Use the Tooth Fairy to Teach Good Dental Habits

The Tooth Fairy Isn’t Just For Lost Teeth

The Tooth Fairy is a time-honored tradition when it comes to handling children and the inevitable loss of baby teeth. As frightening as it can be for a child to lose a first tooth, the promise of a Tooth Fairy’s visit- and the rewards she leaves- can make the experience just another milestone and help your child to look forward to the gain of adult teeth. Is the Tooth Fairy just a mechanism for handling lost baby teeth? She has more functionality than that! While it may seem that the health of baby teeth is nothing to be concerned about- after all, those teeth will be gone before your child reaches adolescence- it’s absolutely vital that dental hygiene be part of a child’s daily life. Not only does the groundwork help establish lifelong habits, the health of baby teeth can actually benefit the incoming adult teeth. Preventing gum disease, bacterial build-up and keeping the placement of baby teeth naturally even will help adult teeth come in without weak enamel or crowding.

Here are a few steps in using the Tooth Fairy as a tool to help your child approach dental health cheerfully.

The Tooth Fairy likes healthy teeth.

Children grow up hearing about the quarter or dollar under a pillow for each baby tooth. What they don’t hear is anything in regards to the health of that lost tooth. Healthy teeth are pretty teeth, and children are naturally inclined to like attractive things. Explain to them that the Tooth Fairy prefers healthy teeth. She may even be inclined to offer more than just a token dollar for a good-looking tooth. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to shell out extra money; for a lost tooth, include a note from the Tooth Fairy congratulating your child on having such excellent dental hygiene. Add a playful toothbrush or some flavored children’s toothpaste to encourage your child to go right into more dental care.

The Tooth Fairy rewards dental care.

A fear of the dentist is one of the most common phobias in the modern world. To a child, it can be a terrifying experience filled with discomfort and strange events. If your child is going to the dentist and they feel it has no reasoning beyond ‘you have to go,’ they’re not going to be inclined to feel favorably about a return visit. Before a dental check-up or procedure, tell your child that the Tooth Fairy is a friend of dentists and likes to reward children who visit them regularly. Sugar-free gum, a small toy or a coloring book can be the Tooth Fairy’s little reward to be discovered the next morning for taking a dental visit in stride.

The Tooth Fairy talks to parents, too.

Have you been struggling to get your child to brush their teeth every night? Is flossing a tiresome chore that leaves your child disgruntled and you irritated? Hygiene isn’t meant to be fun, but positive reinforcement is the strongest tool in any parent’s box. Keep an eye on your child’s dental hygiene and let the Tooth Fairy reward accordingly. Did your child go straight to brush their teeth before bed? A note from the Tooth Fairy can reinforce that behavior. Children should always have small efforts noticed and rewarded, especially when it comes to learning behaviors that will benefit them in the future. Having the Tooth Fairy praise them for flossing without fussing or brushing their teeth after Halloween candy will make them feel proud that their efforts were noticed.

Just as how Santa Claus is eventually going to fade from a child’s belief system, so too will the Tooth Fairy. It’s possible for a family to make ‘the Tooth Fairy’ into a tool that will help a child learn the importance of dental hygiene and make the process fun. With the Tooth Fairy firmly on your side, a clever parent has the ability to turn routine tasks into something a child helps with and endures, knowing that their efforts will be rewarded.

Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.

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