Why our tooth-fairy is so generous

Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies, Media, Day Care & Education

Unlike Angelina Jolie, we are not counted among the uber-rich. Heck, we're not even what you'd call wealthy, let alone independently so. So why does our tooth fairy hand out five-dollar bills for what was once a twenty-five-cent tooth? It turns out that, just like on the playground or in the hallowed halls of school, there is peer pressure in the world of dental mythology.

Once upon a time, we shared a house with my wife's brother and his family. Jared was, at the time, a year or two old and their son was two years older than that. When my nephew lost his first tooth, it was, of course, a big deal. Having an older sister, he was well aware of the monetary reward for placing the tooth under his pillow and he did so with great excitement.

Unfortunately, the smallest denomination my brother-in-law had was a five-dollar-bill. No one else had any change either. It was late and he wasn't terribly interested in heading out into the night for change, so the boy found a fiver under his pillow come morning. That, of course, set the standard and he has gotten five dollars for every tooth since.

Now Jared had already lost two teeth by the time his cousin had lost his first and we hadn't bothered with the tooth fairy story. Once his cousin lost a tooth, however, Jared heard all about it and so we gave in to the ritual. And, naturally, since the going rate for teeth was a fin, that's what we had to come up with.

So, the moral of the story is, if you're going to do the whole tooth-under-the-pillow thing with your kids, decide what the tooth-exchange rate will be in advance and make sure you have plenty of the right bills or coins on hand before they start falling out. You don't want your kids' teeth to cost you a fortune before you even get to the orthodontist. Trust me on this.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.