As my five-year-old son prepared to lose his first baby tooth, panic set in. Oh no, please don’t get me wrong. He was excited about it. I was the one panicking! I had no idea what the going rate for baby teeth was these days.
When I was a child, way back in the stone ages, I got a quarter per tooth. But I figured with inflation and whatnot, the price had to be higher than 25 cents.
I checked with all my friends to get their ideas on the monetary value for baby teeth. I asked four different people, and of course, I got four different answers. One mom told me she paid $5.00 per tooth! I figured if that was the case, I would go broke before my son started losing his molars. I would have to put IOU’s under his younger sister’s pillow!
I called my sister, who had been through this already with her eight-year-old girl. She told me that her tooth fairy paid 50 cents per tooth. But then, in her infinite wisdom, she cautioned me to make sure my son’s father was on the same page. She told me horror stories about how her daughter’s father had just left a handful of change under the girl’s pillow.
So right away I called my son’s dad and checked in with him. One dollar was his suggestion, and I scoffed. One dollar for a baby tooth? That was way too much. Besides, my son had somehow gotten the impression that the tooth fairy only left coins.
I suggested to his father that fifty cents was more than fair. He asked, “You mean a fifty-cent piece?” I didn’t know they even still made those. I fought diligently for two quarters, so I wouldn’t have to run to the bank every time we had a loose tooth. What if I forgot and was caught without the coin? But his dad’s logic that a fifty-cent piece is more special, and still spendable, won out.
Since my son had two loose teeth, both his bottom front teeth, I decided to play it smart and get two coins at the bank. Well, not only do they still have fifty-cent pieces, but apparently the bank was inundated with them. The bank teller begged me to buy more coins. I told her that when the tooth fairy needed more, I would be back.
I was set. Two loose teeth, two fifty-cent pieces. Or so I thought. My son lost his first tooth Friday at school. That night he went to stay at his father’s house, so I gave him the coins. The next day, my son was so excited he had a half-dollar… until he went to spend it. Did you know you can’t even buy a candy bar for 50 cents anymore? His dad had to contribute money just so my son could get the Three Musketeers bar he wanted.
The tooth fairy needed to up the ante, apparently. I figured I would go to the bank Monday and get him a dollar coin. Oops, too late. Sunday he lost his second tooth. He’ll have to wait until tooth number three to get his dollar.