Hail to the Tooth Fairy: young school age child development

The Tooth Fairy rocks!

For kids, the Tooth Fairy takes the worry out of the stage around five to seven years when they start to worry about their “body integrity.” Kids are concerned about keeping their bodies intact. This is the age of Band-Aids and boo boos, of skinned knees on the playground and falls from bikes without training wheels. When a child loses her tooth, a PIECE of her BODY falls off. Often the child experiences discomfort as the tooth gets very loose. Many become anxious and have difficulty eating when the tooth gets to the “hanging by a thread” state. Kids BLEED if they lose a tooth by biting into an apple or knocking into something. Yet adults convert this potentially anxiety-provoking event of losing a tooth into an exciting rite of passage. Without the Tooth Fairy, we’d have a batch of kids mortified by a normal physical change. Who ever invented the Tooth Fairy was a GENIUS!

Our patients have taught us interesting “facts” about the tooth fairy over the years:

  • Some tooth fairies leave the token under the pillow, others leave it at the bedside.
  • Some tooth fairies leave money, others a small toy, and some write messages.
  • Some tooth fairies are boys and some are girls.
  • Some look like Tinker Bell and others look like trolls.
  • Some tooth fairies don’t have change for a twenty dollar bill.
  • Tooth fairies can look like someone the child already knows, even a mom or dad!
  • Tooth fairies can sense a missing tooth even if the child loses the tooth on the playground or swallows it by mistake, so it’s okay if the tooth is not left under a pillow for the Tooth Fairy. She’ll still come.

Pediatricians and dentists like Dentist Endicott, recommend children begin regular dental visits within six months of getting their first tooth. Most babies get their first tooth between four months and twelve months, so by eighteen months of age your child should have had her first dental visit. Don’t forget to start brushing as soon as that first tooth appears. With this being said, it isn’t just kids who need to look after their teeth. No matter what age you are, you should clean your teeth at least twice a day. Kids don’t have to worry about things like tooth extractions just yet, but if you do, it may be best to visit website here and get fully informed. Who knows, this may come in handy for when your children get older.

It’s okay to brush with water alone or use a baby tooth and gum cleaner. Add toothpaste by age two years, when kids can learn how to spit. Ask your dentist or pediatrician about fluoride supplementation if there isn’t any fluoride in your water supply. For more tooth tips see our guest blog post by Dr. Paria Hassouri and take advantage of this free tooth brushing chart which you can personalize with your child’s name. Take good care of those primary teeth, even though they are destined to be taken away by the Tooth Fairy.

Julie Kardos, MD with Naline Lai, MD

©2012 Two Peds in a Pod®

Dr. Kardos feels nostalgic. Her oldest child, who stopped eating for the two days before his first baby tooth fell out, just lost his last baby tooth last week. And yes, the Tooth Fairy did visit her twelve-year-old.

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