What’s The Going Rate For a Tooth These Days?

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 08, 2009 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (18)

firstlosttooth.jpgMy 5-year-old lost her first tooth over the weekend. It had been loose for two months and we all were super excited when it finally fell out.

When I was a kid, the Tooth Fairy left me a bright shiny quarter for each tooth I left under my pillow, but I hear that kids these days are getting $5 a tooth. That seems like a lot to me. They have 20 teeth to lose and at $5 a pop, we’re talking $100. Parents aren’t making it easier for those of us who think $5 is too much. Kids talk and my daughter knows that what the Tooth Fairy is leaving her friends.

Despite the pressure to leave more, the Tooth Fairy left my daughter a dollar and a note thanking her for the tooth. My DH and I decided since it was the first lost tooth, we would buy her a gift, so she got a new electric Wall-E toothbrush.

What does the Tooth Fairy leave at your house?


  1. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  October 08, 2009 @ 9:12 am

    Sadly, Georgette, you continue to want to put a price on childhood.
    The question here, as with any issue concerning our kids, is do you love them?
    Because less than $5 is conclusive evidence that you DO NOT love your child.
    I REALLY love the little prof and was thrilled when the “tooth fairy” gave him $20.
    But what can you buy with a quarter?
    A wii gift card also works.
    As does a new game for the DS.

  2. POSTED BY tudlow  |  October 08, 2009 @ 9:27 am

    My 5-year-old daughter is a precocious tooth loser–she’s already lost 6 teeth. Freaky.
    But, I find that she really likes to receive quarters as opposed to dollar bills. So, we just put 5 rolls of quarters under her bed and she is happy. No, really, 4-6 shiny quarters is what the tooth fairy gives her and she’s content. I think she, like most children, is really more excited that she has lost a tooth. It’s bragging rights.
    It amazes me sometimes that she even believes in the tooth fairy–it just seems so preposterous, this fairy flying around and lifting the pillow up to grab that pulpy little tooth. Questions as to why I said fairies like tinkerbell were not real but the tooth fairy is have given me pause, too.

  3. POSTED BY Svenny  |  October 08, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    $1 is the new 25c. For each tooth lost put $100 in their orthodontist fund. 20 teeth gets you to $2,000, or ~20% of the total cost…crazy

  4. POSTED BY CariAnnV  |  October 08, 2009 @ 9:55 am

    It’s going to be a quarter. It’s symbolic people – children are not under the assumption their teeth are for sale. She’ll be fascinated with the idea of a fairy visiting her – not the monetary deal the fairy made with her.

  5. POSTED BY rbk  |  October 08, 2009 @ 10:43 am

    Alas, among my three children thee are no baby teeth left to lose. Each of them loved that when the tooth fairy visited she always seemed to have a hole in her pocket. In addition to the token amount left under the pillow accompanied by a note, she left a trail of shiny pennies on the floor of the bedroom, down the stairs and to the front door.

  6. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  October 08, 2009 @ 11:15 am

    Speak for yourself, CariAnnv.
    Some of us are rightly bringing our kids up to be good Americans!!! And consumerism is a BIG part of it.
    Therefore, your quaint idea of “symbolism” is well, quaint and out of date.
    Remember, THIS is BARISTAVILLE!!!!
    – We live in big homes.
    – We refer to a section of town as its own entity (UPPER Montclair, which btw, is where the prof has a palatial estate),
    -We send our kids to private schools even though our local schools are some of the best around,
    – We drive BIG cars to shop at Whole Foods–
    – We shop to Whole Foods.
    – And some of us spend (no lie) $35 a week on organic apples.
    – We spend, complain, and spend some more!!!
    …… a quarter for a tooth….
    How cheap and unloving can you be??

  7. POSTED BY Katie  |  October 08, 2009 @ 11:49 am

    I used to get $2, totally awesome.

