The Tooth Fairy is a Big Spender at Our House

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This post is sponsored by Tom’s of Maine:

This was my big girl late last summer. She’s got a bug bite on her forehead and a tooth dangling by a thread. She was so excited to be a “big kid” and start losing teeth.

Teeth, as it would turn out, are a big deal around here. There’s a lot of backstory to teeth in the FishFam.

Years and years ago, when FishBoy15 was a wee lad, we were shocked and amazed that our baby had grown old enough to lose a tooth. What?! Since we don’t do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, or the Great Pumpkin, it only followed that we weren’t going to play up the Tooth Fairy either.

Instead my husband said, “Well, in the Fisher family, when you lose a tooth you get $5.”

My jaw hit the floor. Say what?! I looked at him stunned and amazed. I might have even said, “Your parents were nuts.” I know I thought it.

When I was a kid, I was lucky enough to get a quarter or a sandwich bag with a handful of loose change. FIVE dollars?! What were they thinking?!

Years went by, and every time a child lost a tooth, FishPapa would pay up with five bucks. Until the time when…

a child lost a tooth while Gramma was visiting.

Gramma saw FishPapa hand over a five dollar bill in exchange for a tooth neatly preserved in a sandwich bag. She said, “What?! Wow the Tooth Fairy got rich in the last few years.”

I stared at her. Huh? “Isn’t that what you paid for teeth?”

“No way,” she said.

As it turns out, on that long ago day when FishBoy15then6 lost his first tooth, FishPapa had created an Insta-Tradition. He never lied, but he did let me blame it on believe it was his parents.

He explained, “I wanted the prize to be big enough that no kid would want to let it dangle for days on end. Five dollars is the mother lode to a child. He’d be willing just to yank it quickly and get it over with instead of torturing us with it for days.”

Ha! We still laugh at this story. And FishPapa still hands over $5 in exchange for a tooth in a plastic bag.

You think we’re weird? My mother still has all my baby teeth.

Tom’s of Maine “Be a Tooth Fairy Hero” Program:

Be a hero this winter and help bring much needed oral care to families in your area.

The new Tom’s of Maine “Be a Tooth Fairy Hero” art project, part of the company’s annual Dental Health for All charitable giving program, invites children to break out their crayons and creativity to draw an artistic interpretation of the beloved Tooth Fairy to help smiles in need.

Enter your child/children’s drawing of the Tooth Fairy into a national drawing here. There’s a coloring page available to make it easy or kids can draw their own creations. Ten entries will be randomly selected, awarding a $10,000 donation on each winner’s behalf to a dental clinic in your state, plus toothpaste for your child’s entire school.

The last day to enter is March 15, 2013.

What a fun and simpler way to help raise awareness about the need for access to dental care and an opportunity to talk to your kids about good oral care habits!

This year marks 10 years of the Tom’s of Maine Dental Health for All program and $1 million donated to community dental clinics nationwide, dedicated to providing more families with regular screenings and check-ups. To date, the company’s funding has helped make more than 200,000 additional patient visits possible.

Does your family have a funny tooth story?

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Tom’s of Maine. Even though I have been compensated for my time spent writing, Tom’s is a product that I love and buy for my family. I think this contest is a great opportunity to help your school and community.

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  1. We do have a funny tooth story!! My daughter lost a tooth while we were visiting my great aunt and uncle who live in Virginia (we live in Indiana). Now the tooth fairy at our house is NOT a big spender; I have four children so did not want it to get out of hand by the time the smallest one was loosing teeth. So I was prepared with the quarter to place under her pillow after she went to sleep but my uncle handed me $5, so I put that under there instead. Now the kids always want to go to Virginia when they have loose teeth…so the Virginia tooth fairy can visit instead of the Indiana tooth fairy. 🙂

  2. Hey the Virginia Tooth Fairy really gypped me!! I always got a quarter!!! I suspect the Washington tooth fairy where I live now will be of a $1 kind of gal. My older son will be 6 next month so we’ll probably find out for sure pretty soon.

