#HealthyHabits Results and $100 Gift Card Giveaway


Listerine Total Care Zero is easier for me to use, due to no alcohol

It’s been three weeks since my family and I started the LISTERINE® and REACH® Healthy Habits for a Lifetime Oral Care Challenge.  We were pretty clueless when we first got started. You can check out some of my misconceptions about oral health care.

Basically, in this challenge, every member of my family brushed, flossed, and rinsed at least twice a day. My kids now love rinsing, which they call “doing swishies.”

The biggest thing that I learned by doing this challenge is that it only takes a few minutes to take care of myself. I was good at making my kids brush their teeth before(though not flossing or rinsing) but when it came to me, I was too busy rushing around to take a few minutes to take care of my teeth.

And that’s just ridiculous. It really is only a few minutes out of my day. And now I brush, floss, and rinse right alongside my kids: best way to get your kids into a good habit is to model it! And after these three weeks, it’s a habit for us. So, even if I’m exhausted after getting home from soccer and try to rush the bedtime routine, my boys will say “Mo-om, we can’t go to bed yet, we didn’t do swishies!”

You can check out more about this Healthy Habit challenge and get oral health care tips for you and for your kids, as well as links to buy Listerine and Reach products by visiting this page on Walmart.com.


Want to try this challenge and be on your way to creating Healthy Habits?

Giveaway: One winner will receive LISTERINE® and REACH® product samples to step-up your oral care routine and a $100 Walmart gift card to continue the healthy habit.

No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia, Eighteen (18) years of age or older. Sweepstakes end March 30, 2012(entries will close at 9pm ET March 26th to allow time to contact winner. Winner will have 48 hours to responde or a new winner will be selected). Prize(s) provided by Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Products, a division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. Void where prohibited. See Official Rules for complete details.  

To enter(mandatory entry): Leave a comment sharing one tip for how you encourage your family to engage in healthy oral care habits.

Want an additional entry? Sign up for email updates to Things I Can’t Say (right in the sidebar) and confirm your subscription. Leave an additional comment telling me you’ve done this.


This is a sponsored post through TheMotherhood.com though all 0pinions and newly formed dental habits are my own.

This giveaway is now closed and the winner is Leigh(@hinessightblog).


  1. kristen m says

    I encourage my family by keeping us regular on going to the dentist and making sure we always have floss/mouth wash and all the other essentials on hand!
    blue65829 at aol dot com

  2. Brittany W says

    I don’t know if this is a tip or not, but flossing and rinsing isn’t a chore. A lot of people skip over it, but try to think about those who get cavities or have very badly stained teeth – that’s my motivation to have good oral hygiene. Beautiful and healthy teeth and mouth is important to me. And if people don’t want to floss they can use the water pik, that tool is really fun to use!

  3. Kristi B says

    I buy a fun toothbrush (Pooh Bear, Looney Tunes, etc). That seems to make it more fun.

  4. steph says

    I’ve started making my own toothpaste. I don’t have to worry about what we’re putting in our mouths and customize the taste to suit what we like.

  5. denise says

    I have twin grandsons 18 months old, I watch them 2 overnights a week and my son was brushing his teeth in front of them and now they both want to brush their teeth, they wanted a toothbrush right away and they got the hang of it immediately.

  6. Belinda Shaw says

    My family goes to the dentist regularly and brushes, flosses and rinses several times a day.

  7. avis says

    I put brushing my teeth on a list on the frig. No matter what I’m doing at the end of the night I’m always in the frig. so that’s why I remember to brush after the last meal, I use one of those erase boards.

  8. corie says

    I have very good teeth, but finances have caused me to not be able to go to the dentist, that’s why I remember to brush and floss.

  9. j chris says

    I brush at least twice a day, have always done that, I would rather do that than have to get something done at the dentist.

  10. jeremy says

    Brush every day, have 2 sons who I want to get into the habit as early as possible, they mimic me so I don’t think it will be a problem getting them to brush.

  11. Leanne M says

    We visit the dentist regularly and I always warn the kids of the Sugar Bugs eating their teeth.

