For many children, one of their first experiences with money is the Tooth Fairy. They lose a tooth, put it under their pillow when they go to sleep, and the following day discover that the Tooth Fairy has come and swapped the tooth for money. It's an exciting piece of magic for kids, and many can't wait for it to happen.
As a parent, it helps to know that from age four, the bones in your child's face grow to make space for adult teeth to come through. This means your child's first milk teeth usually start to fall out at around six or seven. It's an ideal time to encourage good dental practices of brushing teeth twice daily, so your kids can start to spot a wobbly tooth.
Teeth also tend to fall out in the same order that they appeared. The bottom two teeth fall out first, followed by the two front teeth, then the two on either side of the bottom jaw, and the two next to the top front teeth. Once these eight teeth have fallen out, there is a break from the tooth fairy until your child is around ten years.
How much does the Tooth fairy pay?
Research from Raisin UK has unravelled the Tooth Fairy's exact fortune. UK kids today appear to be making a fair bit of money for each tooth, as the national average is £3.42 per tooth. Ultimately, if each child in the UK lost only one tooth per year, the Tooth Fairy's fortune would be a staggering £40.9m!
Of course, how much a child gets per tooth varies hugely, with some parents giving more and some less. Some grandparents gift more money on top of the tooth fairy, and some parents give something else rather than cash. Whatever you decide to give money, here are some ways to make the Tooth Fairy experience exciting.
10 Tooth Fairy Ideas your kids will never forget
- Make a tooth bag, so the Tooth Fairy doesn't have to search too hard under the pillow
- Write a letter to the Tooth Fairy
- Create a Tooth Fairy certificate for your kids
- Include teeth-friendly gifts
- Leave a Tooth Fairy voucher for a day out
- Leave Tooth Fairy snacks
- Create fairy-dusted memories
- Offer a special prize for bravery
- Get your kid to track their Tooth Fairy savings
- Use Giftlinks and let the Tooth Fairy pay online
1. Make a tooth bag
Finding a tiny milk tooth under your child's pillow in the dark while they are asleep isn't easy! It's one good reason to make a Tooth Fairy tooth bag for that special first tooth, and ask your child to help. All you need is
- One piece of Wool felt in a bright colour of your choice
- Thread to match the colour of your feet
- One Free Tooth Template, downloaded, printed, and cut out.
Cut the bright felt into a 8cm x 20cm rectangle and then fold the piece in half. Sew up the sides and then fold over the top and sew together, but leave enough space for a tooth and money/coins to fit in. Cut out a picture of a tooth and stick it to the front. Your child can add glitter or sequins, and you have a tooth bag.
2. Write a letter to the Tooth Fairy
Get your child to write a letter to the Tooth Fairy telling her all the many things they have been doing to keep their teeth healthy. Explain that the Tooth Fairy prefers clean, well-kept teeth, so it pays to tell her all the many things you do for dental health. A letter is also good if your child's tooth has fallen out at school and been lost. A quick note to the Tooth Fairy will solve everything.
3. Create a Tooth Fairy certificate for your kids
Money and gifts aside, kids will love a tooth fairy certificate. It could be given for the first tooth or every time they lose a tooth. For ideas, head to Pinterest for ones you can make yourself and free templates.
4. Include some tooth-friendly gifts
If you don't want to leave money (or even if you do), some teeth-friendly gifts is also a great idea. For example, if your child hates brushing their teeth, a special toothbrush from the Tooth Fairy, toothpaste, and a two-minute timer for their brushing schedule. Or even a good storybook about teeth, such as the Tooth Book or, for older kids, The Demon Dentist.
5. Leave a tooth fairy voucher for a day out
The Tooth Fairy doesn’t always want to leave money, but you can still mark the occasion with a voucher for a day out somewhere special. Perhaps the cinema or a special favourite park or even to make cupcakes to celebrate the event.
6. Leave Tooth Fairy snacks
Another way you get your child into what makes healthy teeth is to get them to think up some healthy snacks for the Tooth Fairy. Santa may get mince pies, but what would the Tooth Fairy prefer? Suggest carrots, apples and nuts.
7. Create fairy-dusted memories
If you want to make the moment even more magical, there are various things you can do. Dust the money or tooth bag with glitter dust. Use the dust to make tiny fairy footprints (use a stencil) on a table or chair, and leave a little fairy wand on the ground by the bed.
8. Offer special messages when your child has been brave
Milk teeth don't always fall out quickly, and sometimes your child will lose a tooth in an accident, or it will need to be "wiggled" out by you or your dentist, which can be traumatic. These exceptional cases call for extra attention from the Tooth Fairy. Perhaps a bravery medal or star, a special certificate or an extra tooth-friendly gift.
9. Go cashless and let the Tooth Fairy pay online
Let's face it on busy nights, the Tooth Fairy may not have cash on hand or may even forget to visit. When this happens, all is not lost. A poll by money.co.uk of 2,000 parents has found one in eight (13%) parents stating the Tooth Fairy paid money straight into their children's accounts. GoHenry, the kids' prepaid debit card, is a safe space for kids to keep money (pocket money and gifts) and a way to go cashless with the Tooth Fairy. It even has Giftlinks, which family and friends can use to send money straight to your child's GoHenry account to celebrate that first tooth falling out.
10. Get your kid to track their Tooth Fairy savings
Most kids have twenty primary teeth (and 32 adult ones), so factoring in the average of around £3.42 per tooth, your child could end up with nearly £70. Help them see this money's value with a Tooth Fairy savings account on their GoHenry app so they can see how fast these savings add up. Suggest that once they have all the tooth fairy money, they spend it on something special.
How can GoHenry help?
GoHenry is a safe space for children aged six and upwards to save and keep track of their pocket money. Best of all, parents can access the accompanying app, set spending limits and create saving goals. From your child's perspective, GoHenry can teach them vital financial lessons about saving, earning, spending, and managing their money. Money Missions on the GoHenry app can also further their learning about the world of money with quizzes and videos.