  3. I have 2 funny teeth stories actually:
    1) my youngest has yet to lose a tooth at home. She’s lost 5 and all at various places outside the home (including one on top of the ramp for a waterslide at Silverwood/Boulder Beach theme park!)
    2) the tooth fairy at our home (dear husband of mine) decided to give our oldest a $1 for her first tooth, then spontaneously thought to give her $2 for her second (without discussing with me 🙂 ). Our darling daughter immediately picked up on the pattern declaring, “she gave me $2 because it’s my second tooth”. I then informed the tooth fairy later that day that a pattern had been set and he should know that the average kid loses about 20 teeth. The tooth fairy was quite shocked to discover that and realize that in the course of tooth fairying our home we’d be budgeting about $420 for tooth fairy expenses!

    1. THAT is hilarious! I love it when several kids lose a few all within the same month. Hubby has to pay up and he’s incredulous. But, he laughs with us.

  4. We pay $5 per tooth in our family too, for a similar reason. I had to pay to get my oldest son’s teeth pulled to the tune of several 100 dollars since they never feel out on their own. He was a very timid child and did not like any change including loosing teeth so he simply would not wiggle them at all. Not knowing if his refusal to wiggle has caused the need to have them pulled or if it was just strange genetics that caused them never to fall out even though the x-rays clearly showed the adult teeth begging to bud I made him and my other 2 kids a deal if they wiggled their teeth out on their own with no help from a dentist or mom or dad they got $5 a tooth. It has saved me from ever getting a dentist bill for a teeth pull again.

  5. We lived with our grandparents growng up and when my younger brother lost his first tooth, my mom put her tooth fairy dollar under his pillow. My grandma also put the tooth fairy’s dollar under his pillow. Then when my grandpa came home from midnight shift around 4am (and very tired) he put what he thought was a dollar under his pillow. Turns out, in his sleepy state he actually put a $20 bill under the pillow. My brother woke up with $22 from the tooth fairy! Unfortunatly, we found him later the next day in the corner trying to knock another tooth out with a little hammer. All these years later and it still makes me laugh!

  6. We don’t promote Santa or the Easter Bunny around here either. However, our six year old got wind of the Tooth Fairy before he even lost a tooth (from cousins and SuperWhy). He told us the whole process. So when he lost his first tooth, he talked about the Tooth Fairy and got so excited. He ended up playing with his tooth during quiet time that day and lost it in the depths of his bedroom, so my husband MADE UP an entire new chapter to the Tooth Fairy myth. Something about if you lose your tooth the Tooth Fairy can still find it, but it turns into a spider…it was ridiculous.

  7. Our tooth fairy never gave quite that much, but it was enough that my oldest used to wiggle perfectly good teeth in an effort to increase her cash flow! A few times it worked. We pay a premium for molars, though.

    You gotta love it when dads take over and make dramatic traditions like that. Way to go, FishPapa!

  8. I clearly remember the first tooth I ever lost. We were sitting in the car outside K-Mart waiting for my dad to come out, we had just moved to a new house that day and my mom pulled my tooth out. Not sure what the reason was for that particular time, but it grossed her out so much that it imprinted the memory. I’m not looking forward to my munchkin loosing teeth, she will be 4 at the end of the month, so hopefully I’ve got a couple of years.

  9. I was thinking $1 per tooth, but we settled on $5 for the first and $1 thereafter.

    It was shocking to me because my daughter ended up with FOUR loose teeth mid-December! She was not even 5 yet. I could to believe it. One was super loose and the others just slightly. Well, she lost that tooth on New Year’s Eve…exactly one week before her 5th birthday. She got $5, but we explained that was because it was her very first tooth.

    The best part of the whole thing was that I had a total change of heart. My sister was horrified when my oldest was born and her umbilical cord came off and I told her it was gross to keep it and I would never keep teeth either. I let go of the cord, but when that tooth came out I stuck it in a plastic Baggie and marked the date and time it came out and stuck it in my jewelry box! Never thought I would find that to be a sentimental thing to hold on to!

