Tooth Fairy Alternative Traditions

I was at the dentist with my oldest child, watching them clean teeth and offering moral support. This was the first time my child allowed them to clean their teeth with the spinny thing {that’s the technical term I am sure}. In the middle of the affirmations of bravery I was spouting, we noticed…one of those teeth was moving! It had happened. My kid got their first loose tooth. 

girl holds up lost toothNow, aside from all of the emotional aspects of this event…Why does losing teeth feel like such a big kid thing?? We now had to decide what our losing teeth ritual for our family would be. We already don’t do Santa or the Easter bunny. My kid has always been terrified of people in costumes, and avoids strangers, so that worked for us. Along those same lines I knew we would not be doing the traditional tooth fairy ritual. If there’s one thing that would make a stranger in a costume more terrifying for my child it would be that they sneak into their room at night to steal their spare body parts. That was going to be a hard pass.

But when I went to see what the internet could tell me about tooth fairy alternatives, I found….not a whole lot. There were some traditions from Central Asia that involved burying the tooth near a tree, and a variation that involved feeding it to your dog {yikes}. Neither of which sounded festive or fun for my kid. So if you are like my family and are searching for tradition alternatives, here are some ideas.

Just “Play” Tooth Fairy

This is the closest to the actual tooth fairy tradition, and what my child ended up choosing after we talked through some options. Child leaves the tooth in their room, and a parent goes in while they are asleep and replaces it with money. The difference being that the child knows this is happening and it’s a game you play together. For extra fun, don a fairy costume of things from around the house and take pictures or a video to show them later. 

Go Out For A Special Treat

Ice cream, donuts, cookies, or cupcakes are a great way to have a treat to mark the occasion of losing a tooth. Have a go-to place, or choose a new one every time. Tell the people there what you are celebrating if your child is into that so they can congratulate them. Add the tooth as a topper on your cupcake. You do you.

Trip to Five Below or Dollar Store

Maybe each time they lose a tooth your child gets to pick a trinket. Choose an inexpensive place and allow them free reign. Bonus points if you can refrain from directing them or commenting on the dumb thing they purchased. Extra bonus if you can hold back those comments when it breaks an hour after you get home.

Have A Tooth Party

Decorate a cake with smiling teeth. Light a candle for each one they lose like a birthday cake. Play pin the cavity on the tooth. Make a toothbrush bouquet, or a floss banner. Hold a tiny tooth funeral. If you are the type of person who loves throwing a party for any reason at all, here’s your chance! 

Outing With One or Both Parents

Plan a special outing with one or both of you. This can be special in particular for families with more than one child, where one on one time is hard to come by. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can be a trip to get a treat, going to the library, park, etc. Something your child will enjoy, and extra time and attention. 

Make Tooth Cookies

Buy a tooth cookie cutter and make tooth shaped cookies to decorate and eat. Could be a delightful addition to your tooth party.

Plant Something With Your Tooth

If you or your kids are into gardening, you can do a twist on the Asian tradition of burying the tooth, and plant it with seeds or another plant. You can call it their growing up garden, or tooth town, and keep adding to it as your child loses more teeth. Imagine the slew of things that will grow!

Whatever you choose, losing teeth is an important milestone of growing up for your kids, and deserves to be celebrated. Have fun with it, whether that be with the tooth fairy or an alternative! 

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Lindsay Garrett
Lindsay G. was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, and she and her husband headed south to Spring in June of 2016. As a clinical social worker, she works full time with families growing their families through adoption. Lindsay met her husband John when they were both camp counselors. They welcomed their future little campers G in December 2017 and R in 2020. Lindsay is constantly reading, researching at least one new thing, and attempting to organize her life through bullet journaling. Her first book, Parent Goals: The Millennial’s Guide to New Parent Preparedness will be published in November 2021. In her free time, she enjoys binging Gilmore Girls on a loop, baking, and running in the Houston area’s beautiful parks. Check out her website www.lindsaygarrettlcsw.com for parenting prep, support, and more.

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