  12. Rebecca F says

    i tell my kiddos that to brush their teeth or their teeth will fall out :)  thats encouraging right?? :)

  13. Pat Cipolla says

    As soon as we get up and before going to bed, I encourage everyone to brush & use mouthwash

  14. Jessica Cote says

    I buy them toothbrushes with their favorite character. Yes I know they work just the same as the cheaper ones but if it helps I’m willing to pay more!

  15. says

    Start by choosing favorite color of toothbrush then making it part of the routine. I totally agree that you have to be part of the routine and modeling the behavior to get the buy-in for it.
    Brook recently posted..PINspiration Weekend!My Profile

  16. says

    We aren’t great at brushing our teeth although we are trying to do better now. I agree with the modeling part. The little ones prefer brushing with me.
    momof12 recently posted..Going SoloMy Profile

  17. brandy g. says

    We keep regular appointments with the dentist for cleanings and we always brush before we go to bed and when we get up in the morning.

  18. Krystal R says

    When my son was younger, I encouraged him by allowing him to choose his toothbrushes and flavors of toothpaste. he has great habits nowQ

  19. Mami2jcn says

    My kids get excited about oral hygiene when they get to pick out their own toothbrushes and toothpaste.  

  20. says

    I am your newest email suscriber.
    My son knew that every after meal, he should brush his teeth (except when he’s at school). And every time he eats sweets/chocolates. He doesn’t like the thought that he’ll have brown teeth:)
    pearl recently posted..It’s a Beautiful Saturday!My Profile

  21. Margaret Smith says

    We set an example for our children. We remind them both morning and night to brush and often we watch them to make sure they are doing it right.
    Thanks so much for this wonderful giveaway.

  22. Nicole Leonard says

    My son is one. I brush my teeth in front of him so he can see something that mommy does that he will want to do as well. I purchased a winnie the pooh toothbrush for him that I use to brush his teeth. Sometimes he gets fussy when I try to brush his teeth. I will continue to keep it up though because I want him to have good oral care. He also sees Mommy and Daddy using the regular flavor Listerine before we brush. Although what he actually see is us making silly bubble faces!

  23. Jaque R. says

    Out of frustration, I bought a two minute hour glass timer….brightly colored.  Now when my children brush their teeth I turn the timer upside down and they are fascinated by the sand slowing moving through the glass.  Now they brush until the the sand is finished flowing…visuals always work with my children. :-) Thank you.

  24. Susan Smith says

    I let my kids pick out their own toothpaste. They brush twice a day and go to the dentist twice a year.

  25. Melody Counts says

    I sing a tooth brushing song from the Sprout channel to my toddler daughter to make it fun for us to brush her teeth.

  26. Dee says

    Letting them have a decision in the process — even as simple as toothpaste flavor or bath soap scent can help! :)

  27. Jenny says

    I think picking out a good dentist who is great with kids is a good start to them learning that dental care is important

  28. Kelly Nicholson says

    Leave a comment sharing one tip for how you encourage your family to engage in healthy oral care habits.

    brush often and floss..do it now!!

  29. says

    I let my daughter pick out her own toothbrush.

    I have also told her that she only has the one set of teeth and if she doesn’t take care of them they will fall out.  Maybe I shouldn’t use scare tactics but it seems to work. . .  Soooo whatever works, right?
    Stasha recently posted..Ten Thought Tuesday: I Am My Own RockMy Profile

  30. Jack Palmer says

    My children all get regular dentest visits, I tell them to brush after every meal and get them new dental tools on a regular basis.

  31. Janice Cooper says

    Brushing twice a day- morning and night and regularly buying new toothbrushes at least every 3 months.

  32. Jessie C. says

    DDs are always happy to pick up their own brushes and flavor toothpastes.  This is one way I encourage them to  engage in healthy oral care habits.

  33. Cynthia C says

    Knowing that good oral hygiene is related to general good health is a great motivation.

  34. says

    My kids love brushing their teeth, so I basically just encourage them and “help” a little at the end. If they protest, I let them “help” me, too :) We haven’t attempted “swishies” yet!
    angela recently posted..Cold, Cold Go AwayMy Profile

  35. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I agree with you that modelling is the best approach.  When mine was little, I simply announced that it was time for teeth and brushed with him.

