The wonderful world of the tooth fairy

The Wonderful World of The Tooth Fairy image

The Wonderful World of The Tooth Fairy


Through the years my children have put their lost teeth under their pillow, and the next morning wake up to some money and note from the Tooth Fairy commending her on being so strong after losing said tooth… In the past, we have always left between one dollar to three dollars under the pillow,

I must admit, the one dollar we usually leave is far more than I received as a child. I got a quarter or a dime or a Thank You note and a toothbrush.. But hey, that was the 60’s and 70’s, and a quarter probably went as far as a dollar does now when buying candy. But it does seem like parents are going a bit over the top when it comes to making the Tooth Fairy experience extra special, regardless of the situation.

I’ve seen some extravagant social media posts about parents going full donkey when it comes to the Tooth Fairy. We did our own informal polling, and it seems like most people do pay out on a sliding scale, giving more for the first tooth, and less for the following teeth. Usually this is around one to two dollars to begin with. However, I’ve read about some parents are paying as much as $50 for the first tooth. Seriously !!  I mean, let’s do the math here: a child can lose up to 20 teeth during childhood. At $50 a tooth, that’s a thousand bucks.  Somebody please time travel back and tell my parents.

Also, I cannot help but think about all the kids talking at school the next day about this sort of thing.  It reminds me of a viral post I saw a recently from a social worker who mentioned that when parents give children expensive gifts like iPads from Santa, it makes children who live in families who can’t afford that sort of thing feel like they were bad, or that Santa doesn’t like them as much. I would guess the same though process would come across with the Tooth Fairy.

But as it goes with everything parenting related online, it gets worse. Some parents are saving their children’s teeth and then sewing them into doll and giving it back to them once they are older.   You know … to each their own.

Personally, I’d think it was weird but my horror fanatic wife would think it cool. In fact, one commentator said this about their childhood and it really puts this sort of thing into perspective: “My mom collected all my teeth and saved them for a necklace. Still freaks me out to this day…” You have to wonder if this person still has the necklace, and if so it must still hold some emotional value

Some parents talked about painting the money gold, and others talked about dusting the room with glitter. I despise glitter. And despise is a nice word. One parent actually put a little door in their house for the Tooth Fairy, and while it might seem like a cool idea to me at first, I still have three bedroom doors that don’t close closed properly, so I should probably focus on that first.

A lot of parents mentioned stumbling around in the night and accidentally putting a much larger bill under their child’s pillow than they intended, which I can relate to. Some parents don’t practice the tradition, and many parents just do a casual exchange, where dad pulls out his wallet and the child hands him the tooth.

One practice I found pretty cute is when children write notes to the Tooth Fairy. Many of them sounded unprompted and from the heart, and I think that’s pretty sweet. But on the whole, after reading through comments on the subject of the Tooth Fairy, it sounds to me like the majority of parents leave one quarter to one dollar. I think it depends on the time of the Tooth Fairy’s arrival, and on what I can scrape up at   10 p.m.

As a Dad who constantly sees posts from parenting magazines and television and online where these Super Duper Amazing Parents making the Tooth Fairy extra, Super Duper  special, reading through a lot of the comments online made me feel human again. And I hope it has the same impact on you. Sure, some people really jump the shark when it comes to the Tooth Fairy, and the Elf on The Shelf, and birthday parties, and all those other occasions. But most parents, the real parents, the parents like you and me, we are just winging it.  I’m like a hippie living in a different world than most parents and you know what, there’s no shame in that. Just doing your best is Super Duper! At the end of the day, we won’t be nearly as stressed and I assure you, your children will love you just as much for just trying.


John Salisbury

Foster Parent – NBFS Recruiter