The Tooth Fairy tradition dates back as far as the tenth century. Dr. Joya Lyons gave it an appropriately tech-enabled reinvention with her automated Enchanted Tooth Box, plus a new narrative as well.

FOR SLEEP-DEPRIVED parents, the mere thought of waking up in the middle of the night to play Tooth Fairy is exhausting, even anxiety-inducing. After all, what if you snooze through your alarm, then awaken to a devastated kid who’s now scarred for life due to a snub from the Tooth Fairy herself? Or, assuming you do manage to wake up, what if you get busted mid-swap and destroy a childhood fantasy? Even if all goes well, will you be able to go back to sleep afterward? These are admittedly the proverbial first-world problems, but problems they are, especially for any parent burning the candle at both ends.

A better solution has been brought to life by Dr. Joya Lyons, a mom, cosmetic dentist, past Incisal Edge 40 Under 40 honoree and half of the Charlotte, North Carolina, power couple behind Smile Savvy Cosmetic Dentistry, which she co-owns with her husband, Dr. Andrew Lyons. One night at 3 A.M., half-asleep while playing Tooth Fairy, she realized there had to be another way. Thus be-gan a journey of invention that started with creativity, wound through intensive market research and product development, and culminated in the creation of a company called Enchanted Traditions that now offers a foolproof solution to parents’ Tooth Fairy woes—one that also gives kids a richer memory to cherish.

Dr. Lyons’s Enchanted Tooth Box and its accompanying children’s book, The Tooth Fairy and the Enchanted Tooth Box, give the Tooth Fairy a modern, tech-enabled boost. “As my husband and I deliberated over the concept, we un-derstood that to genuinely connect with our audience and elucidate the value of our product, we needed to complement it with a storytelling item,” Dr. Lyons says. The book therefore updates the Tooth Fairy lore for modern times, laying the groundwork (and ramping up anticipation) for the Tooth Fairy’s visit via the Enchanted Tooth Box.
It works like this: Charge the box via the included USB-C cable, preload it with a dollar bill, trigger the six-hour timer and the box does the rest, stealthily ex-changing the tooth for the dollar bill in the middle of the night. The precious, keepsake-worthy appearance dovetails with Dr. Lyons’s vision that her product isn’t just about delivering more convenience to parents, but more importantly, “infusing more magic into this tradition” for little ones.

“An astounding 81 percent of American households celebrate the Tooth Fairy tradition. In addition, survey participants expressed feeling stress associated with it.”

Magic doesn’t happen by accident. Before mov-ing forward with making the Enchanted Tooth Box a real business, Dr. Lyons first conducted a thorough search for other Tooth Fairy and Tooth Fairy–adjacent products, particularly any that might also incorporate automation, especially if any might bring trademark or pat-ent problems. “None quite matched my idea,” she says, “but along the way, I came across the Original Tooth Fairy Poll.” Conducted by Delta Dental since 1998 as a lighthearted way to gauge how generous the Fairy has been in the previous year, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll conveyed two serious data points for Dr. Lyons. “An astounding 81 percent of American households celebrate the Tooth Fairy tradi-tion,” she says. In addition, survey participants expressed feeling stress associated with being responsible for it. “It further confirmed the market potential for my product.”

Dr. Lyons then used IBISWorld market research data while assembling a detailed demographic profile of her target customer. “The findings confirmed what I had anticipated: Toys are a billion-dollar industry, and approximately 33 percent of the population con-sists of married individuals with children between ages 4 and 10. This translates to roughly 100 mil-lion people, and by accounting for 80 percent of this popu lation, we arrive at around 80 million individu-als who actively partake in the Tooth Fairy tradition.”

Dr. Lyons also engaged a patent attorney to perform a formal vetting for possible conflicts, then convened focus groups involving 421 participants. The results were overwhelmingly positive. Not only was her idea unique from an intellectual property standpoint, but the focus groups’ responses validated her gut reac-tion that about 80 percent of parents observe the Tooth Fairy tradition. All expressed concerns about forgetting, falling asleep and other perils.

Dr. Lyons began by sketching her concept for the product on graph paper. “The first prototype was crafted by repurposing a small box my daughter had and using construction paper.” At this point, her patent attorney—who was simultaneously guiding her through the process of protecting her idea—referred her to the Chicago Inventors Organization. “I was connected with an engineer who skillfully helped digitally design my product, ensur-ing a clear mechanism. Moreover, the organization also recommended a manufacturing company that played a pivotal role in bringing my product to market,” she says. “In-person visits to the manufacturing facility, coupled with four physical prototypes and two utility and design patents, culmina-ted in the creation of a marketable product.”

A secondary journey unfolding at the same time was the creation of the accompanying book, “written by me and brought to life by a talented illus-trator,” she says. “It explicates the necessity of my magical box from the per-spective of the Tooth Fairy and the main character, Brielle, my daughter. The goal of [my company] Enchanted Traditions is to foster family togetherness, create positive memories and foster imaginative play.”

“Looking back, I realize the value of my cluelessness. A certain level of naiveté can be beneficial.”


Dr. Lyons admits that despite trying to stick to her comprehensive business plan, she did invest more than initially budgeted “to prioritize the product’s quality and align it with my high stan-dards.” She also invested in an engaging video ad and website. Organic social media is part of her marketing plan, with one Instagram Reel getting 4,238 likes (to date) and a wealth of positive com-ments. “It felt surreal to realize that I had created something that others found valuable and were willing to purchase,” she says. She also has an email list of 1,000 contacts and growing, with whom she is careful to engage strictly meaning-fully, providing relevant content monthly. She also hired a publicist. All of it helped secure earned media from several prominent outlets including Black Enterprise.

“I have an exciting vision for my future endea-vors with Enchanted Traditions,” Dr. Lyons says. She wants to write more children’s books and build a complete line of merchandise around the Enchanted Tooth Box.

She loves the idea that her work might inspire others to follow their vision. Along those lines, she has some grownup advice for those who share her childlike sense of wonder. “When it comes to safeguarding your idea, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to ensure its protection.” In short: Get a good lawyer. And keep it to your-self, at least at first. “It’s important to keep your idea under wraps until it’s properly protected. During the early stages of my development pro-cess, I refrained from sharing detailed informa-tion unless the person I was speaking to signed a nondisclosure agreement.”

And keep it fun. “Remember not to be over-whelmed. Take it day by day, step by step. Initially, I had no idea where to start or how to bring my invention to market,” Dr. Lyons says. “Looking back, I realize the value of my cluelessness. A certain level of naiveté can be beneficial. If I had known too much, I might have talked myself out of it. So write out a plan of attack and progress one step at a time.”

Check out the Enchanted Tooth Box and the companion book at