In most homes, the tooth fairy removes the tooth from beneath the child's pillow and leaves some money or another prize in its place. Surely, this is a fun way to make the sometimes traumatic experience of losing baby teeth a positive one, but what if the tooth fairy could deliver even more than a dollar or a new toy? What if she could also teach kids about their teeth?
A Message From the Tooth Fairy
Making the tooth fairy an educational experience is easy. Each time you slip a dollar or gift under your child's pillow, slip a quick note with dental care tips under there, too. The next morning when your child comes bounding into the kitchen, he or she will not only be excited about the prize, but also about the note from the tooth fairy. Your child will likely see the tooth fairy as an authority on teeth, and will therefore be more than happy to take her advice when it comes to dental care.
Some Suggested Messages
It's important to tailor the messages that the tooth fairy leaves to your child's age. For children who are 5 or 6 and just beginning to lose their teeth, consider simple messages, such as:
- Remember to brush your teeth every day to keep them strong!
- Don't be afraid to ask your mom or dad for help if flossing is hard.
- Tell your mom or dad if one of your teeth hurts or starts bleeding.
For older children who still believe in the tooth fairy, more detailed messages, such as these come in handy:
- Are you brushing your teeth for 2 – 3 minutes every time? That's about as long as your favorite song.
- Flossing cleans the yucky stuff out from between your teeth, so you don't get cavities. Don't skip flossing!
- I never like getting teeth from kids who drink lots of soda, because they always have cavities. Could you do me a favor and drink more water instead?
If your child is struggling with a particular dental care issue, such as forgetting to brush his or her teeth at night, you can tailor the message towards this issue.
Some Tips for the Educational Tooth Fairy
To ensure your child does not recognize your handwriting, type the notes from the tooth fairy, or have a friend write them for you. Share this idea with other friends who have children. If some of your child's friends also get notes from the tooth fairy, he or she won't be as suspicious.
Children don't always like to listen to their parents when it comes to topics like oral hygiene. If these messages come from a figure like the tooth fairy, they'll be more likely to listen. Try the educational tooth fairy messages and see how they work for your child. You don't even have to leave a message for every tooth – even the occasional message will be a fun and effective surprise for your little one. Talk to your dentist, such as Kids First Pediatric Dentistry, for more information.