Should your kids believe in the tooth fairy? Psychologists, teachers and dentists may all have different opinions on this topic. What matters at the end of the day is how you feel about it. That comes back to your values and parenting style. There is no right or wrong way, you do what is best for you and your fam! In this blog, I wanted to explore the history of the tooth fairy and reasons why some choose to believe or not believe in this mystical creature. Need a dentist that gets kids? Call Riverstone Family Dental on 8678 3538 to book a consultation today.
History of believing in the tooth fairy
DID YOU KNOW: the first notable record of tooth fairies was in 1908? Lilian Brown wrote an article advising mums to create the story of the tooth fairy. She did this to help mums prepare for and comfort their kids if they needed a tooth extracted. References to the tooth fairy can be traced back through different cultures. For example, tand-fè (tooth fee) is a Norse tradition of paying for the first baby tooth that gets wobbled out. Western culture also documents tooth fairy belief from as early as the middle ages. Traditions aside, tooth fairy belief has also been involved in many superstitious beliefs. For example, people would burn a lost tooth for a better afterlife. Another example comes from Scandinavia, where warriors would put children’s teeth on a necklace and take it into battle for good luck. Today, children can get an average of $3.70 for a lost tooth. How times have changed!
Reasons for believing in the tooth fairy
Despite many parents, researchers and psychologists saying otherwise, many parents still keep the tooth fairy tradition alive. Why is this the case? There’s a very simple reason the tooth fairy myth stood the test of time. Yes, it is great to spark magic and imagination in the minds of children. However, the real reason is that it is a practical and effective tool when used appropriately. Children are naturally curious and very imaginative. When they get wounded or lose a tooth, they become scared and it is up to the parents to explain why these things happen. Depending on your own values and choices – you may at this point explain the real reason right off the bat. Or, you may wish to engage the fun and exciting character of a tooth fairy to detract from the painful experience of losing a tooth. Fictional characters like the tooth fairy are practical ways you can help your child make sense of things that are otherwise hard to comprehend at a young age.
Reasons against believing in the tooth fairy
Other parents do not join the tooth fairy bandwagon. The number one reason is because lying to kids may not be the best way to prepare them for the real world. Or they do not want to have to tell their kids the tooth fairy was not real once their kids are old enough. Again, it all comes back to your own style of parenting. There is no right or wrong way! Some parents do not like the idea of paying or bribing kids to behave. Psychologists will be able to elaborate about this topic better than I can. If you are unsure about whether this may breed unwanted behaviour later on in life, it may be best to talk about it with a parenting expert.
At the end of the day, it is up to you whether you will welcome the tooth fairy into your household or not. Tooth fairy aside, one of the best ways to manage your child’s oral health is by teaching them good oral hygiene habits from a young age. Allow them to visit their dentist every 6 months and develop a trusting relationship with them. Then, if they ever lose a tooth or need to have a tooth extracted, they will not feel the discomfort associated with the unknown. Need a caring family dentist? Give Riverstone Family Dental a call on 8678 3538.