Maybe your child's classmates are talking. Perhaps she's becoming more skeptical of magic. Or you possibly forgot to replace the tooth under his pillow last night. (Oops!) Whatever the reason, your child is asking, "Is the tooth fairy real?" and you're not sure how to respond. Simply take a deep breath, follow these tips, and remember that your little one's healthy teeth are what matters most.
How to Answer the Question "Is the Tooth Fairy Real?"
Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications
How to Talk to Your Child About the Tooth Fairy
Parents have kept the idea of the tooth fairy alive for generations. This benevolent being adores young children and is grateful for those healthy, white baby teeth. With the help of some easy tooth fairy ideas, she can make the whole ordeal of your child's teeth falling out both fun and magical. Plus, the tooth fairy provides an excellent incentive for encouraging young kids to pay attention to their oral health and take care of their teeth. So what do you do when your child questions her existence? Just follow these strategies.
Follow Your Child's Lead
Is your child looking for the truth or only reassurance to keep on believing? A great way to determine the answer is to respond, "Why do you ask?" or "What do you think?" If he or she seems ready for the truth, give it to them. However, if they want to hold on to the story a bit longer, simply say, "Well, I absolutely believe in the magic of the tooth fairy!"
Consider Your Child's Age
Your child's age might also determine how you want to respond to the question. It might cause social issues if your preschooler tells other children in the sandbox that there's no tooth fairy. On the other hand, your middle schooler might receive some unpleasant teasing if he or she still believes. Sometimes it's necessary to gauge your response by the impact continued belief will have on your child when among peers.
Be Gentle with Your Response
Even if your child is confident, they know the truth, confirmation from a parent or guardian can be pretty rattling. Explain how the tradition has been passed on for decades. Then, remind them how much fun they had putting their tooth under their pillow, writing a letter, or waking up the next morning to find their prize. Tell your child that parents become the tooth fairy because they love seeing their child's joy.
Be Prepared for Their Response
Children will respond in many ways to the truth about the tooth fairy. Some may laugh, thinking about how silly their parents are for sneaking in their room and stealing their teeth. Others may cry and grieve an innocent piece of childhood lost. Still, others might get angry that they were misled in the first place. However your child responds, be patient, and reassure him or her that everything was done out of love.
What to Do After They Know the Truth
Once your child finds out the truth, you need to determine how to move forward. Here are a few topics you should cover in the conversation:
- Keeping the secret. Remind them about the significance of keeping the secret and not ruining the fun for younger siblings and other children.
- Prioritizing oral health. Don't miss out on an opportunity to discuss the importance of maintaining healthy oral habits. These habits mean correctly brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist every six months.
- Celebrating future lost teeth. Just because the secret's out doesn't mean your child can't participate in the tooth fairy fun. However, if he or she feels too old for the tradition, find other ways to celebrate. Maybe you can reward them with a new toothbrush, a good book, or their favorite dinner.
Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage, and this time is all about growing up and learning how to take care of the teeth they will have for the rest of their lives. The magic does not have to end with the question, "Is the tooth fairy real?" You can make it special and meaningful whether the tooth fairy is around or not!
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.