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Next to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairly is another legendary mythical figure to put a smile on your child’s face. Since your child can lose up to 20 baby teeth before the permanent teeth come in, that’s a lot of visits from the Tooth Fairy!

Where did the Tooth Fairy come from? Norse and European children buried the lost tooth to spare them hardships in the next life, and Vikings used children’s teeth to bring good luck in battle. The English good fairy evolved from popular children’s literature, the most popular being the mouse who would come into their rooms to remove the teeth. This was also the tradition in China, Russia, and Spain. Why a mouse? Rodents growth their teeth throughout their lives, so perhaps they make a great role model for inspiring tooth growth.

Today, dentists often use the idea of the Tooth Fairy to help your child’s budding awareness of oral health. The Tooth Fairy promotes this awareness with rewards for a toothy treasure, especially when you suggest that the Tooth Fairy values a healthy tooth than a decaying specimen, offering a bigger reward for a nicer tooth. Parents can also leave a note from the Tooth Fairy along with the reward, praising them for their good dental habits, and encouraging them to keep up the good work.

To help your child start out and develop good oral hygiene habits, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) advises parents to bring in their child by their first birthday, or within six months after their first tooth comes in. You can expect your child’s teeth to begin erupting typically around six months of age.

What is the difference between Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy? Well, they both give gifts to your child, but while Santa only comes once a year, the Tooth Fairy can visit often throughout the year. This holiday, give your child the gift of a healthy smile. Please call 651.488.5522 today and let Drs. Peter Stanton, Joseph Opack, and David Opack and our St. Paul Family Dentistry team in St. Paul, Minnesota, help your child maintain their healthy smile by building good habits!