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Tooth Loss: Does Your Kid Believe in the Tooth Fairy?

Tooth Loss: Does Your Kid Believe in the Tooth Fairy?

Where Did This Tradition Come From?

The tooth fairy is just one of several figures in folklore related to milk tooth loss and the legend goes that when a child loses one of their milk teeth they should place it under their pillow, where at some point during the night the tooth fairy will reward them with a small payment. This tradition is widely practiced in many countries and its origins can be traced back quite a long way. For example, the Vikings used to pay children for their milk teeth as these teeth were thought to bring good luck in battle. In other cultures it was more common to burn these teeth, as the common belief in Medieval England was that failure to burn these teeth could allow a witch to gain power over you.

A Cute Tradition That Makes Tooth Loss Fun

Nowadays a whole industry has developed around this belief and it is possible to buy special keepsake boxes for your kid’s baby teeth, tooth fairy pillows with special pouches and even certificates. A survey carried out by Visa a couple of years ago found the going rate for a visit from the tooth fairy was $3.70. All these things help overcome a baby tooth loss and make it a very positive experience for little ones and it is definitely a rite of passage as the adult teeth begin to push through.

But What Happens If a Milk Tooth Comes out Too Early?

If your child is unfortunate enough to lose a milk tooth too soon then this is definitely not a cause for celebration. Early tooth loss can occur if a tooth becomes too badly infected or decayed to be saved and in which case Dr. Marina Krepkh or another of our pediatric dentists at the Kids Dentistry Center NYC will have no other option but to extract it. This is something we only do as a last resort as quite often it is possible to fill a tooth, or remove infection through carrying out a pulpotomy which is a childhood version of a root canal treatment. A very early tooth loss can cause all sorts of problems when the adult teeth are finally ready to push through the gums. Often there will be too little space for the adult teeth to erupt normally and the chances of them coming through crooked or out of place are increased. In addition, baby teeth help the jaws and facial muscles to develop correctly and they enable your kid to learn to speak and eat properly.

Space Maintainers Can Help

Space maintainers are fixed or removable appliances which may be prescribed when baby teeth are lost too soon. A space maintainer will help maintain the correct amount of space so the adult teeth can erupt correctly. There are lots of different types of space maintainers that can be used, depending on the position of the tooth that has been lost and the age of the child. Pediatric dentists at Kids Dentistry Center NYC tend to fit fixed space maintainers if a child is quite young, whereas older children are more able to cope with a removable appliance. If the tooth loss is highly visible then the space maintainer will include a replacement tooth but otherwise it is more about just keeping that space open.


Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)
(718) 491-5300

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Patients are seen by appointment
Monday 10am – 8pm
Tuesday 11am – 5pm
Wednesday 2pm-7pm
Thursday 3pm-7pm
Friday 10am-4pm

Once a month on Saturday, call the office 718-491-5300 to find out which Saturday.