Time-Honored Tooth Fairy Traditions

Your child’s first tooth will fall out at age six or seven, according to WebMD, and when that first incisor starts to wiggle, it can be a worrisome experience. But you want excitement, not fear! Losing teeth is a part of growing up and being healthy, but kids often don’t see that when a loose tooth makes it hard to chew and brush. Enter the Tooth Fairy. Introduce her early in your child’s life (age three or four) and you can establish long-term traditions that will have  him or her eagerly anticipating the day that first tooth pops free. Let’s take a look at some tried and true Tooth Fairy traditions and practical tips for bringing her to life. 

Weave a Magical Tale

The Tooth Fairy has long been an oral tradition, a fairy tale, a bedtime story passed down from parents to children, and from generation to generation. Spinning a story from your child’s bedside is a great way to add your own details and start your own family traditions. It also gives you a chance to pause and explain good brushing and flossing habits, tying the Tooth Fairy directly to the morning and/or nightly routine. You can even say that you’ve seen the Tooth Fairy, met her, or talked to her on the phone, helping her come alive in your child’s imagination. 

And if spontaneous storytelling isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry. There are plenty of books and movies that feature the Tooth Fairy and promote good dental hygiene. Even after you’ve introduced her, you can use these storytelling tools to build anticipation for those first few loose teeth.

Prepare the Gifts

You know the drill. It’s been the same since you lost your first tooth. It goes under the pillow and in the morning, there’s money. Even though the value of a baby tooth has fluctuated over the years, parents have consistently swapped teeth for coins and bills, and that’s because it works. However, it’s a good idea to carefully consider the amount (because the Tooth Fairy can teach kids a lot about money) or  whether you want to leave something other than cash, like small toys, gift cards, or fun dental supplies. Keep these treasures hidden in a safe place and have them ready beforehand. If your child suddenly loses a tooth in the middle of the night, you want to be prepared! Keep your eye on the latest Tooth Fairy trends for new, exciting gift ideas.

Remember that kids talk at school and on the playground. Have an explanation in mind to explain discrepancies in money and/or gifts. Maybe the Tooth Fairy gives different gifts for different types of teeth or particularly clean ones. 

Ensure a Smooth Swap

After a few lost teeth, you’ll have the Tooth Fairy running like a well-oiled machine, but the first time can be rocky if you don’t have a tooth-swap plan in place. Tradition encourages children to place teeth under their pillows, but this can be tricky to access without waking them. Try a tooth pillow, which can hang neatly on a bedpost or doorknob, or a special storage box on the nightstand or dresser. This way, the Tooth Fairy can come silently in and out without any disturbances. 

Have a Backup Plan

Sometimes a child might lose a tooth and hide it without telling you. Sometimes you might just forget to call the Tooth Fairy and make the swap. Whatever the reason, if your child wakes up to find his or her tooth still intact, there might be disappointed and worry (on top of being toothless!), so you’ll want to have an explanation ready. “Oh, the Tooth Fairy called,” you could say, “and she got sick yesterday, but will be back tonight!” Or: “I heard that a ton of kids lost teeth yesterday and the Tooth Fairy got swamped with work.” You could even have your child write a letter checking on the Tooth Fairy to make sure she’s okay. Whatever you do, be creative and ensure your child that she will be back around to collect that tooth.

Starting a relationship with the Tooth Fairy is an exciting time for children, one that will influence the way they view dental health for their entire childhood. It’s also a great experience to share with your child, bringing you closer together as you guide them through the anxiety-inducing process of losing teeth. When it comes to tips, guides, news and all things Tooth Fairy, we’re your go-to source, so keep up with our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages for the latest Tooth Fairy developments.