Introducing the Smile Solutions’ Tooth Fairy
As a registered dental nurse doubling as the Smile Solutions Tooth Fairy, I often leave my “home” in the tower of the Manchester Unity Building to lead a free educational initiative aimed at reducing the number of Australian children suffering from preventable dental disease.
Assisted by Boris the Tooth Dragon, I make public appearances and attend early learning centres and schools throughout Melbourne, where I encourage children to care for their teeth and gums by demonstrating correct brushing of teeth and leading children in fun activities and games.
The Smile Solutions Tooth Fairy has teamed up with Clown Doctors, an Australian charity that supports and delivers the health benefits of humour in sick children’s recovery. The Tooth Fairy has made several visits to hospitals under this partnership.
I also have my own website, which children are encouraged to visit. Here they can meet me, learn about their first visit to the dentist, and find out about how to care for their teeth and gums while playing fun and entertaining child-friendly games. It also contains a section where parents can download a customised letter from me to their child when they are about to lose a tooth.
We’ve also set up a Tooth Fairy hotline that is exclusive to Smile Solutions patients. When a child loses a tooth, they can speak with me. Parents are invited to call 13 13 96 and speak to one of our friendly consultants. They will guide you through our quick and easy hotline registration process.
Dentist games: Helping your child to enjoy the dentist
As Smile Solutions Tooth Fairy, I know how much fun children have playing games related to their teeth.
I’ve included a few dentist games on my Tooth Fairy website, which children are encouraged to visit. Here they can meet me, learn what to expect on their first visit to the dentist, and find out how to care for their teeth and gums while playing the dentist games.
There’s a tooth brushing game and games to outsmart or escape mouth bugs, amongst others.
But we also know how anxious little ones can be when they visit the dentist, especially for the first time.
That’s why our reception area features a fish tank where kids can search for Nemo! We play children’s videos during paediatric consultations, and practise “teddy bear therapy”. Children will be given other surprises to take home with them after they have seen our children’s dentist or hygienist. We also encourage you to bring along one of your child’s favourite cuddly toys and/or any small games from home to help distract them during their appointment.
We want your child to regard going to the dentist as a rewarding experience that they will continue to enjoy.
Information for teachers about the Smile Solutions Tooth Fairy
Concerning statistics from the 2011 Child Dental Health Survey show that almost half of Australian children aged five and six have one or more cavities in their milk teeth, while one in ten have more than seven cavities.
In order to help reduce the number of Australian children suffering from preventable dental disease, the Smile Solutions Tooth Fairy presents to Melbourne kindergartens and schools an educational, interactive show. She teaches children about oral care and good nutrition, assisted by her friendly puppet Boris the (toothy) Dragon.
Each session, which is interactive and fun, lasts about 30 minutes. The Smile Solutions Tooth Fairy and her assistant explain or demonstrate:
- the difference between healthy food and junk food/drinks and the ways in which junk foods/drinks damage teeth
- how to bush teeth, gums and tongue correctly, reinforced by a song
- how to floss and why it’s important to do so
- correct names of some of our teeth
- what to expect when teeth become wobbly and how the adult teeth will grow
- the process of visiting a dentist
Children are shown some of the instruments used by a dentist and one child is given the opportunity to try on a dental gown, mask and gloves.
The children will take home an educational letter for their parents, a dental voucher, a tooth chart, colouring-in sheets and more.
Teachers are encouraged to book the Tooth Fairy to visit their kindergarten or school. For more information, go to the website.