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Tooth Fairy 101: Being the Tooth Fairy in 2015

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Whether you currently have children or are planning on having children in the future, you already know that you'll be responsible for a lot when it comes to raising them. There's also the intangibles - and by that we mean playing the role of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and, yes, the tooth fairy.

In honor of National Tooth Fairy Day on February 28, here's a look at some tips for playing this all-important role for children. Just think of it as Tooth Fairy 101:

What's the best way to pull a child's loose tooth?

In order to play the role of tooth fairy, your child first needs to lose a tooth. That brings us to the question of what to do if your child has a loose tooth - is it best to pull it? The answer is actually "no," and that's because you could potentially hurt your child if you intervene and help. Only your child knows how loose the tooth actually is, so instead of pulling it for them, encourage them to wiggle it free with their tongue or finger.

Is money still the best thing to award for a tooth? How much?

Yes, you can't go wrong with money (although chocolate coins are a neat idea that some parents do instead), but the issue of how much to give is a different story. One thing you absolutely need to consider, however, when it comes to money is that your child is going to lose a lot of teeth - so be prepared to pony up the amount you decide on every tooth your little one loses. It's not cool to decrease your tooth fairy payment. We suggest starting small, as in four quarters for a first lost tooth, and gradually increasing payment the more teeth are lost.

Also, why not also leave a toothbrush and some dental floss with the cash or coins? After all, early brushing and flossing can help pave the way for a lifetime of good oral care habits.

What do you do with teeth after you've collected them?

Although we suggest just simply tossing them into the garbage, you can really do whatever you want with them. Just be sure to come up with a good story when your child asks you where the tooth fairy takes their teeth. Get creative with this. Our personal favorite answer is "to a research facility to uncover new ways teeth can guard against cavities."

What can I do if my kids' friends got more for their teeth?

It's inevitable - your children are going to compare tooth fairy notes with their peers. This means you need a good story to tell them when they say little Johnny Smith got $5 for his lost tooth when your kid only got $1. Here are a few good covers:

Money left depends on how many kids lost teeth that day, so if a lot of kids lost teeth, the tooth fairy money allotment is more spread out and therefore less per tooth lost.

Money is weighed on a per-tooth basis. So a first tooth gets more than a second or third tooth, for example.

Tooth bonus: The tooth fairy awards a tooth bonus if a certain number of teeth were lost within a pre-determined time period.

For more information on playing the role of tooth fairy in 2015 - and on caring for teeth in general - contact Caven Dental today.

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