“Daddy! Daddy! I have a loose tooth!”

There it is, the first of twenty. Our relationship, hopefully partnership, with the Tooth Fairy begins.

I know I sound a bit dreadful, a little uneasy about this whole situation. It’s only because we are very familiar with the Tooth Fairy’s second cousin, the Reverse Tooth Fairy, the giver of teeth. Not the taker-away. It’s amazing how someone so giving can bring such hardship and pain. The sleepless nights, the shrieks and screams (shudders), it all seems so long ago now. It’s almost as if it were a dream, nightmare actually. But here we are, years later, ready to meet the one and only Tooth Fairy.

Ellie has a few friends that already lost some of their baby teeth and she’s been super excited to lose one of her own. After biting into a big piece of chocolate, it happened.

“Daddy Daddy! I have a loose tooth! I’m gonna write a letter to the Tooth Fairy and tell her about it. And she’s gonna leave me a surprise! I hope it’s a new tooth brush! But I don’t want to throw my old one away. I can’t wait to show my friends tomorrow. Alana had two loose teeth, now I have one! I can’t wait to tell mama, and grandma! I’m gonna go upstairs and look at it and put my pajamas on!”

Talk about excitement! Ellie abandoned her barely eaten chocolate bar and flew upstairs to admire her newly loosened tooth.

Ellie talked about her tooth for weeks. She wiggled it with her tongue and showed it to anybody who was willing to look inside her mouth. Chloe was excited and insisted she had a loose tooth, too.

“Me too! Loose tooth!” she’d say while flicking her bottom teeth with her tongue.

Wow, such joy the Tooth Fairy brings, and she hadn’t even arrived yet. I was pretty sure I was going to like this lady.

With the tooth loose, all we needed to do was extract it. Ellie was determined to get it out. She kept pulling and wiggling, and wiggling and pulling. Frustrated and annoyed she asked me, “Daddy can you pull my tooth out?”

Jokingly, I offered to use my plyers and to my surprise she said, “YES!” Yikes, this girl was serious. I didn’t use my plyers, but I did grab a hold of the tooth with a gentle grip and give it a small tug. I could feel a tear in the fleshy yarn that held her tooth in place, but that didn’t even work. It still was attached to her gums. Maybe I really did need the plyers?

Ellie gave up with me and my non-aggressive tooth extraction techniques and took matters into her own hands again. Literally. She kept at it for another five minutes or so until success. “DADDY!!! I DID IT!!!”

“Let’s put it in the kitchen. The Tooth Fairy never goes in the kitchen,” she explained.


She really wanted to delay the Tooth Fairy exchange. “I want to show all my friends tomorrow!” I wondered if this delay would depreciate the value of her tooth. Would this mean a smaller pay out?

To complicate matters, Ellie wanted to keep her tooth when the Tooth Fairy came, and she still wanted a prize. I think that’s against protocol. I figured we could give it a try though. So we wrote a nice note to the Fairy asking to keep her tooth.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

I want to keep my tooth because it is very special to me.


Simple, sweet, and to the point. That should do the trick.

I find it funny how all these childhood things that are supposed to be fun can be pretty stressful. Ellie has a lot of anxiety about things. She’s always excited, maybe too excited, because the night before these fun events she’s a barrel of nerves. Halloween, Christmas, Easter, someone’s birthday party, and before traveling, she has a horrible night’s sleep (we have a horrible night’s sleep). So it’s no surprise that on Tooth Fairy night she woke up crying from a bad dream after only being asleep for an hour. And then woke up again at 3am crying because she thought the Tooth Fairy took her tooth.

“Daddy! I saw my prize (a toothbrush and a dollar), but the… (eyes watering) Tooth Fairy… (lip quiver) took MY TOOTH!!! WAAA!!!”

She finally calmed down after I found the tooth on the floor. I really wouldn’t have been surprised if the Tooth Fairy took the tooth anyway though.

I felt her first lost tooth deserved a brand new toothbrush like she requested. But how much do you pay for a tooth that’s not being taken? I now know that according to an article from USA Today that the going rate is $3.40 per tooth. That’s down 8% from the previous year of $3.70. This was much higher than I expected. But then again, I live in southeast Michigan, not New York City or Los Angeles. Based on this information a dollar seemed like a fair price for this situation. Maybe the price will double when she starts dropping molars. Those were more painful acquisitions and deserve a higher payout, right?

From gums to teeth, back to gums again, it’s nice to see things come full circle. And I’m really happy that the official Tooth Fairy really is more gracious than her distant relative. Phew!

What does the Tooth Fairy bring to your house?


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