Much of the joy we experience as kids comes from our love of magical thinking and an openness to possibilities. Take the Tooth Fairy as an example. The story is simple enough: A magical character with deep pockets goes around and collects teeth. Dr. Julia Brown, your Rancho Cucamonga, Ca children’s dentist has on good authority that the Tooth Fairy prefers clean teeth. Children may not lose their final tooth until the the end of middle school, but by that time most have discredited the notion of the Tooth Fairy, which begs the question—
Who is the Tooth Fairy?
For the most part, discovering the truth about Santa Claus is more traumatic than demystifying the Tooth Fairy. So when the gig is up and the Tooth Fairy has been debunked, there remains a certain sense of comfort that comes with creating a new family tradition. We’ve heard of parents who continue leaving small treats and tokens under pillows even when the child has clearly asserted disbelief. You might leave a new toothbrush or toothpaste with an interesting flavor. Or, if money is tight, the Tooth Fairy might leave a friendly note of congratulations and encouragement. The payment method may change, but the good feelings and memories of a new tradition linger on.
What If My Child Is Afraid of the Tooth Fairy?
Some children enjoy the prospect of being visited by an elusive, amiable character. Others? Not so much. If your child expresses fear or anxiety about the Tooth Fairy, don’t force it. Some parents find that children prefer to leave a brief note to the Tooth Fairy in lieu of the actual tooth, and others feel better if allowed to leave a light on. Ask questions. If your child cannot articulate this fear and attribute it to a single source, let it be. You will have many opportunities to create meaningful rituals with your child.
Mom, the Tooth Fairy Forgot to Take My Tooth!
It’s every Tooth Fairy’s nightmare—either you nod off before doing your dental duties, or your ever-alert child wakes up with your hand just beneath his pillow. How do you save face? One child psychologist recommends telling your child that you’re just a helper, checking to make sure that he is really asleep. If the Tooth Fairy misses a stop, tell your child that you will try again tomorrow. Perhaps she had more stops last night than usual.
Passing the Tooth Fairy Torch
If you have several children, you might ask your oldest to assume Tooth Fairy duties for his youngest siblings. It’s always great fun to be in on a secret, and your helper may come up with some unique ideas. We understand how important it is to encourage imagination in children of all ages, and the Tooth Fairy role is one of the simplest, most memorable way to do so.
The Tooth Fairy prefers clean, well-cared-for teeth. To learn more about Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry in Rancho Cucamonga, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Julia Brown, contact our office at (909) 989-7222.