Payback and the value of a front tooth

“Did the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny meet?” That’s what my 6-year old Gabriella asked me this weekend since she finally had her third visit from the Tooth Fairy on “Easter Eve!”

For the past several months we’ve been watching her two front teeth grow to be almost horizontal as if the permanent teeth were saying, “hey-get outta my way!” I believe the dental hygienist referred to them as “flying”. As they became more and more loose, we became more and more impatient for her to just pull them out already.

One day during this time of flying teeth, I made the mistake of complaining to my mom about it. All she said was “pay back!” I guess Gabriella inherited my own dramatic process of losing my baby teeth. I can vaguely remember a lot of drama with tears, and a very real fear of pulling out my teeth.

So you have to imagine I lean a little on the soft side when it comes to being forceful about pulling dangling baby teeth. I have friends and relatives that yank out their kids teeth when they are a long way from falling out naturally. Luckily, I have the dental profession backing me on this one. They say it’s best to wait until they are very loose, and there should be little or no pain or bleeding involved.

That said, our pediatric dentist forcefully encouraged Gabriella to pull her front teeth out by setting an appointment and printing out a chart and estimate for extracting the two upper front teeth. Needless to say, my husband and I were not going to pay the dentist $242 to pull out our daughter’s teeth for no good reason! There were plenty of other pediatric dental experts I found who claimed this is almost never necessary. My husband offered to buy her teeth, and she only asked for $6. Her Uncle then upped the price to $7 each. It didn’t work.

A mere 10 days after the threatened extraction, one of the teeth fell out-on our last day of vacation in New York City! The other one is going to be right behind it, I know. The Tooth Fairy came, perhaps chatting with the Easter Bunny in the hallway, and left a $1 gold coin with a picture of the Statue of Liberty on it since she lost her tooth in New York City of course. Prior Tooth Fairy visits brought a $1 gold coin with Sacajawea on it, and a $5 bill for the first tooth lost because she was 5 years old when she lost it.

How do you handle baby teeth drama in your house? And what has the Tooth Fairy been leaving for your children’s teeth?

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