12 answers

Alternative to the Tooth Fairy

Hi awesome moms! I knew I could once again come to you for some good advice and suggestions. I'm a Christian mom with a child loosing her first tooth! I would like to do something special each time she looses a baby tooth. Although I'm the creative type and may could come up with something on my own, I know there is somebody out there who has their own great ideas to share! I'm just very uncomfortable with incorporating fairies and magic - we don't let our children watch cartoons with witches or fairies. Our daughter is overly-dramatic and the loss of her tooth could prove to be quite traumatic, so any cool suggestions are appreciated. Thanks so much!

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Hi M.,
My SIL gave my daughter a personalized keepsake box for her teeth. It looks like a large tooth on top of a pillow (it's actually all plastic). On the top of the pillow there are little round windows, in which you can view the teeth. You put the teeth in from the bottom, where there is also space where you can mark the date each tooth came out. It is the cutest thing. I'm sorry my digital camera isn't working, otherwise I'd offer to send you a pic. Anyway, I looked online and can't find anything like it. The place she got it at is called "My Mommy Made It". It's in NJ ###-###-####. Maybe they'll send you a pic. I wish I had gotten one for my son. He's lost 6 teeth and a couple are in a plastic bag pinned to my bulletin board, ones in a tiny wooden tooth box and I think we lost 1 or 2. I couldn't tell you when he lost them, except that his first 2 came out the same week as my daughter's last 2!

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This is what my aunt did with her kids when they were little. You could just call it the tooth game instead of tooth fairy game. I have always thought this was a neat idea!

“tooth fairy game”. It was a sort of scavenger hunt. A note was placed under the pillow with a clue as to the first place to look. This would lead to additional notes. The number of notes and difficulty of clues determined by the child’s interest and patience in such things but at least three. At the end of the hunt the money or gift could be found. We really did not encourage belief in fictional characters such as Santa Claus, tooth fairy and Easter bunny but wanted to preserve the customs of childhood. This seemed to be a solution for us.

I hope this will give you some ideas!

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Hi M.,
There is no alternative to the tooth fairy. Just make it special for her within your comfort zone. I really understand the position you take with regards to fairies and magic. Your religious views can be a miracle of renewal, that baby tooth comes out so your body can produce a stronger tooth to last a lifetime. Only God could have thought of that, He thinks of everything! What a miracle it is and it sounds magical to me. My Dad told me at 5, that God gave us beautiful pearls, precious gems that wanted to come in to take the place of my baby teeth. Then he tied a string to my baby tooth and a door knob.....and slammed the door! Out it came and no pain, just pure thrill and excitement wondering what my new "pearl would look like? I trusted that my Dad would never hurt me, and he never did. I am not advising you to tie her tooth to a string, I'm just telling you what part God played in the loss of my baby teeth. But, we did put it under my pillow for the tooth fairy. I believe that there can be a balance with fairy tales when you're a child, but wonder what person believes in fairy's after 7? In our home that too was a right of passage, the idea of Santa or the tooth fairy was for babies, so when we turned 7 or 8, it was all about the true miracles, baby stuff left behind and just a sweet memory.
Perhaps making your child feel special would just mean a small tea party with mom and the girls and having a special prayer of thanks, to God, for this milestone in her life. I think all little girls are overly dramatic, especially the loss of a tooth. Maybe that's where the idea came from? Who knows? That right of passage is frightening to children, maybe that's why the old string and door knob worked for my family, it was the fretting we did when it was loose, all that drama over a baby tooth. My Dad made it an event and we loved it....but like I said, I'm not at all advising you with that method. But, thanks for reminding me of that memory, I hadn't thought of that for a very long time.

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Make it fun about loosing the tooth! My daughter lost her first 2 teeth last year and she was given a gold dollar for each lost tooth! Not to expensive but something unique (got the gold coin idea from Mommasource!) P.S. let her chew gum or tootsie rolls, the tooth will come out sooner!) Don't force the tooth out, dentists don't recommend this anymore, just let it come out on its own or with a little kiddie moving it around!

I don't know how to approach the issue of no tooth fairy. I am a Christian and my children ages 6,4 and 18 mo. Know of the magical creatures of the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus. My 6 year old has already made comments that Santa is pretend. I don't see anything different in letting them participate in a childhood myth then letting them pretend and dress up as princesses, dogs and dragons. Its all pretend. Probably around 8-9 they figure it all out anyway!

If you want you can still play the "tooth fairy" part but tell her to leave her tooth under her pillow and Mommy will leave her a surprise under her pillow in the morning!

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They have done research on children and fantasies like Santa Claus and the tooth fairy. It is a normal part of child development to believe in those fantasies and children who grow up without them miss something.

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M., I understand your qualms. My kids know who Santa Claus is -- as a Christmas ornament -- but not as a mythical figure who is going to give them gifts. They know he's "just pretend" (they are 4 and 2).

When my siblings and I were little, we had "the Tooth Fairy" which we all knew not to be real, but was my mom putting money under the pillow. But we still called it "the Tooth Fairy."

I understand if you don't even want to use that term, but you could maybe come up with some term (it's too early in the morning for me to be that creative!) ;-) you could use to make losing her tooth not traumatic. You could just say something like "it's so special to lose a tooth, because that means you're growing up and going to get your big teeth, that you put your tooth under a pillow at night, and in the morning, you'll have something special underneath." If she likes money, you can give her money; if she likes baubles, you can get her a toy ring, or some little toy. That way she's looking forward to getting the whatever-it-is under her pillow, and so excited about that, that she won't be upset by losing her tooth.

