The Tooth Fairy hovers silently, fluttering down to collect lost teeth from beneath the pillows of sleeping children. In place of the tooth, she leaves a treasure from her basket for the child to find in the morning. Why is sharing this legend important? Leaving gifts from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to help make losing teeth less scary and more exciting for kids.
Hawaii Dental Service encourages parents to treat the Tooth Fairy’s visit as an opportunity to discuss good oral health, even before a child loses their first tooth. Here are some great ways parents can teach kids about good oral health habits:
Introduce the Tooth Fairy early on
Kids will start losing baby teeth around age six. Before this age, parents can teach kids about the Tooth Fairy and let them know that good oral health habits and healthy teeth make her happy. Use this as an opportunity to brush up on a child’s everyday dental routine. Kids not wanting to brush and floss? Remind them that the Tooth Fairy is only looking for healthy baby teeth, not teeth with cavities. This will help get kids excited about taking care of their teeth.
Leave a note reinforcing good habits.
A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be as exciting for kids as the gift itself. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year.
Give oral health gifts.
Although the Tooth Fairy leaves cash for kids in 99 percent of homes she visits, a few children receive toys, gum or other gifts. Consider forgoing cash and reinforce good oral health habits by providing a new toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or fun-flavored toothpaste. How about a new book? There are several children’s books about Tooth Fairy adventures that can add to the Tooth Fairy excitement. Also gone are the days of worrying about not being able to find the tiny tooth under the pillow in the middle of the night. Special Tooth Fairy pillows with tooth-sized pockets attached are now available in many themes and can even be customized with your child’s name. But if the family tradition has always included money, you don’t have to stop. Consider giving both cash and a new toothbrush to reinforce good oral health habits.
The Tooth Fairy is a great way to tap into your child’s imagination, help him or her understand the importance of oral health, and help make taking care of teeth more exciting.
For more information and ideas to make your child’s Tooth Fairy experience extra special, visit www.theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com.