Donna Perugini Children's Author

Celebrate Lost Baby Teeth

baby teeth traditions

Celebrate Lost Baby Teeth!

Celebrate Lost Baby Teeth & Becoming a Big Kid

Isn’t it exciting to watch your children grow up? To experience all those little milestones (and the big ones too). For me, one milestone in particular seems to mark the end ofย  “babyhood” and the beginning of being a “big kid”…. lost teeth.

When I was growing up, as soon as my tooth would start to wiggle, I’d anticipate a visit from the tooth fairy. I’d put my lost tooth under my pillow, and the tooth fairy would come and leave a surprise for me (usually in the form of cash).

Evidently, this is pretty much the norm for kids in North America (and many other English-speaking regions).

Considering Alternatives to the Tooth Fairy

As a Christian parent (and one who is relatively new to the Body of Christ), I wondered if I should maintain this tradition with my own children. The thought of perpetuating stories of fairies and make-believe and not being forthright with my children certainly gave me pause.

Unfortunately, the story of the tooth fairy is all over children’s programming and our culture in general, so it’s really tricky to navigate when you’ve made a decision to go a different route. My son knew all about the tooth fairy before he even had a loose tooth!

Alternative Fun for a Milestone

Once his first tooth became loose, we got a book from the library called Throw Your Tooth on the Roof that showed how other cultures commemorate lost baby teeth. I thought it would be easier to opt out of the tooth fairy story by showing him that there are other things that people do elsewhere in the world. I had no idea there were so many different customs around the globe! Most of the traditions are based in folklore of some kind or another, but a few are not. Some seemed really funny to us (like a certain Native American tribe feeding their tooth to a dog), and some were very practical (like the Costa Ricans who plate their teeth with gold and wear them as earrings).

When the first few teeth were lost, admittedly, it was pretty uneventful around our house. We took pictures and were excited, though I did notice a bit of disappointment from him that he wouldn’t be finding money under his pillow left by a fairy. I didn’t see any reason why he shouldn’t have a little fun after losing a tooth. So when my son’s first top tooth fell out, I came up with a unique idea for a family tradition: a scavenger hunt.

On the night that he lost his tooth, we placed it on his nightstand. I came to collect his newly shed tooth after he fell asleep, and put it in a jar to save it (why? I don’t know, but I can’t be the only “weirdo” who saves their children’s teeth…am I?) Next, I prepared a small, monetary gift and sealed it in an envelope. Using notebook paper, I wrote up little rhyming clues about where he would find the next clue (if your child isn’t a fluent reader yet, you might choose to draw or print pictures as clues). I hid the small envelope on our counter top inside a container, and waited for him to figure out the clues.

tooth scavenger hunt

It was only three clues, so it didn’t take him too long to discover his prize, but when he found it, he was pretty excited. And I was a happy mama. My daughter even asked if we could do a scavenger hunt when she loses her teeth!

I asked my little guy what he enjoyed about doing the scavenger hunt, and his reply was, “the quarters!” Then, I wanted to know what he thought he might do with his potential future children. He said, “{I would} give them a scavenger hunt so they can find some quarters…I mean pennies.” Perhaps I was too generous!

Is your family also in the tradition-breaking minority? Share how you have made this milestone fun in your house!



Becky is a wife of eight years and stay at home mom to three young children. She aspires to encourage women in Biblical truth on her blog, Happy Christian Home

6 Responses to “Celebrate Lost Baby Teeth”

  1. 1

    I saved all our children’s teeth and come across them every so often if cleaning out the closet. Still don’t have a creative idea of what to do with them! I’d thought about jewelry, but that kind of creeped me out.

    Have any plans for what you’ll do with those baby teeth? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Donna Perugini recently posted..Celebrate Lost Baby TeethMy Profile

    • 1.1
      Becky says:

      Ha ha. I know my mom always kept them in her jewelry box. I would see them once in a while when she would go through her jewelry with us. Lol. I have no idea what to do with them! Bet that’s a good question for Pinterest. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. 2
    Rhonda says:

    My mom kept all my baby teeth…but what’s to be done with all of them? They’re still at her house tucked away. I decided not to keep my boys teeth…especially since our storage space is limited and I also knew they’d never really be pondered over later…boys aren’t so sentimental as girls, usually. So, I simply added some enthusiasm to the venture by saying that I’d pay them a $1.00 for every loose tooth that fell out. It was hilarious at times seeing my boys try to hurry to get that tooth out. I would keep the tooth on my desk in “admiration” for my new purchase for awhile and then discreetly toss them after the newness wore off and the tooth was long forgotten.
    Rhonda recently posted..November 2014 โ€“ Simple Project Planner โ€“ Free Printable DownloadMy Profile

    • 2.1
      Becky says:

      I’ve gotta say, I think I like the idea of tossing them. Lol! Even though I’m a female and fairly sentimental, I’m not sad in the least that I don’t have my own baby teeth stashed somewhere. I did a quick Google search for “what to do with baby teeth” and it seems like lots and lots of moms are really concerned with keeping them as keepsakes. In that book I mentioned, it says that one Asian country (I don’t remember which one…China, maybe) they simply bury the teeth because “it should return to the earth” or something like that. I guess I’m kinda torn. It seems like an important thing to save, but then when I really think about it, it seems bizarre. Ha ha. Thanks for commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Becky recently posted..Five Ways to Show Support for Children’s Ministry WorkersMy Profile

  3. 3
    jenny says:

    My husband is the tooth fairy in this house and has them stored away. Not sure what he plans to do with them ๐Ÿ™‚
    jenny recently posted..Daily Affirmations for Self EsteemMy Profile

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