It’s that fun and only slightly gross period in your child’s life: losing their baby teeth! If you’re like many parents, you celebrate with a visit from the tooth fairy to exchange that lost tooth into cold hard cash. If you’re a little busy, no fear! I’ve got a handful of tooth fairy ideas to help keep things magical and running smoothly.
Who is The Tooth Fairy?
Before we dive into those juicy ideas, let’s establish a little background first. Who is this tooth fairy creature anyway?
The tooth fairy is a magically sprite who visits a child’s bedroom at night and exchanges their lost teeth into money. The key to making this magical transition work is to place the baby tooth under the pillow and voila! The transaction is complete.
There are many origins to the tooth fairy, one being that Scandinavian warriors would wear children’s teeth on a necklace believing it provided good luck in battle.
It’s also possible the tooth fairy evolved to provide comfort to children who were afraid or in pain from losing their baby teeth.
Whatever your beliefs, the tooth fairy is a time-honored tradition that is only creepy if you ponder on it too hard or you image the tooth fairy is an unwashed, impolite fairy named Earl.
Going Rate for Tooth Fairy
When my kids started losing their teeth, the first question I asked my husband was, “So what’s the going rate for the Tooth Fairy nowadays?” Back when I was losing my chompers, I could get a few shiny quarters for a decent bicuspid. Occasionally ol’ T.H. would even bring a whole dollar! Score!
These days, the going rate for the tooth fairy has seen quite a jump. Delta Dental has been tracking tooth fairy payout since 1998, and the current standard payout for a tooth in good condition in the U.S. (in late 2020) is $4.03.
Whoa, slow down crazy tooth fairies! Our tooth fairy is a working girl who can barely get her sh*t together to get to our house before dawn, and now you’re going to expect her to pay top dollar for each molar? Sheesh! No wonder homegirl looks like one breakdown away from total collapse.
How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Leave?
It’s completely up to each family to decide how much money the tooth fairy leaves. I personally recommend something consistent like a couple quarters, a half dollar coin (this makes for a fun tradition), or a $1 or $5 bill (if you decide your tooth fairy is on the generous side).
Of course, this is an ideal situation. Thank goodness the tooth fairy is flexible.
If you’re like my disorganized self then oftentimes the tooth fairy doesn’t have a going rate for teeth; she simply brings however much she has lying around in the wee hours of the night when I, I mean *she*, wakes up in a panic frantically rushing to put money under her kid’s pillow.
Some folks even pay more for the first tooth and a set rate for each following tooth. There’s no right or wrong answer here. The tooth fairy can give any amount you, I mean *she*, sees fit.
What Does the Tooth Fairy Do with the Teeth?
This is a big topic of discussion in our household. What exactly does the tooth fairy do with the teeth she collects? Thanks to my 7-year-old and her expansive imagination (also the internet), we’ve come up with some pretty awesome tooth fairy ideas on how she manages all those chompers:
- She takes them back to her fairy village and the fairies use them to build their kingdom. Solidarity going out to the fairies who end up with cavity-filled tooth beds.
- She takes the used teeth, and they’re made perfect again and given to new babies. Creepy, yet efficient, I suppose.
- She transforms the teeth into the money itself. I’m pretty game for this theory. Recycling at it’s finest!
- The teeth are ground down and transformed into fairy dust. Totally not going to have nightmares thinking about fairies’ ability to fly dependent on covering themselves in the pulverized ashes of your child’s discarded mouth stones.
- She uses the teeth to make jewelry and presents for other mythical creatures. It’s psychopathic chic!
Where Does the Tooth Fairy Live?
As with what the tooth fairy does with the teeth she collects, we can only daydream where she lives. For the sake of ease (and because most of us don’t have the energy to get crazy creative here), let’s all agree she lives in a place called Fairyland, kay?
It is estimated that the tooth fairy collects over 300,000 teeth EACH NIGHT. Talk about a big job! If you group her in with the likes of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, there’s gotta be some sort of Tooth Fairy Headquarters in Fairyland where she takes care of business.
Fairies tend to congregate in woodland communities, so Fairyland is likely in a beautiful forest that has withstood the pillages of man. She also probably needs a place to unwind after those long, busy nights. So, there’s no denying she lives with other fairies, and Fairyland contains plenty of coffee shops, spas, and gyms to help keep her chill each day.
Tooth Fairy Ideas
Now that we’ve got some of the big questions out of the way, let’s talk about some ways to make the tooth fairy a memorable experience while your child still believes. Check out these seven handy tooth fairy ideas below:
1. Keep It Simple
Yeah, if you’re in the club of “ain’t nobody got time for that!” then there’s nothing wrong with a quick cashola swap for the tooth. No frills here, and your child will be plenty happy.
