The loss of baby teeth is a momentous occasion for parents and children alike. Yet, often that wiggly tooth falls out and there is no plan for what happens next. To avoid the last minute scramble here are some steps to help your family prepare for this milestone.
Things to Do With Your Child
Talk with your child about being healthy. The tooth fairy is a great opportunity to talk about healthy habits. What are the teeth brushing and flossing expectations at your home? If sugary foods can lead to tooth decay, what should be the focus of your family’s diet? If the tooth fairy only visits when children are sleeping, what nighttime routines should be in place to help your child fall asleep and stay asleep?
Check with your local library for books about the tooth fairy. Some great options might be:
Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth by James Dean
What Does the Tooth Fairy Do With Our Teeth? by Denise Barry
The Night Before the Tooth Fairy by Natasha Wing
The Berenstain Bears and the Tooth Fairy by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Have your child draw or color a picture of the tooth fairy. As your child draws, take a minute to talk to them about when their baby teeth first emerged. Show them baby pictures and remind them of all of the ways they have grown since their baby teeth first started showing up in pictures.
What Should the Tooth Fairy Bring?
The tooth fairy looks and does different things at different houses. To ensure that you’re prepared, take a few minutes to ask yourself a few questions and make a plan for what is best for your family. If you want the tooth fairy to leave a present, consider a tooth fairy coupon for a special treat, or a small toy (dolls or action figures are common), or even dental care kits. If you prefer to leave money but wonder how much money to leave, you might want to check out Visa’s free app, which allows you to receive an average payment for kids in your area. If you are leaving paper dollars, some families choose to add a little bit of glitter to make the money extra special.
Sometimes a tooth may fall out but cannot be found. If this happens, you and your child can write a short note to the tooth fairy explaining the situation and perhaps suggesting a location to search for it (school, playground, backyard, etc.). On extremely busy nights, you may not have cash or a present on hand for the tooth fairy to leave, especially when the tooth loss occurs right before bedtime. A simple explanation to your child of just how busy the tooth fairy can be, with the promise of a visit the next night, is sure to cause a toothless grin.