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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Just in time for National Tooth Fairy Day, author provides 10 tips from the dental fantasy figure

By Cindy Hval For The Spokesman-Review

It’s a milestone often celebrated with cash, but that’s not what Edie Higby remembers about losing her baby teeth – she remembers the magic.

“The Tooth Fairy left me notes under my pillow or on the window ledge,” she recalled. “The notes said things like ‘You have a beautiful smile,’ or ‘I love how kind you are.’ ”

Feb. 22 is National Tooth Fairy Day, but Higby celebrates all year long. As an early childhood education professional, she wanted to pass on a bit of magic to kids. Her mission took flight when she learned the impact of poor oral health on children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cavities are the most common chronic disease of childhood in the United States. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.

Additionally, by age 8, over half of children have had a cavity in their primary teeth, and 34.4 million hours of school were lost due to dental emergencies.

“And it’s totally preventable,” Higby said. “I’ve had circle times filled with littles with toothaches.”

She decided to find an innovative way to reach kids and their parents about the importance of oral hygiene. In 2017, she published “10 Tips from the Tooth Fairy.”

“The Tooth Fairy is a magical part of childhood and is another way to talk to kids about oral health,” she said.

Filled with delightful rhymes straight from the Tooth Fairy and sprinkled with colorful illustrations by Yogesh Mahajan, the book offers a fun read-aloud way to educate youngsters about caring for their smiles.

“I wrote the book I wanted to read to kids at circle time.”

Her 10 tips include “Tip #1 Brushing is FUN! Tip #2 You’ll have to FLOSS TOO! And Tip #5 Cavities HIDE!”

Other tips point to the importance of a smile.

“A smile is a gift to both give and receive, that’s true I really do BELIEVE. So share your smile with glee, give it away for free.”

After penning the book, Higby quickly discovered the next steps were far more difficult.

“Writing the book was easy. Self-publishing is hard!”

She wasn’t entirely pleased with the first run, and she struggled to find time to promote the book while working her full-time job.

“I took a pause,” she said.

But she never stopped believing “10 Tips from the Tooth Fairy” could make a difference. During COVID-19, she worked on it further and released a new edition in December 2021. This time, she included an activity book she hopes to place in dental offices. Post-pandemic marketing efforts stalled, but Higby persisted.

“I know the power of a smile.”

And she has a dream much bigger than a best-selling children’s book.

“I want to have a Tooth Fairy balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” she said.

Higby even named the puppy she got in 2022, “Macy Day Parade.”

Last month, she had an online meeting with the creative director of the parade. She poured out her passion for the project and found a receptive audience.

“He believes the Tooth Fairy needs to be there,” Higby said. “He said that the next time we talk, we’ll have a welcoming meeting.”

That may be a ways off. She discovered that for advertisers, Macy’s parade is like the Super Bowl. It will cost about $2 million to get a Tooth Fairy balloon off the ground.

Higby is undeterred.

“It’s not going to happen with just me, but if every dentist in town donates a dollar, I‘d have a great start! I believe it’s going to happen.”

For now, she and the Tooth Fairy are busy spreading the word about the importance of oral hygiene.

“I want children to still believe in magic,” she said. “I want them to believe that their smiles are special.”

Contact Cindy Hval at