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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

My intense love for candy, cakes, and everything in between started as a child. I simply couldn't go one day without something sweet to eat. But my love for all things sweet took a toll on my teeth. My dentist diagnosed me with seven cavities, each one a different size and depth. After sitting through four long dental appointments, I decided to make a change. I now monitor my diet and only eat things that benefit my oral health. I'm here to help you take better care of your teeth. My blog offers tips on how to improve your diet, maintain good oral hygiene, and many other topics. Hopefully, you can learn to overcome your bad habits just as I did. Good luck with your future dental health.


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Dental Health and Food: Learning to Eat Better

Losing Teeth, Gaining Culture: Three Things The Tooth Fairy Can Teach Your Child

by Eric Bailey

When your child loses a baby tooth it can be an exciting and somewhat frightening experience. If you, like many other parents, use the story of the tooth fairy to make the experience a little easier, you also might want to consider what the tooth fairy can teach your child about cultural appreciation, responsibility, oral hygiene, and imagination. 

Each Culture Has Different Beliefs and Traditions 

Although you may take the tooth fairy for granted, it is a rather recent creation that has been solidified in English-speaking parts of the world through the portrayal of benevolent fairies in early Disney films. You and your child may be interested to know how other cultures celebrate a child losing their first tooth. From rats collecting teeth to children throwing their teeth on their roof, there are many different and unexpected rituals you can discover with your child. 

To make this a truly educational experience, you can discuss why people from different places believe in different things. Ask your child where they think these traditions come from and why other cultures do not have a tooth fairy. You can explain that traditions come from different historical experiences that people share and ask where your child thinks the tooth fairy comes from. However, if your child believes the tooth fairy is real, you may want to proceed carefully with this conversation. 

Adults Have Financial and Physical Responsibility 

When the tooth fairy takes your child's tooth, they generally leave behind a monetary gift. Although some people think this is just to make it easier for your child to process their loss, others think that it helps turn the event into a rite of passage, introducing your child into the adult world of money and finances. Although a child can not do much with the average $3.70 that American children receive in exchange for their teeth, they do get to experience the responsibility and freedom of choosing how to spend their own money. 

While you are placing the tooth under their pillow and asking your child what they plan to do with the money they get, you might also discuss the difference between primary and adult teeth with your child. It is an excellent time to remind them that they are growing up and have to be responsible for their teeth for the rest of their life. Although they might be too young to brush unsupervised, you may let them take over more brushing responsibilities at this point. Let them know that if the tooth fairy thinks they are big enough to lose their baby teeth, then they are old enough to remember to brush and floss on their own. 

Everyone Has a Different Imagination 

When you think of the tooth fairy, do you imagine a male, female, adult, child, or perhaps not even a human? The tooth fairy has many different representations in the media and in the imaginations of Americans.

You can take the time to discuss these incarnations by sitting down with your child and drawing pictures of what you and they think the tooth fairy looks like. This activity is even more fun when done with friends or siblings. After you finish your pictures, ask them if they believe the tooth fairy can look like different things to different people and why or why not. Then, discuss imagination and perception with your child and what might influence these things. 

Depending on when your child loses their tooth, you may have to adapt some of these conversations to their level of understanding. However, the tooth fairy is a great way to slowly begin introducing your child to more complex ideas as they grow up. It's also a good opportunity to discuss dental health with your child. Visit a dental clinic online at http://www.nwidentist.com/ if you are looking for a dentist in your area.