One of the great joys of being a parent is that you get to share all of the myths and traditions from your childhood with your own children, and it’s a true joy to see their imagination flourish. One of the most common is the Tooth Fairy, and it’s a fun way to help your child become comfortable with the fact that their teeth are falling out. Of course, this also sets you up for that unfortunate question, “Is the Tooth Fairy real?”
Many parents find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place in this situation. Do they lie to their child and keep the fantasy going, or do they tell the truth and potentially upset them? Today, your dentist in Killeen offers a little insight on this sensitive (if adorable) topic.
Consider Why They Are Asking
When your child asks about the Tooth Fairy, it’s important for you to determine why they are asking the question in the first place. Are they actually seeking the truth or just looking for reassurance so they can keep believing? If you can’t tell, simply say, “Why do you ask?” or, “What do you think?” This should give you a pretty good gauge as to what to do.
Another thing to consider is your child’s age. A preschooler telling other children that the Tooth Fairy isn’t real could potentially cause some issues on the playground, while a middle schooler who still believes could face some problems of their own. Keeping all of this in mind, it should be a bit easier to know what to do in this “critical” moment.
Use a Gentle Touch
If you do decide to tell them the truth, be sure to do it gently. Some children will find it extremely funny that their parents snuck into their room at night to take their teeth, while others will be completely heartbroken. Just explain to them that you did it because you love them, and it’s something that parents all around the world do for their children. Some children will still want to keep the fantasy going even when they know better, so be prepared for any possible response.
At this point, it is important to tell your child to keep the truth to themselves as other children they interact with and younger siblings may still think the Tooth Fairy is real. For some, this helps them instantly understand the fun of being the Tooth Fairy and make the truth a bit easier to understand.
The Tooth Fairy as a Teaching Tool
(say that 5 times fast!)
One thing that we’ve seen many parents do that we like is using the Tooth Fairy as a tool to help reinforce good oral hygiene habits. Doing something as simple as telling your child that the Tooth Fairy will give them a bigger reward if they clean their teeth or if they eat less candy can have a drastic effect on their dental health, and it can start to teach young children the benefits of taking care of their smile.
In any case, if you have a small child who still believes in the Tooth Fairy, enjoy it while it lasts before they inevitably corner you with the big question. Hopefully, these tips will make everything a bit easier.
If you’d like to get more advice about taking care of your child’s teeth at home, or if it’s time for them to come see the “real” Tooth Fairies here at ACE Dental, please contact us today.