  36. carol lewis says

    We limit sugary foods because those things are not healthy and you can just feel the plaque they leave on your teeth which is gross!

  37. says

    I am pretty alert to what condition everyone’s brushes are in. I try to keep a few back ups around. And change them sooner than recommended if I feel there is a need.

    I read somewhere that no matter what you spend on dental care, it is cheaper than losing your teeth (or trying to save one that’s going bad).
    Maggie S. recently posted..Blissdom Blow UpMy Profile

  38. Michelle H. says

    I have a timer in the bathroom that I set for my daughter; she has to brush until the timer goes off and then she can be done.   I vary the time between a minute and two minutes because she’s little now and has a short attention span but we do it at least after every meal and before bed. I have horrible teeth and I want to make sure she keeps hers clean and problem-free as long as possible.

  39. Ann F says

    We let our daughter pick out her own toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash flavors so she is exited to brush her teeth.

  40. DeeAnn S says

    I always let the kiddos pick out their own tooth brush and tooth paste. That way they’ll use what they like. Thanks.

  41. Amanda says

    Instead of nagging them about it, we create a fun-time about it. The first one to do it gets to pick what we have for dinner that night.

  42. says

    Since my daughter’s really too young to understand what oral hygiene is all about, but is fascinated with everything I do, I just sit her in her walker while I’m flossing and brushing. She loves watching momma and when I use the little rubber tooth cleaner on her gums she loves it. I also schedule regular dental check-ups for me and the hubs.
    The Anecdotal Baby recently posted..Will You Have The Tools?My Profile

  43. Susan Ladd says

    Good good oral hygiene helps my family to stay in good health by brushing there teeth, getting good dentist check up. I want to thank you for this awesome sweep and hope to win :)

  44. Amber says

    Usually if we all brush at the same time, or one after the other, its a good reminder to do a good job brushing. We also opt for fun colored brushes and flavored pastes!

  45. Pat R says

    I set a timer on the bathroom sink and encourage the grandchildren to brush until they hear the bell.

  46. Kim Burmeister says

    We have good habits, but there are times when our boys complain about brushing.  We always ask them if they want “witchy” teeth.  This means yellow and gross.  For some reason that gets them to brush.

  47. CATHY TRUMAN says

    You need to visit the dentist twice a year and brush your teeth 2 to 3 times a day



  48. Sarah Hirsch says

    i don’t do anything out of the ordinary, just make sure my kids brush their teeth every morning and every night

  49. Heidi Gail says

    I talk about going to the dentist with my kids. I brush my younger grandkids teeth when they come over to spend the night.

  50. Patrice says

    We encourage our family to have good oral habits by reminding them that they may get cavities and have to go to the dentist to have their teeth worked on if they don’t keep them nice and clean.

  51. says

    We brush together every night and I am working to get my daughter to brush every morning, because it’s so easy for her to get caught up in starting her day and forgetting. SHe’s really good, though, she flosses, even though I rarely do. Whoops! She’s teaching me, I guess. :)
    Andrea recently posted..Am I a blogger?My Profile

  52. Stephanie V. says

    The kids have a monthly contest with a chart for morning/evening brushing and flossing. If they don’t miss one time they get a prize!

  53. ashley prentice says

    We all brush our teeth as a family to make sure it gets done every night and morning

  54. Cindy Merrill says

    Our family is trying to lose those extra winter pounds-, so we brush our teeith and use mouth rinse after meals-: we don’t snack between meals anymore, and our gums and teeth are healthier too!

  55. tina says

    Our dentist puts up pictures of the kids who didn’t have any cavities. My kids love having their picture up in the office for their friends to see, so if there’s ever and argument, I just remind them of that.

  56. Amy Zachek says

    You can encourage your family by making brushing fun. For example, have a one-song dance party for the whole family when everyone’s brushing!

  57. Aubrey says

    I have my children pick out fun toothbrushes so they can get excited about brushing their teeth.
    family74014 at gmail dot com

  58. says

    I encourage by setting his toothbrush in plain site each night for him to see and use in the morning – still during the teen years!

