Tooth Fairy 101: When and How to Start Preparing Your Child

Introducing the tooth fairy.

For children, the tradition of the tooth fairy helps them feel more comfortable with losing their baby teeth, bringing a bit of magic into the world. If you have a child who is getting ready to begin losing teeth, preparing them for the process and for the tradition of the tooth fairy is crucial.

By introducing them to this ritual and helping them see that getting new teeth is exciting, they’ll have a much more positive experience and will even look forward to the next tooth loss.

The Tooth Fairy Tradition

The story of the tooth fairy is that each time a child loses a tooth, they should place it beneath their pillow to get a visit from a magical being called the tooth fairy. In exchange for the tooth, she will leave a gift. Sometimes this is money, but it might also be a small toy or a healthy treat.

In Spain, the tooth fairy is a mouse named Ratoncito Perez, while in France, the fairy is a rabbit or a mouse. Other countries have beavers, dogs, cats, and squirrels that play the role of the tooth fairy.

Introducing the Tooth Fairy Tradition at the Right Age

When getting your child ready for their first tooth loss and subsequent tooth fairy visit, having an age-appropriate conversation makes a difference, especially if you complement it with fun education about their teeth.

Typically, children begin to lose their teeth around the age of six or seven, so it can be a good idea to introduce them to the tradition about a year beforehand.

Pay attention to how your child reacts to the idea of the tooth fairy. If they’re excited about the process, then you know you can incorporate it. If they appear anxious, though, or even frightened, your child may not be ready to participate in this tradition.

Preparing for the First Lost Tooth

The first sign that a tooth is about to fall out is feeling it move about in its socket, which your child will likely notice. Most children will move the loose teeth around with their tongues, and that’s normal. Just make sure to tell your child not to pull on the tooth too hard or too soon.

When your child feels a loose tooth, you have a chance to encourage them to ask questions about the process.

Encouraging Good Oral Health Habits

Getting your children to always brush their teeth and avoid sweets isn’t easy. To encourage them to follow dental health recommendations, include the tooth fairy tradition. Let them know that the tooth fairy prefers teeth that are cared for or that she’ll offer better rewards for those she knows have been brushed every day.

A way that you can make brushing more fun is to have a chart. Each time your child brushes their teeth, they get a sticker on the chart. You can also incorporate an amusing song that they can listen to when they brush their teeth to make sure they brush for long enough.

Creating Tooth Fairy Rituals

When you turn to a pediatric dentist near Boise, ID, one of the recommendations you may receive about the tooth fairy tradition is to create a unique ritual around losing a tooth. Having a ritual makes the experience exciting for the child and builds positive associations with teeth and oral health.

One idea to try is to create a container or a special pillow in which to place the tooth. Spend time decorating it with your child. You may even write your child a note as the tooth fairy, thanking them for their tooth.

Setting Expectations and Making the Tooth Fairy Visit Special

It’s important to give your child an idea of the kind of rewards they can expect from the tooth fairy. The traditional reward is money—such as a dollar bill or quarters—but you can choose other options as well, like small toys or even books.

You may want to celebrate the first tooth loss in a special way or have a celebration for each tooth that falls out. Why not take pictures of your child holding the tooth and smiling so that the gap is visible? Putting together a digital album or some kind of keepsake with all of these pictures can serve as an important keepsake.

Dealing With Tooth Loss Anxiety

Children sometimes feel anxious about losing their teeth. Some children fear that a new tooth will not grow, or they may be self-conscious about the gap the missing tooth creates.

One way of helping them manage their anxiety is to tell them about the process. Bring the tooth fairy into it so that your child gets excited about a reward instead of focusing on their fears.

Making Oral Health Fun

Achieving healthy smiles is a lifelong process that begins during childhood. Experts in dentistry for children in Boise recommend making the tooth fairy experience fun and memorable, so you can foster a positive attitude toward oral health in your children that will benefit them for years to come.

For more tips on nurturing a positive relationship between your children and family dentistry, or to schedule your child’s next appointment in Boise, contact the experienced team at Staley Dental today.