Molli Corcoran has a job that makes everyone smile. She is the Tooth Fairy of Washington state.
As Delta Dental of Washington’s mascot, Corcoran, a 29-year-old Snohomish native, visits schools and youth organizations to speak to kids about the importance of taking care of their smiles.
February has been especially busy for the tooth-collecting fairy. This month is National Children’s Dental Health Month — when dentists, dental hygienists and assistants go out into the community to teach kids about dental health — and National Tooth Fairy Day is Feb. 28. Most recently, the Tooth Fairy attended the Imagine Children’s Museum’s Toothapalooza on Feb. 16.
“My goal is to have an honest connection with as many kids as possible,” said Corcoran, who earned her Tooth Fairy wings in 2015. “I want to make the experience as special and memorable as I can.”
When she’s not out collecting teeth or spreading smiles in Washington, Corcoran is an actor with the Seattle Children’s Theatre, teaching drama and music at a few different schools, an assistant for a local interior designer and a studio coordinator at Flywheel Sports, an indoor cycling studio in Seattle.
“On average I work between 60 and 70 hours per week,” she said. “Good thing I love what I do!”
How did you get the job of Tooth Fairy?
I’d like to think I was born to be the Tooth Fairy. At 7 years old, I had eight teeth pulled at the dentist. Despite the large Tooth Fairy payout, I remained vigilant about my teeth after that: regular brushing and flossing. Fast forward 20 years, I was working as a children’s theater actor and educator. Given my background, during my interview for the Tooth Fairy, it was easy for me to discuss the value a healthy smile has in a child’s life. Also, I’m one of those annoying people who is always smiling — I can’t help it!
What do you do as the Tooth Fairy?
As the Tooth Fairy, I partner with Delta Dental of Washington to spread and promote healthy smiles across the state. Much of the time, I’m visiting schools and youth organizations where I meet incredible kids and chat with them about the importance of healthy smiles, brushing twice a day, flossing daily and making regular visits to their dentist. I also surprise and recognize “Smile Makers” — individuals and organizations, nominated by their peers, who give back to their communities.
How do you get into character?
People assume the Tooth Fairy is just a mythical creature that collects teeth. Little do they know, I’m also on a mission to spread and protect smiles. Smiles are contagious — all it takes is one smile to bring joy to an entire community. I’d say the only thing I have to do to get into character is wear a smile. It immediately fills my heart with joy.
Describe your Tooth Fairy costume.
I’m a true Pacific Northwest Tooth Fairy. As the Delta Dental of Washington Tooth Fairy, I’m decked out from head to toe in Delta Dental green. I wear green Converse, a green dress, green wings — even green glasses. The dress is decorated with sparkling teeth decals and I carry a tooth wand, of course.
What kinds of things do you tell kids?
We talk a lot about the importance of dental health. We cover the basics of how to take care of your teeth, and we come up with ideas for how to make it fun. I share fun teeth and mouth facts with them. For example, did you know that sharks don’t get cavities because their teeth are covered in fluoride, making them cavity resistant? I then quiz them on how often and how long they should brush their teeth, and what foods are good and bad for your teeth.
What kinds of things do they tell you?
Kids love to tell me about the first time they lost a tooth and the Tooth Fairy visited them. They generally ask me why I didn’t leave them more money. They always wonder how I know where they live. They have THE BEST stories to tell.
Any funny stories that you can share?
One time I was visiting a boys and girls club in Eastern Washington. I was speaking in front of a very large group of kids. At the end of the event, I fielded questions. I tried to call on as many raised hands as I could but, unfortunately, I ran out of time and wasn’t able to call on everyone.
While I was exiting, a young boy who couldn’t have been older than 7, ran up and stood directly next to me. I could tell he was trying to be very discreet. Without making eye contact, he stared in the opposite direction and said, “Look, Tooth Fairy, I know you’re not real, but I’m going to play along for the other kids. OK?” It was very 007.
How much did the Tooth Fairy leave you under your pillow?
I received four quarters per tooth when I was little. I’m not sure why the Tooth Fairy always left quarters, but I certainly remember that I never got dollar bills.
Tell me your professional background.
I first appeared on stage at the age of 6 in a production of “A Christmas Carol.” I played Jacob Marley. Let’s just say my passion for the craft has never ceased.
I attended Western Washington University, where I majored in theater and music. When I graduated from college, I was lucky enough to have been immediately offered a job acting at the Seattle Children’s Theatre. This theater also happens to be among the 20 largest regional theaters in the United States. Over the years I have worked at many other theaters, but the most challenging and gratifying work I do is consistently at Seattle Children’s Theatre.
I have worked as a resident teaching artist at Mercer Island High School. I also toured Washington elementary schools with Book-It Repertory Theatre’s Arts and Education Program. I have taught for five consecutive summers with Sing Out Seattle.
What do you enjoy about being the Tooth Fairy?
This job is extremely rewarding — I mean, what’s a better job description than bringing smiles to people across the state? If I had to choose a favorite part, I think it’s honoring Smile Makers. Seeing the look on someone’s face as a bright green Tooth Fairy waltzes into their workplace and thanks them for the service they provide to the community is incredibly special. The people we honor generally assume their work goes unnoticed because they simply see a need and answer the call. These individuals deserve the gift of a “smile.” Nine times out of 10, they are brought to tears and, subsequently, so am I.
Finish this sentence: People would be shocked to know…
I have a filling! Yep — even the Tooth Fairy can get a cavity!
What is your proudest moment?
I think when I got cast as Pippi Longstocking at the Seattle Children’s Theatre.
Name three things in your fridge right now.
Cheese. Fig Spread. Arugula. It’s the recipe for the most delicious grilled cheese sandwich ever.