When your baby’s first tooth starts wiggling, it’s a harsh reminder that they’re… no longer a baby. But the tooth fairy years are so much fun, too. It’s one of the first recognizable experiences your child has with their body growing and changing, and it’s very exciting for these aspiring little adults. Here are three pieces of inspiration to help you make the most of the tooth fairy years!
Explore Traditions Besides The Tooth Fairy
Did you know that the tooth fairy as we know her only exists in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries? That doesn’t mean that the rest of the world doesn’t have traditions for lost baby teeth, of course. For example, did you know that in France, Argentina, and Russia the tooth fairy is actually a little tooth mouse? There are plenty of interesting, sweet, and meaningful traditions around the world that families and children follow when baby teeth fall out. If you’d like to read more in a short list, you can click here. Maybe one or two will inspire you to alter your own tooth fairy traditions. Alternatively, you can follow a tradition from your ancestral roots to teach kids about their heritage. If you’re Native American, for example, see if your family or tribe has old traditions for baby teeth. The list includes a few tribes’ traditions, too.
Use Rewards To Get Your Little One Excited
We get it: kids don’t always like to brush their teeth. Even some adults neglect oral care. But it’s so important for kids to learn good brushing and flossing habits early, as it affects oral health throughout their life. Over 40% of kids have cavities before they even enter kindergarten, which can mess with adult teeth growth and potentially cause your child to develop an early aversion to the dentist if they equate their dentist with pain and discomfort. To help the most stubborn of kids warm up to brushing, treat the tooth fairy like a mini Santa Clause. Whenever they lose a tooth, you (or the tooth fairy) can present them with things like a fun timer, colorful character brushes, or new toothpaste flavors. Make sure you choose products that are actually approved for kid use.
When a new event happens in a family, isn’t the answer to always get crafty? Sites like Pinterest are chock-full of uber-cute crafts for those who follow tooth fairy lore and those who take different routes. Pillows for baby teeth can be made whether or not you want to adhere to strict tooth fairy teachings in your house. There’s this cute and simple Martha Stewart-approved design, or you can design your own with your child. An addition that will delight any kid? Personalizing their pillow with fabric markers or monogramming. Monogramming has been around for centuries as a method of marking ownership, and even modern kids love to feel grown-up and responsible by personally owning something. Losing their baby teeth is a reminder that they are growing up.
Your baby won’t be a baby forever, but the opportunity for learning and fun memories is always presenting itself as children grow. Don’t worry about being the perfect “tooth fairy” (or “tooth mouse”), remember to enjoy this new stage in your child’s life!