  59. Teresa D says

    I bought my son a Mickey Mouse Toothbrush that flashes so he knows when mickey stops lighting up he is done brushing his teeth.

  60. Meaghan F. says

    We don’t have dental insurance, so we try to take very good care of our teeth so we don’t have to shell out a lot of money. Miss_slytherin[at]live[dot]com

  61. Debra F says

    We set good examples for our children by practicing good oral hygiene ourselves, and we always make sure that regular dentist visits are a priority.

  62. Jessica F says

    We make sure to set a good example by brushing and flossing almost too often so that they’ll follow!

  63. Angie says

    My boys love swishing and spitting – probably b/c they love it when I encourage swishing! We use a timer to make sure they aren’t just brushing for 10 seconds!

  64. Jen says

    my son and I have tooth brushing compititions, to see who can brush the longest (cut off time is 2 minutes) and who can brush the best. he likes a challange so it makes him want to brush better

  65. Carolyn G says

    I make sure I have the right stuff for them to use and I make it easier for them to have good oral hygeine

  66. Monica Smith says

    Thomas the train on the tooth brush… That’s all they need to get excited about it!

  67. ky2here says

    There’s only one way to do this – by setting the example. It’s so hypocritical to tell them it’s important if I don’t do it myself.

  68. Cecelia says

    I just start early. Make it a part of their routine when they are young, so it becomes automatic.

  69. Kathryn C. says

    I tell my children a healthy mouth means less trips to the dentist. Flossing regularly and brushing at a minimum of twice a day will keep them from going to the dentist more than two times a year check ups. Thanks for the giveaway!

    katbirdfl (at) gmail (dot) com

  70. Jennifer says

    My kids have fun picking out their toothbrushes and my two year old loves his battery op sponge bob brush.

  71. courtney b says

    we put a timer in the bathroom and make sure everyone brushes their teeth for at least 5 minutes!

  72. Stacey B says

    I encourage my family by reminding them that the better car they take of their teeth, the less they have to see the dentist.

  73. s riches says

    We let the kids choose their toothbrushes at the store and every month we have a changing of the toothbrush ceremony.

  74. Marcia Goss says

    Buy products that taste good so that the kids will actually want to brush and rinse. Also, make it part of the bedtime routine.

  75. Suzanne K says

    I make sure we’ve got good toothbrushes, paste everyone likes, floss, and regular checkups as well as making sure everyone brushes.

  76. Nicole Larsen says

    I make sure we all go to the dentist every 6 months. I also help my 4 yr old daughter brush every night and make sure I explain why it’s so important!

  77. ferriz says

    i try and set an example and hope they follow. i had some cavities filled recently so that scared them straight a bit.

  78. Geoff K says

    We try to make brushing and flossing a fun part of our morning and evening ritual by doing it all at the same time, singing songs, and buying colorful brushes and toothpaste that the kids get a kick out of. Thanks!

  79. SHANNA says


  80. Tiffany Salvia says

    We encourage it by making teeth brushing a family event. We all go together when we can. It makes it much more enjoyable for my son. 

  81. Christina Sparks says

    The kids have the character brushes that vibrate and they love this. Plus, I let them pick up their own toothpaste. They brush in the morning and before bed.

  82. lisa brown says

    To encourage brushing, give them great tasting toothpastes and fun colorful toothbrushes. Brush with them to show them brushing is no big deal and a good thing to do.

  83. KIM CRAWFORD says


  84. Diane Baum says

    We go to the dentist twic year, sing songs when we brush to make sure we brush long enough and encourage flossing and healthy food choices

  85. a marie hj saver says

    Using the toothpaste that shows your plaque is a good motivator.

    a marie hj saver

  86. Jackie says

    hubby and i brush our 2 year olds teeth.. she isn’t old enough to do a ‘good’ job… and we want to make sure her pearls stay white

  87. Heather Garcia says

    We know if you dont take care of our teeth we have to go see the tooth fairy (which is what my son calls the dentist)

  88. says

    I can’t believe I am going to admit this but I use my grandma as a reason for my kids to take better care of her teeth. At age 82 she refuses to brush her teeth unless you force her to do it. The kids hate giving her kisses because her breath smells so bad. I always tell my kids that they better brush their teeth or they will have Grandma J teeth and that seems to do the job. I feel like a horrible person doing it, but if it helps them brush it is what I have to do!
    Jayme (The Random Blogette) recently posted..“Diet” Is A Bad WordMy Profile

  89. SYLVIE W says

    I don’t encourage them.  It is just something that must be done, like showering and eating.

