The jingle of change and the rustle of a crisp dollar bill is a hallmark experience of growing up for many children. Childhood is a time of wonderful experiences, exploration and change. At each stage of development children are actively at work understanding the changes that are happening to their bodies.
As we grow our body replaces 20 primary teeth, also known as baby teeth, with our final set of 32 permanent teeth. Most children lose their first tooth around four years old. The first time a child loses a tooth might be a little bit emotionally challenging.
It’s a good idea to talk to your child about the process. Let them know that it’s natural for a tooth to become loose and when it happens they should tell you. Make sure they understand that it’s a part of the process of growing up and how in time a permanent tooth will take its place.
Ultimately the Tooth Fairy has the same limited shelf life as Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny. The custom of exchanging lost baby teeth for a small sum of money dates back to early European cultures.
Some parents feel that telling their child about the Tooth Fairy gives them a sense of comfort to help sooth any pain or anxiety that may have come from losing the tooth. Other parents might feel that the Tooth Fairy concept is a form of deception which can impact their child’s sense of trust.
Whether or not you choose to introduce your child to the Tooth Fairy concept is a matter of personal preference and parenting style. Many children feel that losing baby teeth for adult teeth is one of the many rites of passage that come with growing up.
Money is often perceived by children as an adult responsibility. Even if you choose not to have the tooth Fairy visit your house, be sure that your child understands the long term responsibility they will have for their adult teeth. The experience itself can be a great opportunity to reinforce good habits of brushing and flossing.