  8. POSTED BY Jo  |  October 08, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

    Not only does the tooth fairy leave money at our home, she seems to have traveled far and wide to leave money at grandma’s house, auntie’s house, cousin’s house….so far the first tooth has clocked in over $20. Not sure what will happen with tooth #2 set to come out any day now =-0

  9. POSTED BY Generically named Mike  |  October 08, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

    The prof’s “money = love” posts continue to amuse the hell out of me.
    But, as far as my kid’s far distant Tooth Fairy vistis are concerned (I say “far distant” because so far only two teeth have popped up. Hopefully they won’t be falling out any time soon): I’m thinking those “gold” dollar coins.
    This is, of course, going on the assumption that my son is going to be obsessed with pirates like every other five-year-old boy I’ve met and shiny “gold” coins are just cooler than “silver” quarters or boring paper money.
    (hmm… note to self: Find pirate-chest styled bank for baby)

  10. POSTED BY missypico  |  October 08, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

    You’re 5 – year old is putting one over on you or her friend’s have ritzy parents, but $5 is not the norm. I’ve got two kids in grammar school and no one seems disappointed with a foreign, $.50, or $1 coin (depending on what we have on hand). I ONCE heard my 2nd grader say someone got $5, but even she knew that was unusual.
    In fact, the early results to the online survey supports what said above. So this story is bogus. Go with your instincts. Stick to something creative or your basic shiny coin.

  11. POSTED BY Bernadette Baum  |  October 08, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

    Georgette, my 9 year old still looks forward to the tooth fairy and recently got $1 for a molar and was excited the fairy left an extra $1 for a tooth lost on holiday 🙂 She only leaves polished dollar coins (these are more gracefully carried in a fairy purse than a bunch of manky notes I’m guessing)

  12. POSTED BY Nellie  |  October 08, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

    At these rates, I wish I could lose a tooth. The money is clearly in teeth these days.

  13. POSTED BY banana split  |  October 08, 2009 @ 2:58 pm

    I used to get $1 for a lost tooth ($2 for a molar) and it was AWESOME.
    Love the dollar coin idea! I’ll put that idea in the “bank” for when the time comes.

  14. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  October 08, 2009 @ 3:08 pm

    It’s $1 in our house, but we try to mix up the denominations. The first time it was four shiny quarters, each with a different state so we could talk about what state it was and how the picture related to the state. Then we used dimes, because in a kids head ten coins MUST be more valuable than four coins, no matter the size. Last time it was a Sacajawea dollar with a kid friendly version of the Lewis & Clark story. I foresee a bump up to $2 down the road.

  15. POSTED BY State Street Pete  |  October 08, 2009 @ 3:17 pm

    I like the $2 for a molar idea, and the foreign coin thing is also great. Makes for more teachable moments.
    Oh, and Nana informs us that the 7 year-old had apparently figured out some time ago that mom & dad are really the tooth fairy, but she’s not letting on – LOL! Santa’s secret still remains safe however.

  16. POSTED BY tmk  |  October 08, 2009 @ 3:44 pm

    My son never liked the idea of the tooth fairy getting anywhere near his teeth so he kept them. I don’t know which is weirder, giving your teeth to a fairy for monetary gain, or keeping them yourself.

  17. POSTED BY walleroo  |  October 08, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

    The total cuteness of Georgette’s kid aside, you have to wonder how much longer BaristaKids will survive if editors are writing about their kids’ teeth falling out. By comparison this makes Baristanet look like Reuters during the Mumbai bombing!
    I pity prof’s kids, who only get 20 bucks worth of love. EAch time one of my kids would lose a tooth, I put an IOU good for one month college tuition under their pillows. That’s worth thousands.

  18. POSTED BY trashtalk  |  October 09, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

    When a tooth is getting wiggly, go to the bank and exchange a $5 bill for five shiny gold dollar coins. Then a hidden stash of them is ready for the tooth fairy to dole out when the moment arrives (one per tooth in our house, but your tooth fairy might be more generous). Although it’s only a dollar in price, a gold coin is rare and exotic enough to the kids that it gives the tooth fairy myth some cred.

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