  10. My son, almost 7, lost his first two teeth and we never found them! We felt horrible! For the first tooth, my son was brushing his teeth and out flew the tooth into the sink! My husband went to grab it just as my son turned on the water and down it went! We said that we will just leave the tooth fairy a note and she will understand. She did and still left a $1 (not $5)!. The next time, all of a sudden the tooth was gone, no where to be found! Once again the tooth fairy understood and left a $1. I felt so bad, to the point I was in tears. I was destined to not lose the 3rd tooth. Luckily, the 3rd tooth came out at school. My son was sent to the nurse and the tooth came home in a Bio Hazard bag! Really? But luckily, we had the tooth to put under his pillow. I thought about saving the tooth, but my husband thought I was crazy!

  11. When my girls were young enough to lose teeth they received a book for each tooth. My oldest daughter was into franklin and the youngest elmo. I used to get them through the scolastic book orders, they were pricey but neither of my girls were strong readers so anything I could do to get them to read was worth the money.

  12. We don’t do Santa or the Easter bunny either, so I questioned myself at letting my kids believe in the tooth fairy. I decided it was ok since the tooth fairy isn’t taking the focus off something more important (ie. Jesus’s birth and resurrection.)
    Our tooth fairy tends to take a while to deliver. I’ve been especially bad where my first son is concerned, so I generally write him a note in calligraphy script on parchment-like paper rolled up like a scroll and leave it when I finally do take his tooth and leave his cash ($! for the record.) I think that is why he is very much a believer. He once said, “I know the tooth fairy is real. She writes me letters!”

  13. LOL, I had a bunch of cynical scientific types in my household. The tooth fairy was found out after they’d “forget” to tell me they’d lost a tooth( and let’s face it since most of them come out within months it is easy to loose track) and then they’d get bupkiss under their pillow.

    We paid $1 a tooth. I’m cringing though because my 19 year old needs all her wisdom teeth removed and that is going to cost us $2500(she needs to go under general anesthesia because the teeth are not growing in up and instead are growing in sideways. Ouch!

  14. So far only my oldest has lost teeth. He lost his first when he was just over 4-years-old. He bit down on a candy cane and it became extremely lose and he freaked out. I thought for awhile that he had actually “knocked” a tooth loose. He cried for hours while I tried to explain to him that he was supposed to lose his teeth. It was very dramatic. There is a reason 4-year-olds don’t typically lose teeth! Once he got some tooth fairy money, $.50 here, he was really excited. He ended up losing 8 total in the next year and a half. Now he is in kindergarten and all his friends are losing their teeth and getting recognition for it. He has been wiggling like crazy over the last few months, but I don’t think he has any left to loose for awhile. My second is a little over 4 now, so I am waiting to see if he loses his early too. Both of them got their baby teeth fairly early and I heard that is somehow related to when they will lose them.

  15. We don’t do Santa or Easter Bunny either, for various reasons, but my daughter got some cash for her first lost tooth because of the dreaded Mom Guilt. I felt so bad for her…she lost her first tooth a few weeks ago, at the age of 3. And by “lost,” I mean she was running at preschool, fell on her face, and knocked it out. The funniest part was that the teachers told her about the tooth fairy so she kind of got it in her head that the tooth fairy was going to bring her a new tooth, and when I tried to explain to her that that wasn’t how it worked she wouldn’t believe me.

  16. Our tooth fairy usually leaves $5 per tooth. But,when my son lost his first front tooth I forgot to get change and only had a $20!! We made up a story about the first front tooth being worth more and then had to give it to my daughter when she lost hers! I have kept a $5 bill ever since.

    1. Ha! I guess the benefit to their knowing it’s papa is that we don’t have to pay up that night. I never thought about that wrinkle in it all.

  17. I love this idea! My kids let it wiggle and dangle forever. This would be great motivation!