Believe it or not, the Tooth Fairy keeps an eye on healthy teeth and gums more often than you would think: she’s kind of like if Santa Claus was a dentist. She knows when you are brushing, she knows when you are not; she knows if you’ve been flossing your teeth, so floss your teeth, you tots!
It can be pretty difficult to make sure that your kids are actively taking care of their teeth and gums from an early age, and a lot of parents worry that their children will not pick up good habits. With Halloween quickly approaching, you probably have your children’s dental health on your mind. Luckily, there is a great method to help reinforce those good habits, and you already have a blue print for it: the Tooth Fairy!
Similar to how you use Santa to reinforce good behavior in your children, you can use the Tooth Fairy to reinforce oral hygiene, outlined below:
The great thing for kids and the Tooth Fairy is that it turns what can be a slightly traumatic event (losing a tooth) into a nice memory: you get some pocket money!
Take it one step further, and explain that the Tooth Fairy only takes healthy teeth – she can tell if you have been brushing and flossing, as she is an expert – so that they know they need to be taking care of their teeth long before they start to lose them.
This way, they will look forward to losing their teeth instead of dreading it, and by telling your kids that they Tooth Fairy will only exchange teeth that are healthy, they’ll start to look forward to brushing and flossing.
You know how every family’s Santa tradition is just a little bit different from everyone else’s? Make your Tooth Fairy traditions particular to your family:
- Decorate the bathroom with teeth and fairies made out of construction paper,
- Write special notes to your child from the Tooth Fairy, telling them what they’re doing right, and what they can work on – sort of like a Tooth Fairy Report card,
- Get a fairy doll and use it like Elf on the Shelf as the Tooth Fairy’s “helper” to keep an eye on your child’s habits. Explain that your family dentist also reports back to the Tooth Fairy as well.
Making it something personal that you know you and your family will engage with and enjoy will make sure that the tradition sticks, and that will make sure that the oral hygiene lessons stick as well.
Seek out anything that will make the Tooth Fairy, brushing, or flossing seem exciting and fun for your child. Make a big deal out of doing it every day – better yet, make a point to brush and floss every day with your child.
Making a family event out of it will help to cement brushing and flossing as important and mandatory. Play them videos that will get them interested in good brushing habits. Find music that supports what you are saying about dental hygiene – Beats & Rhymes produces for-kids-by-kids rap music, and they produced a really fun new song about the Tooth Fairy: