When Ingrid Bencosme’s daughter had her first loose tooth, she had many questions about what would happen when her tooth finally fell out. Bencosme said she searched for related games and stories to ease her daughter’s anxiety, but she came up empty-handed.
As an early childhood teacher in Elmont for 10 years, Bencosme has always been interested in children’s literature. “I have always written poems and stories,” said Bencosme. “I have notebooks full of ideas, but none were as compelling as this one.”
Bencosme’s compelling idea led her to publish her first children’s book, “Teeth Fairies,” in February 2015. After seeing the lack of children’s books and toys on the subject, she wrote the poem that eventually became the basis for her book and found a generic doll online for her daughter to go along with the story. Bencosme saw how much her daughter enjoyed the story and observed changes in her daughter’s behavior. “Instead of me having to tell her over and over to brush her teeth, she began to do it on her own,” she said.
Bencosme, 44, said the purpose of the book is to encourage kids to practice better dental hygiene. In “Teeth Fairies,” Bencosme created her own take on the tooth fairy concept. In her story, every child has a personal tooth fairy that he or she must find every morning. She first appears as a tooth fairy-in-training when the child’s first tooth begins to loosen, and she checks on their brushing and flossing habits every day, reporting back to the head tooth fairy at night. Once the tooth falls out, the child places the tooth in the pocket of the tooth fairy’s crown, and she then becomes an official tooth fairy. If the child has maintained good dental hygiene throughout the process of losing the tooth, the personal tooth fairy brings a reward.
“Teeth Fairies” is sold as a bookset, which includes a tooth fairy doll, in stores such as Barnes & Noble, FAO Schwarz, Toys R Us and Barneys New York, and it is also available online on Amazon and the official “Teeth Fairies” website, TeethFairies.com.
Among the feedback that she has received, Bencosme said parents have told her their children love to listen to the story and take the doll with them everywhere.
Bencosme has also had the support of influential “mom-bloggers,” like Kathy King, who have written positive reviews about the bookset. Within a few months of the release of the book, “Teeth Fairies” also received the Silver National Parenting Product Award.
On Saturday, May 7, Bencosme held an author event at the Manhasset Barnes & Noble, which included a presentation with a pediatric dentist regarding good dental hygiene practices for the children. At the event, the Manhasset Barnes & Noble announced, through the month of June, anyone who purchases a bookset of “Teeth Fairies” from the store would be entered into a raffle to win a $250 Barnes & Noble gift card.