The loss of baby teeth is an important rite of passage for many children. However, put yourself in the place of a child who just popped a baby chomper for the first time: There’s a teensy bit of blood! There’s now a gap in their mouth! And the tooth doesn’t snap back into place like a Lego brick, no matter how much they try!
For many of us who remember the trauma of losing baby teeth, the upside was the ritual of The Tooth Fairy, in which one would leave the tooth beneath their pillow at night, and then wake up to discover a shiny new nickel or dime in its place. Now comes Teeth Fairies, a new doll and book set that takes the ritual, and expands it into a mythology to keep children (and parents) soothed across the time span in which they lose baby teeth—roughly ages 5 to 12.
In the book, Teeth Fairies, written by Ingrid Bencosme and illustrated by Laura Watson, there is not just one tooth fairy, but a whole diverse group of them. Each one has their own child they watch over, and the Teeth Fairies have a rich, professional life that includes keeping track of how well their children take care of their teeth. Then whenever a child does lose a baby tooth, the Tooth Fairy takes it back to their home office, where it gets sorted as part of a highly valuable collection.
The doll included with Teeth Fairies is soft, has child-like features, and has a colorful outfit with skirt and cute wings on the back. In other words, it’s the perfect companion for a child to confide in with their lost tooth anxieties. But what’s interesting—and skillful—about the doll is that it’s meant to be a temporary visitor (That’s how it’s depicted in the storybook, at least), which makes sense: The Tooth Fairy’s job is to bring your tooth back to their headquarters, and while they doubtlessly would love to hang around, it’s perishable cargo they’re transporting! On the upside, it gives children something to look forward to whenever they lose their teeth, besides the temporary pain and awkwardness.
Watson’s book illustrations are bright and pleasant to look at, and Bencosme has written the story in rhyming verse, which should keep the targeted audience’s attention. There’s also a point in which the child can give their Tooth Fairy a name—making for an even more personalized experience—as well as keep written track of their lost teeth and corresponding surprises received. While nothing can truly replace a lost baby tooth—well, okay, that’s not true, as the entire point is something takes its place—Teeth Fairies makes the process as positive as possible.