Losing a tooth can be as scary to a child as the imaginary monster in their closet. Some children embrace losing teeth, but others balk at the idea because that means they are growing up. Most parents buy into the idea of a tooth fairy, just the same as they pretend to be Santa or the Easter Bunny. The money found under the pillow the next morning eases the growing pains of losing teeth.
How much should the Tooth Fairy leave? That is a hot topic discussed among children at school. According to several sites that discuss this topic, the going rate is about $1 per tooth. One
Presidential or Sacagawea dollar is perfect since they aren’t used much in the general public anyway. Setting the bar any higher than a dollar could put a strain on households with tight budgets and several children. Giving $20 per tooth can be expensive, especially since Tooth Fairy may not remember that if one front tooth has just fallen out, the other one is usually not far behind. While some tooth fairies may leave a bit more, it is good to stay in the average so your child doesn’t wonder why her friend got more money from the Tooth Fairy than they did, or worse, trying to work teeth loose that aren’t ready to come out just for the money.
Much like Christmas stockings, the Tooth Fairy has the option to leave little extras under the pillow besides money. It is very easy for Tooth Fairy to leave a note about the tooth, how shiny and clean it was, etc. and then leave a toothbrush and floss to encourage good brushing and flossing habits. A “Tooth Fairy” font is available for download on the Internet for free. However, since Tooth Fairy prefers good teeth, she shouldn’t leave candy as a treat. A nice extra to leave under the pillow are Chuck E. Cheese coins, but only do this if you are willing to take your child there in the near future.
One way to make your child’s first lost tooth special is to prepare ahead of time. A little silk or mesh bag can be purchased for about $1 at a craft store such as AC Moore and they come in various colors. Having a special bag for the tooth (one they can see through is preferable since you know they will be playing with it) is nice, especially since locating the tooth under the pillow quickly is a concern for Tooth Fairy. Tooth Fairy can then swap tooth for money and put the bag back under the pillow. I recommend leaving a note using the Tooth Fairy font and a new toothbrush, toothpaste and floss since this is the first visit. A sprinkle of fairy dust (a/k/a glitter) is also a nice touch.
What do you do if your child loses their tooth and you can’t find it? Have your child write the Tooth Fairy a note explaining the loss and include a map to where the tooth is likely to be. Tooth Fairy is one smart fairy and although she is a woman, she is skilled at map reading. Drawing crude maps, even if not to scale, is taught to kindergarteners in today’s schools. By having your child draw a map, they are using their spatial skills to draw a map and their communication skills to try to point Tooth Fairy in the right direction.
Oh no, Tooth Fairy forgot to come, now what do you do? This has happened to Tooth Fairies around the world to be sure. Just leave the tooth under the pillow for the next night. Tooth Fairy can leave a note about a “tooth emergency” and perhaps leave a little extra for your child. Accidents happen, even to the Tooth Fairy. Slipping money under the pillow after they have discovered the Tooth Fairy didn’t come is ill advised. Children are smart cookies and can easily figure out it was you who did it and not the Tooth Fairy.
What if your child comes home saying that someone at school told them there’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy? The answer to this question is very simple. The Tooth Fairy only comes to children who believe. When the child stops believing, Tooth Fairy will no longer come for teeth and that means no more tooth money. Given that choice, most children will continue to believe in the magical Tooth Fairy. At least for a little while longer.