Some pediatric dentists believe that the tooth fairy is so honorable and impressive that she deserves recognition on February 28th and August 22nd. Since National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated every six months, it serves as a clever reminder for parents to schedule their children’s twice-annual routine dental appointments. Until then, here are three ways to celebrate our favorite magical dental hygiene hero at home.
1. Learn about cultural practices related to lost baby teeth.
During the mid-1920s, American dentists and other oral health enthusiasts developed the idea of the tooth fairy to combat the anxiety and discomfort of losing teeth with the joy of accumulating cold hard cash.
In a piece published in Salon, Michael Hingston stated that “Every recorded human culture has some kind of tradition surrounding the disposal of a child’s lost baby teeth.” So, here are a few tooth-related traditions from around the world:
Tales of Tooth-Collecting Creatures
While the tooth fairy is synonymous with bringing riches to sleeping children, countries around the world celebrate this milestone with creatures that “buy” children’s teeth from them with coins or gifts.
- Rodents: While this creature has many names, a tooth mouse visits children in many French and Spanish-speaking countries, some former and present British commonwealth countries, and some European countries.
- Tooth Troll: In Finland, opposite of the tooth fairy is the “Hammaspeikko,” which translates to “tooth troll.” Actually, this character serves as a metaphor for explaining cavities. According to folklore, the tooth troll is lured by candy and drills holes into the teeth. Thankfully, brushing scares him away!
Feeding Teeth to A Furry Friend
In Mongolia, children are encouraged to hide their lost baby teeth in meat fat and feed them to their dogs. Mongolian children participate in this practice hoping that their adult teeth with be as strong as the bone-eating dog’s teeth.
What do they do if they don’t have a dog? In this case, Mongolian children bury their teeth in the ground near a big tree so that their new teeth will have strong roots (like the tree).
2. Get creative with DIY tooth fairy projects.
For National Tooth Fairy Day, get festive with art projects the whole family can enjoy:
- Decorate a picture frame and show off a photo of your child’s toothless smile
- Draw or color a picture of the tooth fairy
- Write a letter to the tooth fairy
- Construct a pillow, pouch, or keepsake box (so that the tooth fairy can find missing teeth easily)
- Create a tooth fairy puppet and have your children direct a puppet show
3. Encourage your kids to take care of their teeth.
Losing baby teeth is a normal part of childhood, but losing them too early can be a major health issue. Ideally, establishing healthy habits at a young age is intended to help children remain fit for the rest of their lives. Dr. Matt of Smiles for Kids Dentistry encourages parents to facilitate excellent oral health routines and habits, including:
- Brushing teeth with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride (twice a day)
- Removing sneaky food particles and plaque between the teeth with floss
- Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients
- Visiting the dentist at least every six months (for routine cleaning and a checkup)
If it’s been over six months since your child’s last dental appointment, don’t wait any longer. Schedule your child’s next dental appointment in Overland Park, KS. Call (913) 685-9990 or message us online today.