Smart Mom, Fresh Mouth #healthyhabits

by Migdalia Rivera


I’ve been told I have a smart mouth. In fact, my mamá/ mom stressed this while I was growing up! I can still hear her now, “¿Que tu te crees?! Siempre tienes una repuesta con esa boquita fresca.” [Translation: What do you think? You always have an answer with that fresh mouth!] See? She even sought out my opinion when I was a little girl!  Yup. I had, and still have, a smart, fresh mouth.

As a smart Mom, I make sure I stay up to date on technology. I keep abreast of the latest styles and trends, both online and off.  I monitor my children’s eating habits, try to make sure they get the recommended amount of sleep and a slew of other things. In my eyes, I was a very smart Mom.

However, recently when I joined the makers of LISTERINE® and REACH® in a chat that supports the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life.TM initiative, I discovered I wasn’t tan inteligente/so smart. In fact, I wasn’t nearly as smart as my mother used to tell me. Me quede con la boca abierta/ I was left with my mouth open and it wasn’t a pretty sight since you could see all my fillings!

Sadly, those fillings were cause by cavities that I could have easily avoided if I just would have known better. Although I’m not one of the 75% of American adults who suffer from gum disease, I am one of the few who believed that brushing alone would remove the germs from my mouth. I hate to admit it but I didn’t start flossing until my 20s. It just wasn’t something I was taught to do. Now I know better and so I’ve taught my boys the three steps.

  • Brush
  • Floss
  • Rinse

With children, its even more important to get them into the daily habit.  It will give them a life long habit that will benefit them in the long run. Brushing alone only removes 75% of germs. Worse, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 50% of children between the ages of 5-9 have a cavity or filling! Scary, huh?

According to Dr. John Dodes, DDS (general dentist), you can avoid issues by:

  • Cleaning the entire mouth.
  • Making sure you are brushing AND flossing correctly.
  • Avoiding sticky foods.
  • Going to the dentist at least twice a year.

In addition to the above, you should make sure you use products that will keep your mouth healthy. In my home we use Listerine.My sons don’t like the original Listerine flavor but I find they enjoy using the newer versions, like Listerine Total Care Zero and Listerine Smart Rinse. These do not have the original’s harsh alcohol taste. The Listerine Smart Rinse has fluoride, which is perfect for the tween, since we drink bottled water that does not contain fluoride. It also provides him with 12 hour cavity protection and strengthens their teeth!  The teen uses the Total Care Zero. It gives him total care, strengthens teeth, restores enamel, kills bad breath germs, cleans the whole mouth and no alcohol!

My sons don’t realize the significance of healthy teeth now, but I do.

A bright smile and healthy teeth can not only help them find a mate and job, it can also affect their health. Knowing this I need to make sure they get into the habit NOW because my Mom didn’t raise no fool. In fact, although I’m sure she wasn’t using it in the same context I am, she was right when she said I had a “boquita fresca” / fresh mouth!



To learn more about the American Heart Association’s My Heart. My Life.™ initiative, visit www.MyHeartMyLife.org.

To hear more about improving your oral care routine and see an educational message from professional snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler, visit www.Listerine.com. (Coming Soon!)

And shop smart for your oral care products at www.Walmart.com.

Disclosure: Latina On a Mission (“LOAM”) received products and compensation from Johnson & Johnson and The Motherhood as part of its participation in the Oral Care Challenge. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are ours. compensation

About the Author

Migdalia Rivera, also known as Ms. Latina in social media, is a single Latina mother of a teen, tween and 2 Australian Shepherds. When not blogging, or chasing after her energetic bunch, she connects influential bloggers with brands and PR agencies via her blogger network, Stiletto Media.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bicultural Mama February 23, 2012 at 10:53 pm

You have a great smile! I didn’t start flossing until I was an adult, mainly because I just didn’t know until then. For my DD, it’s different, we’ve already started her on floss (picks) and she’s not even 3 yet, but her dentist recommended it because she has tight teeth that easily can trap food.
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2 Divina February 26, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Every night we fight “bad guy” cavities but flossing ugh all of us have to do better for it. Thanks for the tips!
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