Happy National Tooth Fairy Day: BU Alum and Children’s Book Author Created National Holiday Honoring Children’s Dental Health Month

 

When Katie Davis COM 81 was child, she was terrified to lose her baby teeth. 

This childhood fear led her to, in 2003, author a children’s book–“Mabel the Tooth Fairy and How She Got her Job”–that helps children navigate the unsettling and frightening experience of losing their teeth. 

She wanted to promote her book in a way that both honored the lore of the Tooth Fairy and created awareness for children’s dental health. Why not a national holiday, she thought?  

And so National Tooth Fairy Day was born. 

“My daughter, who’s now in her twenties, [still] swears she saw blue sparkles one night when she was waiting for the Tooth Fairy to show up,” Davis said. “It’s a really fun legend and makes something that’s difficult, which is losing a tooth, and can be really scary. It makes it an event and a fun thing instead of something scary.” 

Davis said she discovered Chase’s Calendar of Events and submitted National Tooth Fairy Day as a new special event, which was later approved. (Chase’s Calendar of Events is an annually updated reference anthology listing holidays, federal/state observances, historic anniversaries, and other special events. Every spring, hundreds of new entries are submitted to join the next edition.)  

Davis targeted February, as it is National Children’s Dental Health Month, an already established time for raising awareness of the importance of teaching children strong oral healthcare habits. As for the selection of February 28, Davis thought it was amusing how February can either have 28 or 29 days, depending on if the year is a Leap Year. She thought this peculiarity matched the cheeky nature of the Tooth Fairy.  

National Tooth Fairy Day has since evolved to be celebrated both on February 28 and August 22. It is unclear why National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated twice a year, although a potential theory is that the holidays are used as a reminder that children should have regular dental cleanings every six months. According to Colgate’s “,” if a child’s appointment is on February 28, their second appointment will fall right before back-to-school season in late August.  

Although Davis was not influential in the August date, she said she was happy to hear her idea has spread. National Tooth Fairy Day, it is one small act that can help reduce children’s fear of losing their teeth and set them up for a lifetime of proactive dental healthcare.  

“I had bad dental phobia,” Davis said of her childhood experience with the dentist. “It was not until I was an adult that I really realized that I needed to care for myself much more frequently with the dentist so that I wouldn’t have [any] bad issues.”  

 

By Rachel Grace Philipson