A Parent's Guide to the Tooth Fairy
by Dr. Beau Beecher, DDS on 1/30/2019
I am sure you’re familiar with the Tooth Fairy. The details may vary from person to person, but the basic story is always the same: Children are encouraged to tuck their lost baby teeth under their pillow at night, and once they are sound asleep, the Tooth Fairy will slip into their room undetected and exchange the tooth for a reward, which is often cash or coins.
It’s a tradition that has a limited shelf life. At a certain point, kids will start to show some skepticism and ask questions about the Tooth Fairy, in some cases even attempting to catch a glimpse by pretending to be asleep. But before the clock runs out on the light-hearted fairy tale, it can be a fun and educational tool for your child.
Establish good brushing habits
Introducing the concept of the Tooth Fairy to your child is also an early opportunity to educate them on the importance of developing good dental habits. This can be accomplished a variety of different ways. It can be as simple and fun as leaving notes for your child authored by the Tooth Fairy, reminding them to brush and floss their teeth in the morning. Get creative!
Incorporate dental care education
The Tooth Fairy myth can be used to reinforce the importance of maintaining regular dental care, but also opens the door for you to expand their knowledge about proper oral hygiene. Imagine if, along with the traditional reward, the Tooth Fairy left behind a note warning against eating too much sugar or reminding them to make their regular dentist appointment.
You certainly don’t want it to seem like the Tooth Fairy is lecturing them, but incorporating dental care tips can associate that valuable information with something that your child enjoys.
Enhance the experience
Don’t hesitate to think outside-the-box and add a personal touch to your version of the Tooth Fairy. The reward does not have to be monetary. Feel free to leave them a small gift or a healthy snack that might make the experience more personal and memorable.
Some parents also buy or create special tooth pillows with a pocket to safely store the tooth until the Tooth Fairy can retrieve it. Having a special place other than beneath their pillow to put the tooth might make for ease of access when the real Tooth Fairy comes to claim it…
Remember, losing baby teeth is an important rite of passage for every child. Transforming it into a magical experience will only make it that much more special!