If you have a small child that is about to lose his or her baby teeth, you know all about the Tooth Fairy. While most children simply look at this as a reward for losing their baby teeth, you can use this to help motivate the child to get involved in a better oral hygiene routine.
Before we talk about how you use the Tooth Fairy to inspire better oral hygiene, however, we really should talk about some basic Tooth Fairy rules when it comes to rewarding your child for a lost tooth. Some parents get a little crazy when that first tooth is lost, rewarding their child with $10 or $20 but all they are doing is setting an expectation for every tooth that is lost.
Your child is going to lose 20 baby teeth over time, so set a budget you can live with for the entire set of teeth. If your budget is $50, they will get $2.50 per tooth. If times are tough and you can only afford $20, then they get $1 per tooth. If times are really tough, consider gifts that might offer a perceived value far greater than money, such as a toy car you got at the flea market for $.25.
Creating Good Dental Habits with the Tooth Fairy
If you have a child that is always looking for a way to dodge brushing his or her teeth, write the child a note from the Tooth Fairy encouraging him or her to brush properly. You can even use the Tooth Fairy to remind the child that teeth that fall out because they were not brushing do not count. It would be the equivalent of getting a sack of coal and Christmas day and you better believe it will motivate the child to start brushing regularly.
You can also get in cahoots with your dentist. As the time approaches for baby teeth to start falling out, generally ages five to seven, buy a small pillow or a special little box to hold the teeth in. Have the dentist tell the child that the Tooth Fairy left that for him or her to hold the teeth his or her baby teeth as they fall out. You can add a note to the box that Tooth Fairly offers a small “bonus” present if the dentist tells the Tooth Fairy the teeth were properly cared for until they fell out.
What Happens When the Tooth is Lost?
There will undoubtedly be times when a child will lose a tooth on the playground or some other situation where the tooth cannot be found. Obviously, you know the tooth fell out, so you can have the child write a note to the Tooth Fairly to explain what happened. Have them put the note under their pillow just as they would the tooth, then replace it with the prize.
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