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Hi M.,
I understand about your choice. I to am a Christian and struggle with what is the correct choice(s) on magic and fairies.
I do use the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. However when my daughter was 11 I told her about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus. I expalined to her that the cool thing about it is when you grow up YOU get to be the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus for someone else.
I don't know if this helps, but I wish you luck and I praise you for thinking long and hard about what God wants YOU to do as a parent.

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its just a name. it would sound funny being the tooth clause or the tooth bunny... well actually thats kinda cute seeing as how bunnies have big teeth. so there ya have it the tooth bunny hope that helped lol

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M., I really like what Deborah (Grandma to 5 and mom to 4) had to suggest the only other thing I would suggest IF you want to do something similar to the tooth fairy, is maybe call it something else.. "The Tooth Lady" Have you ever heard of the FLY LADY (she helps you keep your house tidy with real life suggestions)

We are Christians but chose to permit the things my husband and I grew up with. With Santa, my DD knows that WE have to buy it all and only 'Santa' gets to bring it... although we stress that Santa loves Jesus too.

You can make it work for you just remember to ALWAYS DO WHAT IS BEST FOR 'YOU' AND 'YOUR' FAMILY. ;)

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Hi M., It might be fun to have a special little box, like the one jewelry comes in, to introduce as a memory keeper of your daughter's baby days. Tell her how blessed you and Daddy are that God gave her to you, and how you will always want to remember the special time when she was little. Explain that while the tooth is hers, you would like to keep it, and will give her $1 (or whatever seems appropriate to you) in exchange for each little tooth. Keep the little teeth in the jewelry box after they have air dried. I think she will like this plan, and no fairy tales! It never occurred to me to do anything like this--we just used the tooth fairy scheme without any pretense that it was real. I guess that was okay, but this would be superior--any opportunity to promote your Christian values should be taken. God bless you--you are the salt of the earth. D. (grandma to 5, mom to 4)

2 moms found this helpful

Hi M.,
My SIL gave my daughter a personalized keepsake box for her teeth. It looks like a large tooth on top of a pillow (it's actually all plastic). On the top of the pillow there are little round windows, in which you can view the teeth. You put the teeth in from the bottom, where there is also space where you can mark the date each tooth came out. It is the cutest thing. I'm sorry my digital camera isn't working, otherwise I'd offer to send you a pic. Anyway, I looked online and can't find anything like it. The place she got it at is called "My Mommy Made It". It's in NJ ###-###-####. Maybe they'll send you a pic. I wish I had gotten one for my son. He's lost 6 teeth and a couple are in a plastic bag pinned to my bulletin board, ones in a tiny wooden tooth box and I think we lost 1 or 2. I couldn't tell you when he lost them, except that his first 2 came out the same week as my daughter's last 2!

2 moms found this helpful

We are also a Christian family...we have done the tooth fairy thing, but our kids, by age 8 knew who was really putting that money under their pillows! My parents did the tooth fairy until my younger brother was small(he is 17 years younger than I am, 12 years younger than my younger sister) but with him they chose to buy his teeth from him. He still got the money but without the fantasy added.

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you are entitled to your beliefs about fairies and magic...

I dont see the harm in the whole tooth fairy thing, though. It's a fun childhood thing. Are your children visited my Santa Claus? What about the Easter Bunny? I'm just curious... I'm not judging, that is not my place. I guess I'm just trying to understand the reasons behind your choice with the tooth fairy or even letting them watch cartoons with witches and fairies.

Then again, I'm a Witch, not a Christian, so my view on those things is quite a bit different and I am far more open minded than most Christians that I have come in contact with (and I am a former Christian as well, I grew up in the Mormon church and attended Catholic services as well).

As far as ideas that don't use magic or fairies...

Maybe make a big deal out of losing the tooth in an unrelated way. I bought a little ribbon that was an award for losing the first tooth for my son. I got it at Dollar General and he was so excited to get an award, he even momentarily forget that his mouth was bleeding. Maybe let her have a special treat after she loses the tooth - like a bowlful of her favorite ice cream and toppings, pudding, or jello.... just avoid crunchy toppings because her gums might be a little sore.

If you don't like using food as a treat, maybe you could make a keepsake together out of the tooth. It could be picking out a box (like a small wooden one) to decorate together to keep all of the teeth she loses in until she's lost them all, then you can decide what to do with the box at that point. She could bury the tooth as a way to say goodbye to it.

If you're not completely against magic and fairies, you could still do the whole tooth fairy thing - then encourage your daughter to give whatever money she gets to your church (tithing or collection plate, or however else your church accepts donations). That way she's getting a bit of the fun (and wont feel left out if other kids talk ab out the tooth fairy) but still learning an important lesson (about giving to others and being generous).

When my son lost his first tooth, I used it as a way to reinforce how important it was to take care of his teeth - because now he had a grown up tooth that he would have forever. (He already brushed and flossed his teeth, but it was a way to talk about being a big boy and continuing the good habits.)

If she doesnt use mouthwash already, you could introduce her to one of the children's mouthwashes (like ACT) after she looses the tooth - as a sort of rite of passage (cant use mouthwash til you have at least one grown up tooth or something like that).

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