National Tooth Fairy Day!
Twice a year, on February 28 and again on August 22, we celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day! Perhaps this day was created as a gentle reminder that the American Dental Association recommends making dental cleaning appointments twice a year? Either way, as pediatric dentists, we’d like to take a moment to honor the Tooth Fairy and her role in helping kids develop good oral hygiene habits at an early age.
The History of the Tooth Fairy
In the 1920s, advertisers used fairies for various health education targeted to kids… like bath fairies and fresh air fairies to get kids to remember to eat their vegetables, wash behind their ears and get a good night’s rest. In 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold printed an eight-page playlet for children called “The Tooth Fairy”. America’s imagination ran wild with this mythical character who’s sole purpose was to visit children while they slept and traded their baby teeth for a sweet or financial reward! Fast-forward to 2023 and this childhood ‘dental helper’ has opened the door for discussion of physical changes in children as they grow older, as well as help with the ‘scary’ aspect some kids experience at the thought of losing their teeth.
Tooth Fairy Traditions
Thanks to the American Dental Association and MouthHealthy for sharing some of these imaginative and inexpensive ways for families to add a modern twist to this timeless tradition:
Notes or Receipts left by the Tooth Fairy
Pick up some fun paper, some brightly colored pens, or some cool stickers that are ONLY used for notes from the Tooth Fairy. You can also download and create a little receipt as a remembrance of the event. Leave the note or receipt on their nightstand or next to their pillow. Adding a small custom note such as: “Thank you for this lovely tooth! I can see that you are brushing every day. Keep up the good work!” is a great way to encourage your child to keep up the good brushing and flossing efforts.
Download a Tooth Fairy receipt template >
Create a tooth fairy pillow or ceramic dish
These options will help the tooth fairy not have to fumble around for that tiny tooth in the dark! Purchase or sew a miniature pillow that has a small pocket for that roly-poly tooth. An alternative to the pillow is finding a small dish to hold their teeth. Take your child to visit a local thrift shop, or housewares store, or paint one at a local ceramics studio. When the time comes, simply have your child place their tooth in the pillow pocket or in the dish on the nightstand, and then trade the tooth with their treat.
Start a keepsake book
A simple blank notebook can be turned into a lasting record of the Tooth Fairy’s visits! Invite your child to choose one at an office supply store or bookstore. Have fun decorating the notebook with your child’s name, hometown and any other details s/he would like the Tooth Fairy to know. Have your child write the Tooth Fairy a note before bed every time he or she loses a tooth. When you leave your child’s gift behind, record the date and add a little note, such as: “This is a very handsome tooth! Did you know you’re on your way to having 32 grownup teeth someday?”
Leave behind a brushing calendar
The Tooth Fairy’s visit is a great time to engage kids in healthy dental habits. Along with their special reward, leave a Tooth Fairy Brushing Calendar in your child’s room as an extra gift. You can also make it reusable by laminating it at your local office-supply store and provide a colorful dry-erase marker for your child to record each time he or she brushes, flosses, or visits the dentist.
Create a “Smilestone” scrapbook page
It can be fun to record how your child’s smile changes as baby teeth fall out and grownup teeth come in. Create a keepsake album of “smilestones” to remember each visit. Have fun making one together with colored paper, stickers, yarn and other paper/craft supplies. You can also just add a scrapbook page to their baby book. Talk with your child about the experience of losing a tooth and capture memories in the pages of the album. Leave it out in your child’s bedroom for the Tooth Fairy to enjoy, too, and consider sharing at your next checkup! Download some scrapbook pages to get you started >
Give moments instead of money
Rather than digging out a couple of bucks to leave behind, consider leaving your child a pair of tickets to the zoo or a certificate to their favorite restaurant so that you can go enjoy the experience together! Those memories may make losing a tooth even more special.
Keep your child's gums and smile healthy!
A professional dental cleaning will remove cavity-causing bacteria, plus any stains, from your child’s teeth to help keep their gums and smile healthy! Our routine exam and dental cleaning includes:
- Examine teeth for cavities.
- Examine gums for infection.
- Look for other mouth abnormalities.
- Evaluate occlusion, the way teeth come together.
- Monitor their jaw and check for sufficient room for permanent teeth.
- Determine the effects of childhood habits (thumb sucking, pacifiers, bottles, etc.)
- Take digital x-rays to assess tooth decay/infections, and evaluate tooth roots and teeth position.
- Perform a thorough teeth cleaning.
- Evaluate and review brushing, flossing, fluoride and diet tips.
- Develop a plan to keep your child cavity-free!
By making an appointment to see one of our pediatric dentists twice a year we can watch, catch and treat cavities, avoiding unnecessary pain, trouble eating, difficulty speaking and school absences. Call our Frisco office at (214) 618-5200 or our McKinney office at (214) 436-5555 during our regular office hours and book your child’s next dental cleaning appointment!