Explaining the Tooth Fairy to a Child
Children have enquiring minds, so be prepared for some follow up questions once the basic tooth collection process has been described. Children might not know that the reason the tooth fairy collects teeth is to make fairy dust out of them, and by handing over their teeth little children are helping the fairy to fly. Or that perhaps the fairy recycles them into new teeth for babies, or even in to stars to fill the night sky.
They might not realise that fairies get their money by melting down some of the teeth and turning them into coins for children to spend. Or that they sometimes sell the teeth as bricks to fairyland castle builders.
Ah, so many things the tooth fairy does with little teeth. But what could you do with them?
What to Do with Teeth the Tooth Fairy Collects
Most parents throw lost teeth away, but it can be tempting to keep hold of these little gems as reminders of childhood days for both you and your children. So, you could keep them in a little jar, but don’t forget to label the collection as to whose it is and make sure they’re well hidden from little explorers. Milk teeth contain mesenchymal stem cells
, which could potentially
be harvested and used to help your child if they get sick later in life.
You can pick up specially designed baby teeth albums cheaply, and some people even make jewellery out of them
Tooth Fairy Ideas for Light Sleepers
Not all kids will sleep through you rummaging under their pillow, so you might want to have a special tooth fairy pillow next to the bed, or a small jar that hangs on the door handle. You could even use a dish or special pouch that goes on the floor outside their bedroom door, which might also help the tooth fairy to remember to collect it!
There are some wonderful mini tooth fairy doors available for children to leave out, so the fairy knows to come and check for teeth. You could sprinkle some glitter around the door so that your child can see they’ve been.
You could get your light sleeper a personalised tooth fairy box to put their teeth in, and why not wrap the tooth and the money in the same tissue paper for a bit of extra magic? If you and your little one is in to crafts, maybe you could even make an origami tooth fairy basket.
If your child is a light sleeper, you could leave the tooth in a small glass of water by the toothbrushes in the bathroom. In the morning the tooth will have been replaced with a coin and you could drop a little food colouring in the water to show that the tooth fairy’s colourful wings were accidentally dipped in the water on the collection.
How to Answer, “Is the Tooth Fairy Real”?
Should this question come up, and it’s likely to at some point, the first thing to do is ascertain why it’s being asked. Does your little one want to know the truth or do they want to keep believing? Asking them why they’re interested and how they feel about it can give you a steer here. Another thing to consider is how old they are. Could it be detrimental for them to spread rumours of the truth amongst other children if they’re very young, or to carry on believing when they’re a little old?
Depending on the above you can tell them that if they believe in tooth fairy magic, then that’s all that matters, or you can break it to them gently. There’s certainly a strong argument that children need to know parents tell them the truth, so a direct question may require a direct but kind response. Finding out the truth may make them laugh, or it may make them sad or angry. It can be difficult to see our children upset but remember that these are emotions we all experience and they aren’t bad in themselves.
When breaking the news, be positive. Explain that parents do this because it makes their children happy, that it’s a tradition that’s centuries old. Get them to think about how much fun it’s been and ask them not to tell younger siblings, so it remains fun for them. Of course, part of this involves them continuing to get money if they still have a few teeth to come out! They might decide that being part of the grown-up club isn’t so bad…
What to Do When the Tooth Fairy Forgets to Come
Perhaps your child hid their tooth from you and snuck it under their pillow without you knowing, or maybe in the whirlwind of life you simply forgot. Fret not. It isn’t the end of the world.
The profession of tooth collection is a busy and confusing one, and sometimes the tooth fairy looks under the wrong pillow or has so many teeth to collect that they have to go home to empty their bag before they’ve managed to visit everyone. Perhaps you could help your child draw a big arrow and a landing pad for the tooth fairy next to their pillow, so they manage to find the right one this time.
Sometimes the tooth fairy just gets lost! Especially if it is raining, which incidentally is not good for wings: they need to be dry to fly or the fairy dust washes off. And that’s assuming the fairy dust hasn’t suddenly run out, which happens more often than we might think.
Furthermore, if a tooth fairy thinks a sleeping child is about to wake up, they must make a dash for it whether they’ve collected the tooth or not. And if a bedroom is a bit messy, then sometimes they can’t find the tooth they’re supposed to collect!
Whatever the reason, you might find that the tooth fairy leaves a short letter, note, even a poem to explain the situation when the tooth is finally collected. There are a few example letters online, and you could roll one up into a tiny scroll using a toothpick and some floss to tie it together.
Being a tooth fairy is not an easy job. Mistakes can happen and when the time comes to leave that world behind it can bring up a range of different emotions. But the magic of a story well told can build creative kingdoms in the imagination that can serve our children well for the rest of their lives!