October 7, 2015

Listerine Your Mouth

Disclosure: I received several products from Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. and The Motherhood as part of my participation in this LISTERINE®” education program. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post, unless noted, are my own.

Parenting a tween or teen has many challenges. I spend quite a bit of time asking the same questions over and over. I know I’m not alone in this, too. It starts early with the reminders to wash hands, turn off lights, close doors.

You’d think by time they’re 10 or 11 they’d get tired of hearing us ask them these questions. But, the mind of a tween and young teen is so busy with other things the mundane and routine often gets overlooked. And at the same time their concern for how they look starts to take on more importance.

Listerine04My interest in oral hygiene began early with routine visits to the dentist, followed by braces, and over a decade wearing a retainer. Over the years I’ve met many people who don’t like to smile or hide their smile because they don’t like their teeth. I get that not everyone can get their teeth fixed. But, what shocked me were the results of the May 2015 “The Social Impact of Poor Oral Health” survey conducted by LISTERINE Brands on the social implications of poor oral health. I figured that poor oral hygiene has implications on a person’s overall health and that it could affect other aspects of their lives. But, the extent to which poor oral hygiene can impact not only general health and hygiene, but career and relationships made me realize my diligence for myself was a good thing and that all those ‘did you brush your teeth’ questions are important.

I remember seeing movies with British characters and there were always jokes about how bad their teeth were because they’re British. Maybe in that context it’s funny. But the reality is that more than 7 in 10 Americans believe having an unhealthy mouth can negatively impact one’s confidence giving a speech (75%), and more than 6 in 10 believe it can affect a person’s willingness to speak in a meeting (64%), and their ability to lead a meeting (61%)*. Add to that similar statistics about relationship success, smiling, kissing, or being close to someone when talking and it’s easy to understand why it’s so important to instill good oral care habits in our kids.

While we shouldn’t judge people on their oral hygiene, the truth is we do. If you’re in a job that has a great deal of face to face engagement, you can’t help but be aware of the other person’s teeth and breath. This goes way beyond the garlic chicken at lunch or the broccoli stuck between the teeth. Daily we make judgements about people based on their teeth and breath. And we do this to kids as well as adults.

Today it could be reputation suicide if a middle or high schooler took a toothbrush to school, but back when I was a teen I packed a toothbrush and religiously brushed my teeth after lunch. Even back then I knew I didn’t want to be that kid with bad breath or food stuck in her braces. The social implications were very real back in the 80s.

Years ago, CycleGuy worked with one of the leading Periodontists in the country. I learned so much about the importance of good oral hygiene as we age. Oral health impacts the foods we can eat, our nutrition, and our weight and health. Many of us take this for granted because we brush and floss daily. But for those who don’t, it’s not just the bad breath or the discolored teeth. And while some dental issues are genetic, it’s all those times we were asked ‘Did you brush your teeth?’ and ‘Did you floss?’ that help us throughout our adult life.

So while my daughter rolls her eyes at me when I ask, I’ll continue to ask if she’s brushed her teeth and flossed. I’ll continue our family’s check-up schedule and we’ll keep using our Listerine Brand mouth rinse. BabyGirl began her dentist visits when she was about 6 months old. Sure, she was there because I was. But the dentist took a peek at her tiny tooth peeking through and encouraged me to keep wiping her gums and then begin brushing her lone tooth once it came in. She’s never been afraid of the dentist. We shouldn’t be afraid of the dentist.

Starting good oral care habits early make it easier as the kids get older. We always have an array of toothbrushes on hand because a worn out toothbrush is quite harmful to the teeth and gums. I buy Listerine mouth rinse in different flavors so we don’t get bored and forget to use it. And I have a number of different types of dental floss because we all have our favorites. Why? Because brushing alone misses 75% of your mouth.

If you’re interested in learning more or want to share your parenting success with getting your kids to brush and floss, I’ll be participating with the Motherhood and LISTERINE Brand in a 1-hour Twitter party on Tuesday, October 27th at 12 p.m. ET (9 a.m. PT). During the party, we’ll discuss the social and health impact of oral health care.

