Do you have a child who is old enough to take care of their own teeth but young enough that the tooth fairy still visits them? Has this child recently lost a tooth that shows signs of decay, and are you wondering whether the tooth fairy should skip this visit to teach your child a lesson on proper dental hygiene. If so, here are 3 reasons why you the tooth fairy should visit, even to collect a tooth that has a cavity in it.
1. The Tooth Fairy Tale Is Good For Your Child
The tooth fairy fosters imagination in young children who are too naive to question her existence, but she does more than that, too. Humans subconsciously associate tooth loss with death, and the tooth fairy helps to calm the unsettling feeling that comes along with that thought. Even if your child seems excited over their new missing tooth, on some level they are likely also bothered by it. By allowing the tooth fairy to visit, even to collect a decayed tooth, you bring a bit of comfort to a scary and difficult-to-understand experience.
2. Genetics Might Be To Blame For The Tooth Decay
Just because the tooth that fell out of your child's mouth has a cavity in it doesn't necessarily mean that the cavity was caused by lack of good dental hygiene. Depending on your child's genetic makeup, they may be more susceptible to tooth decay. Some people are simply born with softer enamel, with saliva that doesn't properly metabolize the minerals needed for strong teeth, or with a weaker immune response to bacteria that cause tooth decay. In fact, experts believe that as much as 60 percent of a person's risk of tooth decay can be attributed to genetic factors.
If you know that your child has been skipping brushing their teeth or not flossing after meals simply because they don't like the task, that's one thing; you know what you need to work on with your child to reduce their dental decay. But if they've been doing their best to take care of their teeth and still getting cavities, it could be a sign that there are other factors at play. Visit your child's dentist to find out what genetic factors may be influencing your kid's dental health and what you can do to protect them from those factors.
3. You Can Use The Tooth Fairy's Visit As A Teaching Moment
Even if you strongly suspect that your child's tooth decay was caused strictly from them not taking the proper steps for good dental hygiene, the tooth fairy should still visit. Why? You can use the opportunity as a teaching moment. Consider crafting a note to your child from the tooth fairy on the benefits of a beautiful smile and the consequences of not brushing and flossing their teeth on a regular basis.
If you offer some money along with the note, include a statement about saving that money or spending it on something other than a bad-for-teeth sugary treats. Instead of money, though, it might be a good idea for the tooth fairy to leave a reward that promotes good dental hygiene habits, such as a new toothbrush, a book about dental hygiene, or a fun flavor of toothpaste. Just be sure any toothpaste you reward your child with is approved by the American Dental Association.
If your child has just lost a tooth with a cavity in it and you're wondering whether or not the tooth fairy should come and reward them tonight, the answer is yes, she absolutely should. The tooth fairy provides a comforting experience and can help your child learn about good dental hygiene in a positive way. Just be sure to follow up the tooth fairy's visit with a visit to your child's dentist to start building a plan for a healthier next lost tooth.
For more tips on helping your kid care about dental hygiene, speak with your dentist or visit sites like http://www.nwidentist.com/.