Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday scrapping: I have clean teeth!

Caring for Junior J's teeth used to be pretty easy (and we had all these set dental routines that worked fine).  Recently though, he has been refusing to let us brush his teeth.  We've been attributing it to him sprouting one of his molars, as well as a case of him wanting to assert his growing independence.  Getting the toothbrush into his mouth isn't a problem, but he now does not let you guide him as he brushes.  So in an attempt to "encourage" him to let us help him during brushing, we decided to start up a sticker reward system.

After some thinking, I decided that the stickers would be a reward in itself, since the boy isn't the type to ask for gifts/toys, and working towards a goal of a toy after accumulating 20 stickers might be too hard for him to grasp.  Since he loved animals, I settled for those little animal stickers that came in huge, reasonably priced packs (I purchased this version from Smart Alley, which is still giving a 10% discount to all readers, btw).  While most charts seem to be in a table form, with a grid to fill up with little stickers, I decided to try giving a nice background for him to stick his stickers.  So after about an hour of cutting and pasting construction papers and doodling, I ended up with 3 different scenes:

Aquarium scene to put all those lil fishies (I used Crayola gel markers, since they show up on dark backgrounds).

Garden scene for butterflies and other bugs (of course, my scrapbooking punches came in really handy here!).

Pond scene for froggies (Ok, I haven't really seen poison arrow frogs jumping amidst water lilies, but I couldnt' resist adding the flower. :p).

I printed out a teeth chart (I used this version here) and pasted it behind the front cover, in case we need to teach/talk to him about the different types of teeth he has and lecture him about dental care... I personalized the book by pasting a photo of the boy on the cover and leaving a space for his name inside the book:

Behind the front cover.  The boy has now stuck a name label on the space, so the book is all his!

So far, our deal has been he gets a sticker each time he lets us help him during the brushing process (he brushes 3 times a day).  While there is still some bargaining and squirming going on, the stickers have helped a little, so the book has started to fill up:

The good news is, we just came back from a dental checkup and the dentist said his teeth were all A-OK, so I guess we'll just have to keep encouraging him, and sticking to brushing regularly!  The boy freaked out at first (We previously had brought him to see our regular dentist who is hubby's friend.  He's a really good dentist, but I think a little not used to dealing with very young kids, so the boy got rather frightened.).  He screamed the entire clinic down and insisted on leaving the room, but the dentist managed to get a look at his teeth.  Junior J eventually calmed down (we gave him 3 frogs to stick on his book, which might have helped a little), and finally managed to give the dentist a flying kiss... so I'm hoping future visits to the dentist would be more smooth-sailing!

Do you use sticker reward charts for your child?  Are they effective?


  1. Wow MamaJ, I'm planning to start using stickers as rewards when I restart my potty training. But your booklet is so pretty and creative! Love the different scenes you've created to add to the variety. Hope this gets J to brush his teeth regularly :)

  2. Your booklets are soooo pretty!

    My boy runs away at the sight of the toothbrush and distractions such as silly songs work best for him. And lots of incentives to eat favorite foods later. When we need to fight over brushing, i say why not we pluck out all his teeth, then he can be a baby and just drink milk all day. Sounds horrible, but he's a foodie, so this works, haha...

    So far, we haven't used any reward system including stickers. Just hugs, kisses and praises for any job well done.

    Happy brushing! :)

  3. My kids are excited to brush when there're new toothpaste or toothbrush. Perhaps you could stock up cute toothbrush when come across any. When the new toothbrush excitement wear out, I'll have to come up with new ideas. Recently my girl started to have a wobbly milk teeth and toothfairy became our recently topic. I told my boy if he wants a nice, pretty toothfairy, he'll need to keep his teeth nice and clean.

  4. Susan: Thanks! It worked, and the boy has been willingly letting us scrub away. The book is filling up rapidly so I'm heaving a sigh of relief! Hope potty training is going on well!

    Mievee: Thanks! Haha, we have a fussy eater, so the food thing doesn't work, and he has a sweet tooth, so bribes might not be too good in our case... :) Its great you've not had to use reward systems thus far! :)

    CE: Cute toothbrushes, ok thanks! Will keep an eye out for those! And oh yes, the tooth fairy... are you going to swop the tooth for a coin when it drops out? ;)

  5. WOW! Look at those books! I so cannot do much crafting (abstract art ok) but I'm inspired to try making some as I've been wanting to get some reward system going on at home.

    Only problem is that the kid is likely to stick all the stickers at one go! The grandfolks aren't great at stopping him. :(

    And again, WOW WOW WOW!



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