LISTERINE Brand is dedicated to spreading the word about the importance of oral hygiene and have pledged to use social media to help spread the word. From now until December 1, 2015, use of the hashtag #LISTERINE (whether during the Twitter party, in blog posts, or additional social promotion) will trigger a $10 donation, up to $40,000, to support Oral Health America’s Fall for Smiles campaign to educate communities about the importance of proper oral care.

I hope you’ll join me in making a difference for our families and others. Because we all have a lot to smile about!

* LISTERINE Brand’s “The Social Impact of Poor Oral Health” Survey, GFK, May 2015



September 24, 2015

Recover Restrictions Passcode

I am a member of the Verizon Influencer team. While I am sharing this post as part of my relationship with The Online Mom and Verizon, these are solely my thoughts and opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Online Mom Media or Verizon.

Shortly after updating my iPhone to iOS 9 I wanted to remove a few apps. Only I couldn’t. Not because I didn’t know how. Removing apps is pretty easy. That is, if you don’t have a Restrictions Passcode set on your phone. Or, if you do that you remember the Restrictions Passcode.

To access Restrictions, go to Settings > General > Restrictions.

What is the Restrictions Passcode? By default, Restrictions is disabled. If it is enabled, for all iOS devices it is a 4-digit number that is something akin to Parental Controls. If Restrictions are enabled you need this 4-digit number to allow you to do things, like make in-app purchases, disable apps or features of the device, prevent download of movies with certain ratings. So, your typical Parental Control features. But since it’s more than just a way for parents to control what their kids see or use, Apple changed it to Restrictions.

But what if you don’t remember setting up Restrictions? What if you don’t remember that 4-digit number? Or, in my case, what if the iOS update caused a glitch and now Restrictions thinks it’s enabled? So, thinking may be I did set up a Restrictions Passcode I entered what I thought it would be. First failed attempt. Well, let’s try another. Then another. Then another. 19 failed attempts and now I’m locked out of my phone for 543 minutes! Fun times.

After searching and reading, and reading and searching, all I could find was that I’d have to do a factory reset on my iPhone. Right. Erase everything on my phone and pretend I just got it. Well, if that’s what it would take I guess that’s what I had to do. And since I had just backed up my phone the day before at least I had something that would restore my device to pretty much the same place.

But as I kept reading I found out that if I were to do a backup, it’s likely that the Restrictions feature would still be enabled with this unknown Passcode since the backup is after the iOS update. Sigh! By this time I’d spent over 3 hours trying to figure this out. And now I’m going to explain to you how to do it in about 30 minutes.

How To Retrieve Your iOS Restrictions Passcode Without Resetting Your Device

1. Backup your phone.Backup Screen


2. Download the iPhone Backup Extractor.

3. Open iPhone Backup Extractor, Click Read Backups in lower left.

iPhone Backup Extractor

4. In the new window select the backup you want. Likely it’s the top one since you just did a backup. Click Choose.

Choose Device

5. Now, scroll all the way down to iOS Files. Click Extract. I saved the file to my Desktop so it would be easy to find. Save it somewhere easy for your to find it in the next steps. Depending on how much stuff is on your phone it could take up to an hour to extract all the files from the backup.

Choose iOS Files

6. Once the files are extracted, go to the file. You’re looking for Library > Preferences > com.apple.restrictionspassword.plist

Restriction Password

7. Right click on com.apple.restrictionspassword.plist and open with Text Editor.

Open Restriction with Text Editor

8. In text editor, you’re looking for RestrictionsPasswordKey and RestrictionsPasswordSalt. Under each one you’ll see random letters and numbers.

Restriction Password File

9. Open the iOS Restrictions Passcode Cracker website.

Restrictions Passcode Cracker

10. Enter the string of numbers for RestrictionsPasswordKey and RestrictionsPasswordSalt. Cut them from the Text Editor and paste them into the Passcode Cracker website so you know they’re correct.

11. Now click “Search for Code” and let it do its thing. Depending on the number it’s looking for it could take awhile.

12. Once the number is found, enter that number on your device for the Restrictions Passcode and it should unlock the device.

It took me hours to figure this out, so I hope you find this and are able to get your passcode easily and open your Resrictions. Now you don’t have to restore your phone to factory settings and hope your backup won’t override the default and set the Restrictions Passcode again. Let me know how it worked, ok?





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