It was a social media post that made us pause, “Oh no! The tooth fairy might be giving $20 tonight because Mom can’t find change!” That little mythical fairy sure does leave parents in a quandary sometimes, but the fun of the tooth fairy is also an opportunity. Parents use the tooth fairy for entertainment, writing practice, an imagination builder, and oral health education (after all, you wouldn’t want to give the tooth fairy a dirty tooth, would you?).
How much does the tooth fairy give for each tooth?
The average amount given by the tooth fairy is about $4 for each tooth (per surveys and polls done in 2014). Interestingly, there is a discrepancy in the amount given by mothers and fathers, with dads tending to be more generous.
Where did the tooth fairy come from?
No one knows the true history of the tooth fairy, but kids around the world have been leaving and burying teeth as part of century-old traditions. Interestingly, many of those traditions involved leaving those little pearly whites for a mouse or rat. The first mentions in the United States date back to the early 1900’s, and some theories say Disney had a hand in shaping the modern American tooth fairy.
How do I answer “what does the tooth fairy do with all the teeth?”
There are a few theories we’ve heard in answer to this question. One theory is that the tooth fairy is using the teeth to make a town. If you want to give it a royal twist, we’ve read that she’s building a royal castle. Some of the teeth are ground down for different uses, hence the difference in payment from family to family (or tooth to tooth).
How to answer “is the tooth fairy real?”
How you answer this question depends on the age of your child, what they’ve been told by others, and how long you want to keep the tooth fairy alive in your home. If you want to keep the tradition going, talk with your child about the tooth fairy, and leave them a note (or fairy dust!) from the tooth fairy. Use a computer so they can’t tell that you wrote the note.
If the tooth fairy is thriving at your house, use this opportunity to encourage your children to brush their teeth (we’ve given you a few tips on how to teach them in our recent post), floss, and visit the dentist. This strategy is especially helpful if your child does not like—or doesn’t want to take the time—to brush. Talk to your babysitters and other caregivers about keeping the magic alive, and make sure you keep dollars and change around so you don’t end up in a tooth fairy jam like our friend.