‘The Tooth Brigade’: Va. parents write book, create theme to celebrate lost teeth

Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 7:23 PM EST
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BON AIR, Va. (WWBT) - A Bon Air couple has written a book and brought the characters to life by creating three stuffed monster toys that double as tooth holders for the tooth fairy.

It’s a fun read for the kids and should make life a little easier for a busy tooth fairy.

Andy and Sharon Azula have boy-girl twins, ready to head off to college. But their adventures in parenting have left their creative minds churning for years on a few projects for families.

The Azula’s started a company called, “It Helps to Play” and their first product recently hit the market. A “fun pack” if you will for lost teeth, that combines a tooth fairy fairy-tale called “The Tooth Brigade” and three plush monsters featured in the book, to be used for holding lost teeth.

“We wrote a story about how the tooth fairy got herself in a sticky situation and then she finds these three monsters called ‘The Tooth Brigade’ that help her out,” creator Andy Azula said. “And then she hires them to become her full-time helpers.”

The plush monsters are named Potato, Blue and Ollie. The green, blue and pink monsters are characters in the book, but their mouths also zip open and shut to hold a child’s lost tooth.

“We wanted to create something that children would actually play with and that looked and felt like it was for them," Azula said. "So, we picked out the monsters and they are all pretty flat so they fit underneath the pillows pretty nicely. But they have tails and arms and ears so they’re really easy to pull out from underneath the pillow.”

Mom and dad got the inspiration for the project, from their own kids.

“When they started getting their first wiggly teeth, we realized we didn’t know what we were going to do about the tooth fairy," Sharon Azula said. "All of a sudden, we were like, we can put the tooth under the pillow. But that seems a little lacking maybe?”

She mentioned sometimes it was hard to get a little tooth in and out of the small pockets on lots of tooth products.

“So, we have a really big pocket so it’s really easy to get a tooth in there, for the child to put a tooth in there and for the tooth fairy, with maybe even bigger tooth fairy fingers to get it out,” Andy Azula said. “And put a prize back in again.”

For years, the couple simmered on what might make losing teeth more fun while raising their kids. And she finally decided to write it down, literally.

“I hope they look forward to it," Sharon Azula said, envisioning families using the products. "It’s something that children and parents can do together. It makes the experience fun. It’s not just a transaction where you’re putting something under the pillow and you get something back. Hopefully, it’s something that makes it exciting together.”

One other helpful design, the monsters have long tails and arms, making it a little easier for the tooth fairy to get her job done quickly.

The Azulas say they do have their next project in the works, but they weren’t ready to share just yet.

“We have several ideas waiting to go, but right now, we are really concentrating just on “The Tooth Brigade” to make sure we get it right and that it works really, really well,” Andy said. “And once we feel really good about that, we’ll jump onto the next idea.”

If you want to check out the Tooth Brigade, there is a pop-up event on Sunday, Jan. 26 at “Clover” on West Cary Street.

You can check out the event from 1-3 p.m.

You can also check out their website and where to buy the book or monsters, here.