  90. tamar says

    We make brushing teeth a fun family affair with the kiddo so he appreciates the value of it.

  91. R Hicks says

    WE take care of our teeth just fine.  For the kids, we have the character type toothbrushes and toothpaste for kids.  For the most part they do well

    brich22 at earthlink dot net

  92. Claire says

    We play songs that are as long as you’re supposed to brush for to make it more fun.

  93. Melanie says

    We take our kids to the dentist and remind them to brush their teeth morning and night.

  94. Alisha L. says

    I try to make brushing as fun as I can for my son, I make silly faces, sing to him, anything to make it entertaining and make it something he wants to do :)

    bakergurl02 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  95. Debbie C says

    When it comes to kids and dental care, trust but verify. Check the toothbrush, check the sink for a glob of clearly unused toothpaste and check their teeth.

  96. mistysunrise says

    sub by email from heartsnflowers72 at gmail.com

    if I win please email me at

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  97. Lisa says

    My daughter loves going to the denist because they make it fun for her. She also gets to pick her toothbrushes.

  98. julieh says

    I encourage healthy oral habits in my kids by making brushing and flossing a fun event.  We all do it together, and sing a silly song while we are doing it.  They have fun taking care of their teeth!

  99. Angela W says

    I let them pick out their toothpaste and toothbrushes, it makes brushing their teeth more fun, thanks for the chance

  100. Shawn says

    I try to have a variety of flavors and products on hand that I know members of my family like.


  101. mary renshaw says

    We just have brushing as part of our morning and evening routine!!! Kids pick there own tooth brushes and there own tooth paste =:)

  102. mary gardner says

    they get to pick out the toothbrushes that they like and they have a cute timer to use when brushing

    marygardner49 at aol dot com

  103. says

    It helps to have a toothbrushing timer so that kids realize how their 2 minute brushing time should be!
    Flavoured floss can bring more floss appeal too. I always give new toothbrushes as gifts like stocking stuffers and in Easter baskets.

  104. Amanda Tinney says

    We all go by age and take turns brushing out teeth and flossing. Youngest 1st and then up from there. everyone knows when it is their turn

  105. Nicole Vosburgh says

    Brushing teeth in our house is a must.  My 19 month old doesn’t like the process so much, but I make sure he gets a good teeth scrubbing every night :)

  106. rebecca says

    we have a bunch of different brands of toothpaste in the house. if we feel like switching it up a bit we try another tube. keeps things a little exciting. :)

  107. Laurie Emerson says

    My 3 year old daughter and I use brushing time as a kind of together time. We brush together and giggle while doing it. I want to make oral health fun for her so that these memories will make her want to always take care of her teeth. My 8 month old has his first tooth so I am starting to brush it with a baby tooth brush which he thinks is so funny.
    lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

  108. Valerie Taylor Mabrey says

    I tell them no one will want to kiss them if they don’t take care of their mouth and teeth.

    vmkids3 at msn dot com

  109. JoAnn F. says

    My 1 year old grandson loves to brush his teeth. Its never a struggle with him and hope it continues.
    jofo120 at yahoo dot com

  110. Tiffany Salvia says

    We try to make teeth brushing time a family event and all go together. It makes it much more fun for my son when there are other people in there brushing their teeth as well.

  111. Patricia Correll says

    We began brushing my son’s teeth as soon as he had one, so it’s habit now for him.

  112. Danielle says

    Regular dentist visits, brush and floss teeth every day. My parents were always big on teeth and so I have passed that along to my children.

