 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 in this post are my own. I hope you will join me!

So, how was your Listerine 21-day challenge? I was surprised at the results my daughter and I experienced. I always thought I was a toothbrushing ninja, but I quickly realized I was not. For my daughter, I learned that nearing teen-hood brings with it new concerns. Together, though, we both emerged with better oral care routines and a newfound understanding of how something as simple as rinsing with Listerine after brushing can make a big difference.

As I mentioned, I’m facing gum surgery. It’s kind of scary to need such major dental surgery even though I take care of my teeth. Fortunately, my dental team has reassured me that sometimes these things happen to people who have good oral hygiene. Even so, I worry that it’s a hereditary thing that I’ll pass on to my daughter.

One of my doctors actually commended me for having such good oral hygiene. That was followed by a long discussion about how I don’t like the strong minty and alcohol flavors and it’s one of the reasons I don’t (well, didn’t) use an oral rinse. Thankfully, Listerine has a variety of products for everyone in the family. For me, it’s their Listerine Zero because it’s not as strong of a minty taste and is alcohol-free.

Listerine Challenge

One tip I want to share with you is one I learned years ago. Floss before you brush. Often we’re taught to brush then floss. However, I learned that by flossing first your toothpaste and dental rinse are more likely to get between your teeth because the food particles have been removed. I’ve been doing this for years and although it takes a little while to get used to the new order, you’ll notice the difference right away.

Since brushing alone misses about 75% of your mouth, add in once daily flossing and rinsing after brushing in the morning and evening and you’re sure to see the benefits after just a few days. It doesn’t matter if you floss in the morning or evening, so do what’s best for your schedule. And encourage your kids to floss and rinse as well. It’s such an important part of a life-long dedication to good oral hygiene.

We don’t spend a lot of time talking about dental care. It’s just assumed that we learn how to brush and floss and we do it because our mom said so when we were kids. However, proper dental care helps to prevent gum disease and other dental and oral health problems. It really does deserve a little more attention because those pearly whites really do a lot more than make us look good in all those selfies.

The week of March 1st, head over to Walgreens and pick up LISTERINE® Antiseptic (just $4.49!) and those cool flossers and some floss … Oh, wait, that’s just me and my buying of all the things. If you didn’t sign up for the Listerine 21-day challenge, it’s not too late. Seriously, good dental care is never too late. It’s a great gift to give yourself and your kids!

If you’re on Twitter, join the #Listerine chat on Tuesday March 3rd at 1pm ET and share your results or ask questions to help you get started on improving your dental care routine.



February 24, 2015

8 Words Texting and Driving

I am a member of the Online Mom Influencer Group. This post is part of a lifestyle experience of sharing about mobile technology.

I’ve watched so many texting and driving videos I could probably identify them from the opening image. For years we, adults, have been bombarded with the “don’t text and drive” message. It makes sense given the increase in texting-related accidents and fatalities that were seen in the early part of the decade. Something needed to be done to reduce these accidents.

As the second decade of the 2000s came around, parents found their teens asking for their own phone. A relatively new phenomenon at the time, many parents were not aware how their kids were using these new devices. The first iPhone was introduced in mid-2007. By 2010, this new smartphone device was the standard for teens and adults. For those who were new drivers, many spent a few years watching their parents text and drive.

Our kids learn from us. Fortunately for the majority of us, and our kids, there were few consequences. But then, kids started hearing about texting and driving awareness programs at school and in ad campaigns. Those advocacy groups knew if they could get to the kids they could get to the parents. I don’t blame them, I’d do the same thing too.

I can’t say that I was a texting and driving type, but there definitely were times when I did it. Luckily nothing ever happened. Well, other than a few honking horns because I didn’t see the light change or a fellow driver screaming at me while they drive next to me like a crazy person telling me not to text and drive.

But it took just 8 words from BabyGirl to forever change my decision about texting and driving. We were at a stop light and I picked up my phone because it had been making sounds indicating I had a text message. As I was reading the message, a little voice from the back seat said “Mommy, it scares me when you do that.Those 8 words were all it took to put down my phone and commit to not text and drive.

In our conversation, BabyGirl, while buckled in her car seat, explained that seeing me with my phone when I drive scares her and makes her nervous. That she worries. Ugh! Parenting guilt began to build and I promised her I’d never put her at risk. Then she asked about me. Would I put myself at risk? Of course not, or so I thought. Alone in the car I still think I’m in control, but we all know the truths about texting and driving.

Prior to that day I had watched a number of those horrific and scary texting while driving videos thinking it could never happen to me. I watched them and would recall those films about stopping on railroad track I watched in my driving class as a teen. Lots of flying glass, crunching metal, and blood. But just like I’d never get stuck on train tracks, I thought those ads were more of a scare tactic. But the reality of texting and driving? Oh, the intoxicating sound of a text notification or the phone ringing.

I feel lucky, though, because my 8 words didn’t involve a phone call telling me my husband was injured or dead. My 8 words were not a call to my husband telling him he was a widower or he’d be burying his child. My 8 words were a wake-up call that no awareness program or dramatic video could match. My child said that my texting and driving scared her. I was hurting my daughter.

Every day we make a number of choices, especially when we drive. As a parent, our actions are scrutinized by our kids. They learn from our actions, just as much, if not more than the words we speak. Many of us tell our kids one thing but we do the opposite. And, in a number of situations the “because we’re adults” is a good enough reason to justify the different treatment.

When it comes to texting and driving, though, nothing really justifies the different treatment. Although she doesn’t yet drive, when it comes time I can’t expect her to put down her phone and focus on her safety and the safety of her passengers if I’m not willing to make that same decision myself. I can’t show her a few videos and hope she realizes the risks posed by texting and driving if I’m watching those same videos with her and yet I’m not heeding their warnings.

In this ever-connected world and the constant fear of missing out on things, our smartphone are now able to help us by creating automated replies to text messages when we’re driving. No need for us to text that we’re driving and can’t text.  There are apps and built-in options from all the major carriers. And while there is bluetooth technology so we can talk hands-free while driving, anything that distracts us can be a problem.

It seems crazy that we can’t even drive 20 minutes without needing to pick up our phone to like something on Facebook, text someone something that most likely can wait, or just scroll through photos. I honestly can’t think of anything I need to do on my phone that can’t wait until I’m not driving. Can you?


Image Credit: Schmitee



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Disclosure: I received LISTERINE® Brand products and a Walgreens gift card 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 in this post are my own. I hope you will join me! My seemingly abnormal love of Listerine […]

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