The tooth fairy may be fictitious fantasy. but it can play a helpful role in teaching children about baby tooth loss and encourage good oral hygiene habits.
The tooth fairy has been providing comfort to children when they lose a tooth from generation to generation. When a child loses their tooth, they are encouraged to place it under their pillow and that night the tooth fairy will come and take their tooth away and replace it with a small amount of money.
It is believed to help children associate the negative experience of losing a tooth with something very positive. The fear and pain of losing a tooth is replaced by the excitement and joy of the tooth fairy and the monetary gift that is left in place of the tooth.
It is the perfect opportunity to discuss with children baby tooth loss and replacement with adult teeth at this time as it can be done in a less confronting and scary manner, made fun by the tooth fairy character.
To teach good hygiene habits, it is recommended to tell children that the tooth fairy gives them a larger monetary gift for a good tooth and much less for a decayed tooth. Accompanying notes left with the monetary gift is also a good idea to positive reinforce good habits and deter negative routines. For example, leave an accompanying note praising the child’s good oral hygiene when they leave a healthy tooth under the pillow or a note encouraging them to work harder when a decayed tooth is left.
Ask us at Central Brisbane Dental how you can use the tooth fairy to help your child learn about baby tooth loss and encourage good oral hygiene habits.