  113. Kim Smith says

    We just have always encouraged brushing at bed time and it has become their routine

  114. Kathleen Conner says

    I talk about how strong teeth are, and how nice it is to have healthy teeth and gums for your entire life.

  115. Beverly M says

    I’ve told my children it’s important to keep your teeth clean, to avoid cavities and we always brush twice a day. Thanks for the contest!

  116. carol lewis says

    We really try to eat well and do not buy cookies and soda, things like that. Floss and brush twice a day.

  117. Stephanie A says

    I make sure and ask them to brush their teeth and check in with them to see that they’ve brushed their teeth at night so that they can get into a habit.

  118. Sylvia says

    We try to eat healthy and brush our teeth at least twice a day; regular dentist visits help too!

  119. Jen R says

    We visit the dentist regularly as a family and we brush our teeth twice daily, sometimes all together.  

  120. Debbie Hogue says

    Get good tasting toothpaste for the younger children and flavoured flosspicks and a 2 minute timer for brushing their teeth.

  121. Tara O. says

    My son and I brush our teeth together and practice spitting in the sink, which he thinks is hilarious.

  122. brian e. says

    Thanks for the giveaway…we let the kids choose their toothbrushes / toothpastes when we shop; also we use an egg timer so the kids learn to take the time to brush throughly !

    senorpiero [at] yahoo [dot] com

  123. tracey byram says

    I photoshopped pictures of the kids with rotten or missing teeth. They don’t want to look like that.

  124. Crystal F says

    I let them pick out their own toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash. This way it makes it a little more fun for them. I think that if they like what they are using they won’t complain as much about using it. lol thank you!

  125. Tiffany Hearn says

    I have the kids choose their own toothpaste and brushes as well. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  126. Julie says

    keep it fun and not where they “dread” it I let them pick out their tooth brushes and toothpaste

  127. Carrie says

    We make it a fun trip to pick out new toothbrushes and toothpaste avery few weeks. My kids love picking out their own toothbrush and toothpaste

  128. sarah says

    I let my kids pick out there own toothbrushes and toothpaste, if they have what they like they are better at keeping up on good habits!!

  129. Angela H says

    I buy my daughter fun toothpaste and toothbrushes.  I also always tell her how important it is to take care of her teeth.

    thisisme79 @ gmail dot com

  130. Diane W says

    I keep plenty of mouthcare product in my stockpile so there is always something for everyone in the family.

  131. Michelle Tucker says

    I remind them how important it is to have a healthy brushed mouth. That it makes those smiles that much brighter.

    michedt at yahoo dot com

  132. KIM CRAWFORD says


  133. Melanie Montgomery says

    My husband and I lead by example! We brush our teeth together at night as a family.

  134. Jared Roberts says

    My wife and I remind each other that when we have kids we want them to follow our good example of good oral hygiene so we need to make that a habit now! Thanks for doing this giveaway! 

  135. Lisa Garner says

    I try to keep my children to keep good oral hygiene habits by brushing with them to encourage them to brush longer.
    lisalmg25 at gmail dot com

  136. AEKZ2 says

    I encourage my family by telling them the truth– if they don’t brush and floss their teeth, they’ll get cavities.

  137. Candice Hull says

    We brush as a family and make funny faces at each other while we are doing it. I have 4 yr old and 18 mo boys, so they love being goofy and getting to spit lol

  138. Tammy Greer says

    I make it a “must” to brush their teeth in the morning, and before bed every night, including brushing their tongue.

  139. kathy pease says

    we go to the dentist twice a year and each person has an electric tooth brush they love to use those

  140. rosey says

    we all brush right after dinner. It is something the family remembers because it’s consistent, and it lets them know how important taking care of your teeth really is to us.

  141. Melissa says

    I help my little ones brush their teeth. When it’s my turn to finish brushing them, I tell them I am going to “tickle their teeth”, which they think is fun and funny, so they cooperate with me.

  142. Vicki D. says

    The best way is to go in the bathroom, start brushing your teeth, and say “Now, let’s all brush our teeth together.”

  143. Becky Grayson says

    I recently bought the kids toothbrushes that they could decorate themselves. They all LOVE them and I no longer have to remind them over and over to brush their teeth.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!