How to get your kid to brush, floss, rinse.

Not only is February my birthday month, it's also National Children's Dental Health Month.

"Kids! Think about all that Valentine's Day candy and what it's doing to your teeth!"

Kinda perfect that those two national holidays fall in the same month, eh? Since brushing teeth is more of a hobby for Luka, he certainly falls within the national statistic of missing 75% of your mouth when you brush. He is blowing the curve for everyone.

Which is why we had an intervention this week. And it's name is "The Listerine Healthy Habits Oral Care Challenge." I love phrasing sentences like a Junie B. Jones book.

Only here's the problem. I was unsure of my success recruiting willing participants. Ones I didn't have to threaten with sticker-chart removals or being sold to the circus.

Phineas and Ferb solved that problem for me. And it's name is "Phineas and Ferb Listerine Smart Rinse" and "Phineas and Ferb Reach Toothbrush". Thank God, once again, for cartoon characters. How would we motivate our children to do anything without them? And where were they when Quinn had to hold Luka down on his lap at the dentist's office to get his teeth cleaned?

I knew, and I suspect that secretly Luka knew, that oral care was of utmost importance and could no longer be put on the back-burner like replacing the water filters or filling out the tax forms.

"You want teeth when you grow up, right?"

"You can't eat Cheetos without teeth."

He nodded. Because that certainly makes sense, doesn't it? It helps to position your arguments with 5-yr-olds and use not having Cheetos as a consequence of something.

And magically, without a fuss, Luka discovered that brushing and rinsing, and especially spitting something blue, are fun. Even more magically, he's been doing it every night for a week. Without prompting.

"Mommy, I have to do my spit!"

"Mommy, we can't forget my spit!"

Take that, Oral Care Challenge. Now I must strategize dental floss.

Mommy's Wish List Disclosure: I was selected by Listerine, Reach, and Walmart to participate in this program thru The Motherhood. While I have been compensated for my participation in The Oral Care Challenge, my opinions are my own.

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