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The Art of Becoming an Excellent Tooth Fairy

Updated on February 9, 2011



The tooth fairy has been around since long before Crest was selling just one flavor of tooth paste with screw on caps and before entire grocery aisles were devoted to oral hygiene. Tooth Fairies can be accepted by everyone, are cross cultural, have no religious affiliations, visits are not saved for special holidays, and of course, every kid grows a set of teeth. Origins are thought to perhaps come from an 18th century French fairy tale called “La Bonne Petite Souris” or The Little Good Mouse. It was a complex story of a good mouse, a good queen, a fairy, a cruel king, a baby, kidnapping and was probably not originally intended for children from what I read, but just one theory of where the TF came from anyway.

The Tooth Fairy, like Santa, definitely sees you when you are sleeping and knows when you are awake.. She knows when you eat candy, go to the dentist, don’t brush your teeth, and my Tooth Fairy even knew when I had been playing with a waterpik.

When I was old enough to know better, my friend, Christina’s family, got a waterpik. While her mother was out shopping, four of us took turns running by the bathroom door with mouths wide open to catch spray from a 3 ft waterpik spout and to just get soaked. We eventually moved to the hallway and as far as the cord could reach, wrote our names and “Kilroy” on the wall in oversized cursive writing. However, when the wall dried and left residue of our names, our next penmanship improvement clinic was soaked as well. Mom said she told the Tooth Fairy, and she was not happy, but thankfully her dimes kept coming.

Observe the following eight tips to ACE Tooth Fairy-ing:

1) Make absolutely certain the Tooth Fairy comes the same day a tooth is lost. Consider this more of a rule than a tip!

2) Don’t set your teeth to money exchange rate too high from the get go Start out small because as your kids get about 7 or 8 years old, they’ll know the Tooth Fairy is you and just want the money. When your kids are little—Not so much. They will pull out money from their pillow and shout, “I gots TWO monies!” no matter what you give them. In the 1990’s, kids typically received $2.00 for a tooth which kept up with inflation over those of us who received dimes in the 1960’s. I have heard of some kids getting $5.00 for a tooth, but a reasonable amount is $3.00. or go retro, ahem…cheap, and give quarters.

3) What to say for the following awkward questions: “Mom, my friend got more money for their tooth.“ Don’t get caught up in the details. Suggested response: “We each have our own tooth fairy assigned to us and this is why your friends get different amounts of cash.”

4) What is the Tooth Fairy’s name? The Tooth Fairy goes by Tooth Fairy, TF, T, or even just Tooth, referencing that Santa Clause goes by just “Santa”.

5) Have an alternate plan if your child looses the tooth before putting it under the pillow. My son wrote the most adorable letter to the “Thooth Fairy” when he lost his tooth in Grandma’s carpet.. He was playing more with it out of his mouth the day his tooth fell in the carpet than wiggling it loose. After a whole lot of drama and tears, an hour sifting through Grandma’s shag carpet and still no tooth, we wrote a letter of explanation. TF understood.

6) Invest in a tooth saver pouch from a craft fair or get a tiny plastic treasure chest from your Dentist.. There is something comforting about saving teeth. Weird, OK, very weird, but I saved them anyway. My son had a felt penguin with a bow tie. A pouch is easier to find under the pillow without getting caught.. Try starting a tradition to leave the fairy a note on the dresser if you don’t possess ninja-like abilities..

7) Where does the tooth fairy get her money, and where do the teeth go? Mirror their questions by saying “Where do YOU think the money comes from?” Sit back, stall and enjoy your child’s imagination. Suggest looking for sand in the carpet because you heard she gets sand dollars from the ocean and exchanges them for quarters with Mother Nature. Another story is that teeth disappear when the TF clinks the money together and at the same time the money materializes under the pillow.

8) Use the TF as an authority on dental hygiene. Say things like the American Dental Association would --“Sparkle Up! The tooth fairy wants you to do a good job brushing your teeth!” You might also be able to use her as leverage to get your child’s room cleaned, but don’t press your luck.

“Chews” your pretend stories well, and the Tooth Fairy can make a lot of great memories. YOU are supposed to be imaginary. Get with it and use your creativity, and for Pete’s sakes, don’t get caught!


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