A baby gets their first tooth around 6 months and that is a milestone event for their parents to record. But for a child, the milestone is loosing their first tooth, which typically happens between 5-6 years of age. Just like the order that the teeth erupted, the lower central two teeth get “wiggly” first and with a little bit of “coaxing” out one comes.
Some children cannot wait to get that tooth out and wiggle and pull on it all of the time and are not a bit “queasy” about losing the tooth. For others it is quite traumatic and dramatic. The child may leave that tooth hanging by a thread and not “allow” anyone to touch it or help pull it out….in a few cases I have known the child to swallow the tooth as they refused to pull it. Don’t worry…your child will not choke or get a bowel obstruction from swallowing a tooth….but they may want to search their “poop” in hopes of finding the tooth. In the case of a swallowed tooth I would suggest writing a letter to the tooth fairy explaining the predicament rather than the former idea.
So…the tooth fairy is a very special person!! The tradition of putting a tooth under your pillow and waking up to find the tooth gone and a “reward” under the pillow has been around for years. I am really not sure where it started..but it certainly continues in most households. Interestingly, it seems the tooth fairy has invested well and the money left under the pillow is certainly more than the quarter I remember receiving, and more than the silver dollars and $2 bills the tooth fairy often left under our children’s pillows. i am not sure I agree that a $10 or $20 bill is “age appropriate”, but I digress.
When I am seeing a child who has recently lost a tooth it is a good conversation starter to find out “who pulled the tooth” and “what did the tooth fairy leave for you?”. I get all sorts of interesting and cute stories from my young elementary patients. The next question I ask is if they spend the money or save it? It is split about 50/50 among “spenders and savers”….will see if that tendency continues as they get older.
But, just the other day I saw a little boy who had lost his tooth the night before and was so excited to tell my about the tooth fairy. When I asked him what she had left for him he told me he had gotten a $5 bill! When I asked him what he was going to do with the money….he quickly replied, “I am going to Target!”. Don’t you think that would make a good commercial!?!?
Kid’s say the funniest things!