The Truth about the Tooth Fairy

Teeth as Strong as a Mouse’s

The tradition of the “Tooth Fairy” has come to us as a fascinating and absorbing little myth whose origins are not so well documented, unlike that of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. But it has enchanted America’s little tykes since long ago and many kids today still expect their little gift from the Tooth Fairy in exchange for a lost tooth.

What was that all about? In the 1970s, some radio DJ spoke about the Tooth Fairy, in perhaps a beguiling manner, that the American Dental Association was inundated with calls from the public, wanting to know more about the Tooth Fairy. It was quite logical, at the time, that anything dental-related the association has answers to. Apparently, the ADA was clueless.

The ritual of children placing their shed baby teeth under their pillows, in the hopes of finding them replaced with cash or a gift in the morning, was already being practiced. Kids left notes for the tooth fairy and believed they shared personal relationships with her for years. There are many variations of the ritual but the most popular is offering the lost tooth as a sacrifice to a mouse or rat, in the hopes that the child’s adult teeth will grow in as strong and sturdy as the rodent’s. Fascinating. The mouse remains the predominant animal-dental mascot to this day.

How does this impact dental practice?
The trusting nature of childhood enables parents to promote the myth with positive outcomes, even though later kids will find out the truth, they still like it. The belief provides comfort for children in their loss, even if accompanied with fear or pain. The idea that a gift-bearing imaginary figure consoles them and renders them somewhat unafraid to face the dentist.

Imaginative parents tell the kids early on that the tooth fairy pays a whole lot more for a perfect baby tooth than for a decayed one, encouraging proper oral hygiene. A little note comes along with the gift or money praising the kids’ good dental habits. If a sympathetic dentist plays along, he might find a more cooperative and less stressful patient in his chair. Surrendering a cleaned up baby tooth to the youngster, he reminds about putting it under the pillow for good measure.

Bellingham Dentist: A Tooth Fairy’s Friend

Find a compassionate family dentist in Bellingham who knows all about the Tooth Fairy. Be assured your child will have a positive and less stressful experience every time you bring him/her to Dr. Tetrick Bellingham Dentistry.

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