When Marissa Rifkin was a student at Horace Greeley High School, her favorite subject was science but her favorite teachers were her history and English teachers. “They helped me enjoy subjects I didn’t think I liked, and they motivated me as a writer,” says Rifkin, a graduate of Greeley and Cornell University and a third-year dental student at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, who combined her love of science with her writing skills to co-author The Tooth Fairy’s Busy Day.
Assigned to do a research project involving evaluating children’s literature about dental health, Rifkin and her classmate, Elizabeth Crowe, developed a list of the best available books relating to going to the dentist and dental health and considered the gaps in children’s literature concerning dental health. Seeing the gaps, Rifkin and Crowe wrote a book to encourage young children to be excited about taking good care of their teeth. “It’s really important to start taking care of your teeth at a young age, and we wanted to create excitement about keeping your mouth healthy and ensuring a healthy smile.”
Rifkin, who plans to focus on pediatric dentistry when she graduates from Columbia, wrote an engaging, colorful story; filled with rhymes and pictures, she teaches children about basic oral hygiene and preventative dental care. She portrays thedentist’s office as a welcoming place so children feel comfortable going to the dentist.
“I’m really proud of the way that The Tooth Fairy’s Busy Day weaves together important concepts like nutrition, dental home care, and visiting the dentist,” notes Rifkin, who found that there were not enough books for children that impactfully set the stage for children to focus on complete oral health at an early age. Now Rifkin is sharing her book with the Westchester community. A Grafflin grad, she states she would be honored if a copy ends up
in the Grafflin library, and in the Chappaqua Library, too. The Tooth Fairy’s Busy Day, by Marisa Rifkin and Elizabeth Crowe, published in August 2021, is available on amazon.com.