Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day
If your child has a loose tooth, now may be the time to wiggle it free! August 22 is National Tooth Fairy Day, a childhood favorite that emphasizes good oral health so the tooth fairy will be happy to trade a pearly white for a shiny coin. Looking for a way to get your child more excited about brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist? Focusing on the tooth fairy could be the key!
About the Tooth Fairy
The tooth fairy entered popular culture in the 1920s when healthcare professionals started a campaign to encourage kids to eat their veggies, brush their teeth, and spend more time outside. In 1927, author Esther Watkins Arnold brought the tooth fairy to life with an eight-page, three-act playlet for children. Primed with vivid imaginations, children started placing their freshly lost teeth under their pillows in hopes that the tooth fairy would visit in the night.
How to Get Kids Excited About National Tooth Fairy Day
You can use the charming tooth fairy tradition to your advantage by teaching your kids the importance of leaving healthy, white teeth behind. Here’s how to make your children excited about welcoming this magical sprite into your home:
Print out tooth fairy receipts: When the tooth fairy trades your child’s tooth for a coin, she might also leave a receipt behind to document the transaction. Handwrite a receipt yourself on a notepad, or download and print out a tooth fairy receipt template provided by the American Dental Association (ADA).
Make a tooth dish: The tooth-under-the-pillow tradition sometimes makes it difficult for the tooth fairy to retrieve the pearly white without waking your child. Why not leave it in a dedicated dish where the tooth fairy is sure to find it? A soap dish from a thrift shop or a small bowl at a ceramic painting studio fits the bill nicely.
Create a keepsake book: Have your child pick out a notebook at the store and decorate it with his or her name, hometown, and other facts the tooth fairy might need to know. Then, encourage your child to write the tooth fairy a note with each lost tooth. In the morning, your child will be pleased to see that the tooth fairy left a response in the keepsake book, along with a coin or small gift.
Use a tooth brushing calendar: Remind your child that you never know when you might lose your next tooth, so it’s important to always maintain good oral health habits. A tooth fairy calendar is a perfect way to keep track of daily brushing and flossing.
Track which teeth your child has lost: Record how your child’s smile is changing with the Tooth Fairy Teeth Tracker. Similarly, you can keep a “smilesone” scrapbook, or add pages to your child’s baby book each time a tooth is lost. The ADA has printouts you can use. There’s the I Lost a Tooth Page, Tooth Fairy Visit Page, and Fun Photos Page.
Help your child tell the tooth fairy you’re ready for a visit: When the tooth fairy makes her nightly rounds, how does she know a tooth is patiently waiting to be collected? With a decorative door sign, of course! Print off your child’s favorite design—Door Sign 1, Door Sign 2, or Door Sign 3—and have him or her decorate it to hang on the bedroom doorknob that night.
Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy
Anticipating a visit from the tooth fairy is the perfect time to encourage your kids to develop healthy dental habits. Here’s what to include in your daily routine:
Brush properly: Use a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on a child-sized toothbrush. Then, scrub every surface for a total brush time of two minutes. Do this both morning and night.
Floss daily: As soon as two teeth touch, you should start helping your child floss once a day.
Schedule regular dentist visits: Children and adults alike should visit the dentist every six months. An exam, cleaning, and X-rays can help prevent cavities and treat problems early before they cause painful symptoms.
Encourage a clean mouth: Don’t share utensils between family members, and if a spoon or fork falls on the floor, get a new one. These steps help prevent cavity-causing bacteria from spreading.
Drink fluoridated water: Here in Colorado, our water is fluoridated, a health measure that reduces cavities by 25 percent. When your child is thirsty, offer a glass of water. Avoid soda, sports drinks, and fruit juice, which are all high in sugar.
If it’s time for your child’s next dentist appointment, or you’re interested in learning more about dental sealants, please contact Dr. Ania in Boulder, CO at (303) 872-9940. We’ll help you celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day by getting the whole family’s smiles healthy and bright!