Use the Tooth Fairy as a teaching tool

In 2013, the Tooth Fairy visited 86 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth. What kid doesn’t love a magical fairy that leaves goodies beneath their pillow? This built-in goodwill towards and interest in the Tooth Fairy opens the door for parents to use this little lady as a teaching tool when it comes to the importance of oral health.

In honor of National Tooth Fairy Day (February 28) here are a few suggestions for ways to use the Tooth Fairy to teach kids about good dental health habits:

  • Introduce the Tooth Fairy early on. Kids will start losing baby teeth around age 6. Before this age, parents can teach kids about the Tooth Fairy and let them know that good oral health habits and healthy teeth make her happy. Use this as an opportunity to brush up on a child’s everyday dental routine. Kids not wanting to brush and floss? Remind them that the Tooth Fairy is only looking for healthy baby teeth, not teeth with cavities. This will help get kids excited about taking care of their teeth.
  • Leave a note reinforcing good habits. A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be nearly as exciting for kids as the gift itself. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year. In fact, we’ve created some sample letters to get you started!
  • Give oral health gifts. Although the Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 99 percent of homes she visited, a few children received toys, gum or other gifts. Consider forgoing cash and reinforce good oral health habits by providing a new toothbrush with their favorite cartoon character or fun-flavored toothpaste. How about a new book? There are several children’s books about Tooth Fairy adventures that can add to the Tooth Fairy excitement. Also gone are the days of worrying about not being able to find the tiny tooth under your child’s pillow in the middle of the night. Special Tooth Fairy pillows with tiny, tooth-sized pockets attached are now available in many themes and can even be customized with your child’s name. But if the family tradition has always included money, you don’t have to stop. Consider giving both cash and a new toothbrush to reinforce good oral health habits.

DDPA Tooth Fairy 2013 Poll Infographic web 2014For more information and ways to make your child’s Tooth Fairy experience extra special, visit

17 thoughts on “Use the Tooth Fairy as a teaching tool

  1. Why not give a new toothbrush or fun flavored toothpaste when your child loses a tooth, in addition to a few dollars? The tooth fairy can even leave comments about the quality of the child’s baby tooth and have that impact how much money they can earn! Poor quality teeth, after all, aren’t as good for magic making.

  2. I believe that Dr. Tagliarini has a great idea by a giving toothbrush or even a flavored toothpaste to the child with money. Whatever works to encourage a child to keep up good hygiene’s.

  3. Regarding giving a child money when they lose a tooth is a great idea and very traditional in the United States. In the Mestizo culture they believe if they throw the tooth on the roof it will bring good luck in their life.

  4. I think it’s a great idea to give a child something beside money. They even now have a product called gumchucks by Orthogami. This product helps anyone who struggles with regular flossining. This would be a great idea for young patients!

  5. I think it’s a wonderful idea to bring in the Tooth Fairy inside your home at an early age for a child. So when they do lose a tooth at home or even at school they can be excited instead of being scared which can happen to the little ones.

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