The Tooth Fairy and Your Child
Here’s a secret, straight from the dentist’s office: the Tooth Fairy is real! To those parents who take the time to reward their children for their lost teeth, you are the Tooth Fairy. The Tooth Fairy is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years (some historians agree that it dates as far back as the Middle Ages) and continues strong today in families all over the world. For parents who would like to continue this tradition with their own young children, we have a few ideas that would not only increase the joy and bonding you and your child will feel each time they lose a tooth, but will even help reinforce good hygiene habits they’re starting to develop.
The Tooth Fairy Likes Healthy Teeth
Our most enduring fantastical characters are at heart educators. Santa teaches kids to be obedient and nice, while the Easter Bunny reinforces Easter’s focus on the newness of life and the lessons of that day. Likewise, the Tooth Fairy can teach children the importance of keeping their teeth clean and healthy. How is this done? Here are a few ways:
- Write The Kids a Note: While personal money is always exciting for a child, the real energy of the Tooth Fairy comes from the anticipation that something will happen that night while the child is asleep. A note left alongside the small sum might very well be the thing that the kids treasure most. This note can say anything, but a letter thanking them for their good teeth cleaning habits would do more to reinforce the dentist’s lessons than just about anything.
- Leave a Report Card: Another fun idea is to leave the child a report card with a letter grade. Young kids that are losing their teeth will just be around the age that they’ll be starting elementary school and a report card from the Tooth Fairy would keep them in that learning headspace. You can even fill out this report card with grades not only on the tooth left behind but on all their cleaning habits in general, like brushing morning and night or limiting their sugar consumption.
- Make the Monetary Reward Variable Upon Cleanliness: This suggestion is one that parents might struggle with but is great at teaching good hygiene principles. Instead of a fixed monetary reward to be given for every tooth regardless of its healthiness, giving the child more or less money based on how well they’ve taken care of their teeth will teach them all about the positive and negative consequences of one’s actions. While this may be a bitter lesson for a child who is used to getting a set amount of money each time, they will be overjoyed to receive even more for a job well done.
- Leave Tips and Tricks: In the spirit of letting the Tooth Fairy educated your children about good oral hygiene, leaving them little note cards with tips is a great way to help them remember what’s important. You can even take the cards they get from the Tooth Fairy and hang them on the mirror or place them next to the sink so they don’t forget the next time they brush.
Acting as the Tooth Fairy, you can be the “ace in the hole” for your pediatric dentist. The lessons you teach are the most important in terms of teaching your child and will pave the way for them to have bright, pearly smiles for the rest of their lives.