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Updated: February 27, 2014 19:09 IST

Tale of the tooth fairy

Dr. Vijailakshmi Acharya
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On Tooth Fairy Day, here’s a look at the fantasy figure from our growing-up years

You would’ve never imagined that there is such a day. Mothers and fathers, friends and lovers, doctors and diseases all have their day in a world fuelled by commerce. But, Tooth Fairy Day? Yes, there it was, in an obscure little corner of a newspaper.

February 28 is the Day of the Tooth Fairy. She has been around for a long time, since the Middle Ages, a fantasy figure of the early years. The story is that when a child loses a baby tooth and keeps it under a pillow, the tooth fairy will take the tooth and replace it with a gift. Legends and traditions abound, some steeped in superstition, others in customs. Baby teeth were often buried or burnt to avoid the evil eye. At other times, they were collected and strung around the neck as a good luck charm.

Today this cute little fairy still continues to enthral kids and parents alike. Remember the time you fearfully clutched your mother’s finger and walked backwards into the dentist’s office? Only the lure of receiving that gift from the tooth fairy kept you from running for your life. And yes, you did find that little something under your pillow next day, didn’t you?

Today, not much has changed except that it is now your kid clutching your finger….

Primary or baby teeth serve a greater purpose before they are finally lost. They start appearing at around four months and are all in place by the time the child is three years old. The milk teeth start shedding around six years and all are replaced with permanent teeth by age 12. During this brief period the baby teeth maintain the space for the oncoming final teeth and help in chewing and speech.

However they are prone to cavities and need to be cared for so that they are not lost prematurely. Such painful episodes can be most traumatic and need to be avoided. You can make a difference by taking your baby for periodic checkups and preventive dental care.

We have all had a tooth fairy experience in our life. Why not make it delightful for your child by ensuring good cavity-free dental health?

For the kids, the tooth fairy is magical. For the rest of us, we could all do with some magic!

www.acharyadental.com

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