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I wish that someone would have told me just how challenging living with tween boys can be! They are at the age where they’re learning more about their bodies and unique personalities. Unfortunately, that can cause a bit of a challenge when it comes to helping them get into a solid dental hygiene routine.
This is especially true when school is on hiatus. Those ‘lazy, hazy’ days of summer can spell big trouble as the school day routine is replaced with the flexibility and freedom to do – or not do – what they choose. It can be tough to get tween boys to understand that just because you’re only hanging out indoors, in the backyard, or at the pool for the day doesn’t mean there’s no need to do the ‘usual’ daily rituals.
So how can parents get their tween sons on board with being consistent performing summer dental hygiene without being met with offensiveness or the dreaded “No!” being yelled out as they turn away in anger?
The answer is that it is all in the approach. Getting tween boys to stay on top of their summer dental hygiene may take some doing – but it can definitely be done! Below are some of the dos and don’ts you’ll want to follow to get your tween son on board with ‘team hygiene’ this summer.
DO Make a Daily Hygiene Chart
Let’s face it: kids love charts! Having a colorful, handy chart is a great way to get tween boys actively engaged in staying in track with their daily hygiene during the summer months. Extend an invitation to them to help create it by adding their favorite colors and themed characters.
DO Make Daily Hygiene Creative, Fun and Rewarding
Dental hygiene can seem boring to tween boys – they’d much rather be playing a video game or running through the sprinkler than standing in the bathroom. Adding creativity and fun to the task can help give them look forward to doing it every day. Add fun by giving them some hygiene tools especially for them that add little flavor to the mix – literally!
Character voices, memorable movie quotes, flashing lights and lightsaber sound effects are things that appeal to kids. That’s why the folks at Firefly® (the leader in children’s oral care solutions) has recently expanded its line of toothbrushes to include even more fun characters and products that are ADA-approved and offer Good. Clean. Fun. at an affordable price point.
DO Give Consistent Encouragement and Positive Reinforcement
Kids usually view summer as total freedom from everything related to school and the daily routine, so it may be hard for them to grasp the fact that there are still some things they must do each and every day. Giving your tween son encouraging words and positive reinforcement will definitely help them to see the importance of summer dental hygiene, and that taking a little time out during the warmer months to keep their bodies healthy is not so bad after all.
DO Get the Whole Family On Board
The act of following the crowd doesn’t just happen in a school setting – it can happen at home, too. If you have older kids in the household, encourage them to lead by example when it comes to summer dental hygiene. Once your tween son sees his other siblings in action, it won’t be long before your impressionable tween son follows suit as well.
One way to accomplish this is by making sure that great toothbrushes are in full supply to keep their smiles at their best. The REACH® UltraClean toothbrush is the perfect toothbrush for providing a complete clean feeling every time. The floss-like bristles and built-in tongue cleaner will especially help older siblings look forward to their dental hygiene routine.
DO Make Daily Hygiene Easy
Make the practice of summer dental hygiene simple for your tween son by keeping all of the products needed to complete his tasks at his reach and easily accessible. Also, be sure to get him products that make the job easy too, like the new Firefly Spiderman Fun Pump Rinse for kids. Not only does it come with its own rinsing cup, it also has a designated place to store the cup between uses that’s built right into the mouthwash bottle. Also, as part of the complete Firefly Star Wars Collection, the Kylo Ren Lightsaber toothbrush comes equipped with a protective cap to ensure the bristles and the brush head stay clear of any bacteria from the sink or countertop.
DON’T Neglect the Routine During Travel
Family vacation itineraries and the changing of time zones can throw routines off-kilter. Make plans ahead of time to keep your tween son’s routine on course as you travel during the summer. The best part about Firefly and REACH dental care products is that they travel well while on-the-go.
DON’T Use Other Siblings as a Comparison
Never say things like, “All of your other siblings keep up with their hygiene…” or anything similar. Kids do not like to be compared to other kids as a means to make them feel bad – especially to their siblings. Refrain from doing this, ass it will only make your tween son feel worse.
DON’T Discourage imaginative play during Hygiene Time
Pretending to be their favorite super hero? Acting out a scene from their favorite film? It’s no secret that tween boys love to use their imagination! The cool part about Firefly products is that they are designed to help turn brush time into playtime. So go ahead: let your tween son enjoy some fun moments!
DON’T Shame, Embarrass, or Otherwise Ridicule Them for Forgetting
Just like adults, kids are human. They are bound to forget to do things. When your tween son truly forgets to perform his hygiene tasks for the day, don’t do or say anything to make him feel bad about it. Refrain from negativity and offer love and understanding instead – and advise other siblings in the house to do the same.
DON’T Allow Them to Skip Days
If your family’s schedule is more laid back on the weekends, don’t let that be used by your tween son as a reason to skip out on his summer dental hygiene routine. Gently remind them that good overall health begins with good dental health. Once he gets into the rhythm of doing it every day, he’ll be taking charge of his personal care without your prompting.
Having two boys myself, I can tell you that getting your tween son on the road to practicing healthy summer dental hygiene habits will be a long one! By using the steps above with a lot of patience, you will help your son develop a dedication that that will extend well beyond high school and college.
Firefly® recently launched their Lights, Camera, Smiles! sweepstakes on the Firefly Facebook page. One lucky grand prize winner will win a trip for a family of four to the movie capital of the world: Hollywood! To learn more, visit the website here.
Summer Dental Hygiene
REACH® and Firefly® products can be found at Walmart and Target.