It’s fun to celebrate a visit from the Tooth Fairy, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to talk about and focus on dental health with your kids. While we give a special shout-out to the Tooth Fairy and all the hard work she does collecting little teeth from under pillows, we also want the message of her day to be about keeping all those teeth clean and healthy.
The Tooth Fairy is a big celebrity at Delta Dental. While she works collecting teeth at night, you might also see her working one of her side jobs – visiting area schools with the Land of Smiles® program. She loves teaching kids about how important it is to keep smiles healthy and bright.
3 messages for kids
When your child has a tooth loose, or is ready to leave a tooth under the pillow, it’s a great opportunity to celebrate healthy habits and a healthy smile. Tips for the kids can be simplified to 3 main messages:
1. Brush twice a day
2. Brush for two minutes
3. Floss daily
The Tooth Fairy can visit and leave reminders and gifts even if there isn’t a tooth to pick up!
A few things to look for
Common mistakes for little ones include overusing toothpaste and brushing too hard. As a parent, here are some things you can do to help mentor your little ones.
-If under the age of 6, supervise and help your kids while they brush. Sometimes kids lack the coordination to effectively reach all their teeth.
-A small, pea-size amount of toothpaste is best. Too much toothpaste is unnecessary and can create lots of foam, which makes brushing difficult.
-When done, children should spit out toothpaste ― swallowing it can lead to fluorosis, a cosmetic condition in which spots may appear on the teeth.
How to encourage healthy dental habits
And if the kids aren’t too thrilled about brushing, try getting them excited to brush their teeth with these ideas:
-Develop a fun ritual around brushing. Sing a song about brushing teeth or “brush” the teeth of your child’s stuffed animals.
-Place a stepstool near the sink counter that allows your child to see the basin.
-Have fun choosing a cool toothbrush. Let your child pick from the great selection of colors, characters and gizmos available today.
-Grab your own toothbrush and brush with energy. Show your children just how fun it is to brush – they’ll want in on the fun.
By playing a positive, active role, you can encourage your kids to learn good habits for a lifetime of dental health. And to celebrate a visit from the tooth fairy, along with the money the tooth fairy leaves, she could also leave a new toothbrush or a personalized note with a dental health tip, like, “Don’t forget to brush twice a day for two minutes!” Or how about reading a fun tooth-themed book together?
Want more information on children’s dental health? The Delta Dental Oral Health Library is a great resource. You’ll find lots of articles that focus on children’s dental health, including infant, toddler and adolescents.