One little wiggly tooth can pose several ticklish dilemmas for parents. From the tooth fairy’s going rate to how to handle a lost tooth, here we’ve rounded up the best tooth-losing advice from Circle of Moms members who have been through it all before.
1. The Tooth Fairy’s Going Rate
Wondering how much inflation has kicked in since you were a kid? The most common rate cited by Circle of Moms members is about $1–2 per tooth, often with a special bonus for the first tooth. As mother-of-three Missy L. shared: “I give $5 for the first tooth lost and then $1 for each additional tooth.” Some moms do quote higher rates, though as Alicia D. found, it adds up quickly: “I used to get a dollar per tooth 35 years ago, so figured we should up it for inflation. We started paying $5 per tooth, but now that we have 2 kids losing teeth, it’s getting a little expensive!”
2. The Novelty Factor
For many children, the dollar value isn’t as exciting as the novelty factor. Sherry W. explains: “We do a shiny $1 coin per tooth. It seems more special because they’re not something you see every day. At 6, I don’t think the dollar value is as important as the ‘special’ factor.” Monica S. agrees: “I’ve heard of other mamas giving foreign currency, Sacagawea dollar coins, and—if the tooth has a cavity—a toothbrush and toothpaste!”
3. How to Handle Competition
Many moms worry that their rate will differ from those quoted by kids on the playground. Kathleen G. has a great solution: “We have told her that everyone has their own tooth fairy. Some tooth fairies tell the children their name and write letters and others just leave money. This is why not everyone gets the same amount for their tooth.”
4. What if the Tooth is Lost?
If a tooth falls out on the playground or is accidently swallowed, many moms, including Jenifer R., recommend writing the tooth fairy an explanatory note: “My son lost his first tooth on the bus. We sat down and wrote a letter to the tooth fairy telling her what happened and put this under his pillow instead. She was very understanding.” Chrissy B. agreed: “We left a note under her pillow for the tooth fairy explaining what had happened, and the tooth fairy came anyway, lol!”
5. Phone a Fairy
Some children are desperate to meet the tooth fairy in person. In addition to explaining that the tooth fairy isn’t allowed to meet children because she’s so busy, Amy L. suggests letting your child talk to the fairy on the phone: “Let her know she can call her. Find a good friend she does NOT recognize the voice of to play the part. Just have the friend state she isn't supposed to meet people in person, because it's against the rules. The 'phone a fairy' system has saved us so often!”