Tooth goes under the pillow, money is left in its place. Bada bing bada boom. Ya done got tooth fairied, child.
2. Add Some Sparkle
Want bonus parent points? Call it fairy dust, and you’re all but guaranteed to have you kids going nuts over their cash.
3. Ditch the Cash
Not really feeling the classic cash swap? Blaze your own trail (and maybe even start a new tradition) by leaving something else for your kid.
You don’t need feel obligated to give cash to your child. Small trinkets or toys also make for a fun tooth fairy treat. (And if you have the time and energy to coordinate gift giving with each lost tooth, more power to you!).
Here are some suggestions on what to leave instead of money:
- A new toothbrush. The tooth fairy appreciates good oral hygiene after all! No one wants to end up with that nasty decayed tooth for a fairy bed!
- A fairy wand or tiara. Let your little one feel like a fairy for a while (and maybe convince them to do some magical cleaning while they’re pretending!)
- A small toy. Assuming you don’t have any babies or toddlers around whose sole purpose in life is to seek out every chokeable item in your house, a teeny tiny toy (fairy sized, after all!) makes for an adorable present.
- Treats. Gum, mints, or a special treat (sugar-free of course!) would be a super tasty gift.
4. Give a Certificate or Letter
Have a first timer on your hands? Make sure the tooth fairy leaves them a special certificate or note to celebrate the loss of their first tooth and welcome them into the world of tooth for cash trading.
You can even get all sentimental and have the tooth fairy leave a certificate when your child loses their last tooth. Just watch yourself. These end-of-milestone events can leave a parent rather misty-eyed.
5. Get Silly!
Our fairy is named Fiona, a result of extreme sleep deprivation. There’s no reason your fairy can’t be a hunky fairy name Chad, or an old fairy nearing retirement named Blanche. Or, embrace the awkwardness and have ol’ stinky Earl make the exchange.
6. Use Your Imagination
Not sure how to make the tooth fairy magical? Ask your child what THEY think about the tooth fairy!
Where do they think he or she lives? What do they look like? Take these answers and run with it. Add to the fun, then include your own ridiculous suggestions or storylines to flesh out this magical character.
7. Make a Goodie Bag
If you want to be really extra, you can put together a little tooth fairy goody bag for your small human. Snag a sheer bag and fill it with coins, paper money, a little letter from the tooth fairy, and maybe a little present or two.
Just like with the certificate, best to make this a one-time thing when your child loses their first (or last!) tooth.
Tips for Making the Tooth Fairy Stress-Free
Hey exhausted parent. I see you. You’re balancing a lot, and your offspring just busted into the bathroom where you were peacefully doing your business to announce that they just lost a tooth!
Hooray! Happy dance! You lost a tooth! The Tooth Fairy is coming tonight! Wee! Go put it under your pillow! How fun!
15 minutes later…
Well crap. You don’t have any cash in your wallet, you’re literally minutes away from going to sleep, and now you have to transform into a magical fairy?
Don’t get your tiny fairy undies in a bunch, parent. I’ve compiled a few tips to keep all things Tooth Fairy chill and easy.
- Plan ahead. Before your child loses that first tooth, plan ahead for the big day. This will help relieve any stress you may have leading up to the exchange. Figure out how you’ll store the tooth under the pillow so it won’t get lost (a small bag does the trick), and get some crisp bills from the bank. Get it done beforehand so you won’t have to think about it night-of.
- Store the cash. Always have an envelope ready to go in that super secret place you totally won’t forget exists the next time your child loses a tooth. Keep it full of dolla dolla bills, y’all.
- Have a cop out planned. There will likely be that night when you just flat out forget the tooth fairy. And that’s fine! We’ve all been there. The key to making this a pain-free experience is to have some valid excuses at the ready. Have some ideas tucked away that you can whip out at a moment’s notice after you and your child both realize the tooth fairy was a bit overworked the night before.
Who is the Tooth Fairy?
So who is the tooth fairy after all? Well, the tooth fairy is either a male, female, or some unwashed fairy named Earl. He/she/they live in a magical place called Fairyland, and they do any number of only slightly creepy things with your child’s lost teeth in exchange for approximately $4.00 in cash.
Now get yourself out there, parent, and make some magical memories about the tooth fairy with your wee ones!
Need more parenting hacks? Make sure to check out all our posts about raising small humans. Bring Wit On is about taking life’s lemons and finding an easy DIY that uses lemon zest because, daaaang, you so fancy! It’s a place to become informed, inspired, and entertained all at the same time. Check us out on Pinterest for more awesome parenting tips and hacks.