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 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 reinforce the need to keep their teeth healthy by brushing twice daily and flossing too.
Your children’s teeth also tend to fall out in the same order they appeared. The two bottom front teeth fall out first, followed by the two upper front teeth. Next to go are the two on either side of the bottom front teeth and the corresponding ones above.
Once these eight teeth have fallen out, there’s a break from the Tooth Fairy until your child is around ten years.
How much does the Tooth Fairy pay?
According to research by the Dental Care Alliance, not every Tooth Fairy pays the same amount. While many children across the US earn a dollar for every pearly white they lose, some parents surveyed said they paid $50 per tooth! Discounting those, the average payment comes in at $4.57 with the Delaware Tooth Fairy being the most generous at $8.91 a tooth.
Of course, some Tooth Fairies give something other than cash for teeth—a small toy, perhaps, or a book. Some pay more for a first tooth or one in good condition. Whatever the Tooth Fairy does in your house, here are some ways to make the experience exciting for your kids.
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 gift card
- 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 baby teeth under your child's pillow in the dark while they’re asleep isn't easy! It's one good reason to make a Tooth Fairy tooth bag in time for that special first tooth. Ask your child to help.
All you need is
- One piece of felt in a bright color of your choice
- Sewing thread to match the color of your felt
- One free tooth template, downloaded, printed, and cut out.
Cut the colored felt into an 8cm x 20cm rectangle and fold the piece in half. Sew up the sides and then fold over the top and sew together. 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. Get your child to add glitter or sequins and you have a tooth bag.
2. Write a letter to the Tooth Fairy
Explain that the Tooth Fairy is very keen on oral hygiene and suggest your child writes a letter telling her how much care they take to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
A letter is also good if your child's tooth fell out at school and has gotten lost. Just remember to make the letter fairy-sized. You’ll find teeny, tiny printable templates on Pinterest.
3. Create a Tooth Fairy certificate for your kids
Money and gifts aside, kids will love a Tooth Fairy certificate rewarding them for all their hard work brushing and flossing. They could get one for the first tooth or every time they lose one. Head to Pinterest for ideas. You’ll find certificates you can make yourself as well as free templates.
4. Include some tooth-friendly gifts
If your Tooth Fairy doesn’t want to leave money, tooth-friendly gifts are a great idea. For example, If your child hates brushing their teeth, the Tooth Fairy could leave gifts to encourage them. Have her leave a cool toothbrush, some new dental floss, toothpaste, and a two-minute timer.
She could even leave a storybook about teeth. The Tooth Book is a great one for younger children while older kids might enjoy The Demon Dentist.
5. Leave a tooth fairy gift card
The Tooth Fairy doesn’t always want to leave money, but you can still mark the occasion with a gift card. It could be for a trip to the movies or an amusement park. Or maybe for your local toy store.
6. Leave Tooth Fairy snacks
A way to get your child into what keeps teeth and gums healthy is to have them think about what snacks the Tooth Fairy eats. Santa likes milk and cookies but what would the Tooth Fairy prefer? Suggest carrots, apples and plain popcorn.
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 it to make tiny fairy footprints on a table or chair—you can do this using a doll’s shoe or foot. And leave a miniature fairy wand on the floor beside the bed.
8. Offer special messages when your child has been brave
Milk teeth don't always fall out quickly and easily. Your child might lose one in an accident. Or it might take a trip to the dentist, which can be traumatic. These cases call for extra attention from the Tooth Fairy. Perhaps a bravery medal, a star, a special certificate or an extra tooth-friendly gift.
9. Go cashless and let the Tooth Fairy pay online
Let's face it, there are times when the Tooth Fairy has no cash. Some nights she may even forget to drop by. When this happens, all is not lost.
GoHenry, the prepaid debit card, is a safe space for kids to keep their money (allowance and gifts). It’s also 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). If the Tooth Fairy is paying $4.57 per tooth on average, your child could end up with over $90.
Help your children see this money's value with a Tooth Fairy savings account on their GoHenry app. They’ll soon see how fast these savings add up. Suggest that once they have all their Tooth Fairy money, they spend it on something special.
How can GoHenry help?
GoHenry is a safe space for 6-18 year olds to save and keep track of their allowance. Best of all, parents can access the accompanying app, set spending limits and create saving goals.
From your child's perspective, GoHenry can teach vital lessons about saving, earning, spending, and managing their money. Through Money Missions on the GoHenry app they can further their learning about the world of money too with quizzes and videos.