A few months ago, at around 20ish months old, we started having trouble brushing Dylan’s teeth. His molars were coming in and he started really disliking whenever I would get a the toothbrush even anywhere close to his mouth. Since summertime is well under way here in Texas and fruity treats are almost always at hand, I especially didn’t want him going to sleep with that sugar coating his pearly whites. So as any mom would, I started brainstorming up new ways I could work tooth brushing back into his daily routine with some incentives and motivational tactics. After a couple initial weeks of trial and error, I’m so happy to share a technique that has been working wonderfully for us for the past 2 months now!
|high-want rewards: construction truck and animal stickers!|
I know from my personal experience that I’m usually motivated to achieve my own goals when I can see either results or a reward at the end. I had never tried a reward system with Dylan before, but at 20 months I figured he was at a point where he could understand the concept. I stopped at our local toy store and found these stickers that he was literally obsessed about. They were the perfect cheap and easy reward that I could give him after every tooth brushing and could count on the fact that he would get super excited about earning it!
For us, the trick is to first have Dylan pick out his reward before he actually starts brushing his teeth. In the beginning I would only tell him that he’d get a sticker after brushing his teeth but wouldn’t have him pick it out until he was actually done brushing. Unfortunately with Dylan’s short attention span and not understanding the concept of delayed gratification, he would quickly forget about the prize at hand once the toothbrush came out and would put up a fuss. But, if I had Dylan pick out his reward first, I would then hold on to it while we would brush his teeth in a way that he could see it the entire time (this was key in keeping him motivated!). He would love seeing his prize and after a few days of this technique, Dylan would even happily request to brush his teeth at night on his own! I would be on the other side brushing my own teeth, modeling how to get all the teeth in the back and sides and make a few sound effects (ahhh! eee!) in the process to keep him entertained. 🙂 I would go in at the end and brush one last time for him just to make sure everything was cleaned, but Dylan would be in a good mood at this point and wouldn’t mind one bit!
As for spitting and rinsing, it’s been a little hit or miss as sometimes Dylan will end up swallowing his water, but overall he’s pretty good! I’ll usually demo it first, making sound effects again whenever I spit, and Dylan will usually request to spit on his own after seeing me.
Since we’ve gone with this technique, Dylan has amassed quite the collection of stickers! I taped up a piece of paper for him on the backside of his bathroom and for him to put all his stickers and he just loves looking at it after every brushing!
I’m so happy that we’ve been able to get toothbrushing successfully back on his nightly routine and that it’s something he actually looks forward to doing every time. For us, this mini reward system has worked wonders for us and I love being able to celebrate Dylan’s every day accomplishments! #CelebrateEveryGoal
Walgreens is also helping to celebrate every goal this season with their Johnson & Johnson products. With their Balance Rewards program, members can earn 3,000 points when they buy select J&J end-cap items — perfect for the summertime!
P.S. In case you missed it:
- Gingham + Tulle – A mix of country and ballerina for a night out look!