Tooth Fairy and Baby Teeth

tooth fairy and baby teeth from Dentists Near Me

Tooth Fairy folklore is a custom believed to date back a long, long time ago…as far as the early 1900s. The legend of folklore is that when children lose one or more of his/her baby teeth, the tooth should be placed under their pillow while sleeping. While they are sleeping, she comes and takes the tooth, leaving either a present or money.

Image of a banner with Teddy, the Dental Lion, asking "What's the rate for a child's tooth?" Learn secrets about the tooth fairy and more.

Dr. Kathryn Alderman, and Teddy, The Dental Lion, answer questions from kids.

Here we’ll answer six common questions about the Tooth Fairy.

  1. Why does the Tooth Fairy take teeth?
  2. What does the Tooth Fairy do with her tooth collection?
  3. Why does the Tooth Fairy keep the teeth she takes?
  4. What does the Tooth Fairy look like?
  5. Has anyone ever seen the Tooth Fairy?
  6. How much does the Tooth Fairy pay for baby teeth?

Image of a child brushing her teeth.

Why does the Tooth Fairy take teeth?

The answer is that no one truly knows. Since the story of the Tooth Fairy has been told for so long and by so many people, several theories have emerged as to exactly why she takes teeth.

One thought as to why the Tooth Fairy takes teeth is to give them to other babies who don’t have any teeth. Another possible reason she takes teeth is to build a beautiful white castle for all of her friends and family. Others say that the teeth are turned into fairy dust, created by crushing the not-so-nice teeth into fine particles.

Image of a young toddler who has baby teeth.

What does the Tooth Fairy do with her tooth collection?

Legend and folklore have it that she mainly keeps the teeth for herself. Because she’s the Tooth Fairy, she is fascinated with clean, shiny teeth and keeps them safe in her castle as light-up ornaments.

Other versions of folklore say that she only keeps teeth for a tiny bit after collecting them. She keeps all teeth safe after she collects them, so she can quickly put them up in the sky before they lose their beautiful shine.

Image of three happy children who are interested in learning more about baby teeth and the tooth fairy.

Why does the Tooth Fairy keep the teeth she takes?

Many believe the Tooth Fairy wants to help other babies and adults who have problems with their teeth or help those that have no teeth at all. To help babies without teeth, it’s said she recycles teeth she has collected and helps put them into babies’ gums so that they can eventually have teeth.

She also helps adults who have lost their permanent teeth. She does this by giving up the baby teeth she collects to dentists worldwide who make unique implant teeth for people who need them.

Others firmly believe that she holds super big parties with all of her “fairy friends,” and she hands out the teeth she has collected as gifts.

Image of a child with baby teeth at South Lincoln Family Dentistry in Lincoln, NE.

What does the Tooth Fairy look like?

Classically in literature, she is often presented as a tiny creature with wings that flies. She also has a wand and can sprinkle fairy dust anywhere she goes. She looks similar to Tinkerbell (in the Peter Pan tales) and can sometimes be pictured wearing a beautiful ball gown. Other times, she will have on a one-piece suit with her hair done up in a bun.

Generally, she is seen smiling with a happy-looking face and typically comes across as quite loving.

Image of two happy little girls who are curious to learn about the tooth fairy and baby teeth.

Has anyone ever seen the Tooth Fairy?

Some people claim they have, but there is no confirmation of whether or not they did and of her appearance. Losing a tooth is very exciting for children. Looking forward to a visit from the Tooth Fairy is also just as exciting. At Nebraska Family Dentistry, we’re excited because we know that losing a tooth can mean new things are in store.

Image of happy children smiling after learning about the tooth fairy.

How much does the Tooth Fairy pay for baby teeth? 

In short, she doesn’t seem to be consistent. It appears as though the amount of money left depends on each household. We have heard that in some cases, she leaves about $1 per tooth, and in other homes, that number is higher.

In other cases, it seems that she will decide to leave behind a gift the child wants, which will mean more than any amount of money ever could.

Image of a banner for "What's the rate for a child's tooth?" In this online class, you can learn all about the tooth fairy.

Other articles to check out about baby teeth and pediatric dental health.

Are Milk Products Good For Your Teeth?

Inflammation in kids 101: Sugar and Inflammation Connection

Pacifiers and kid’s teeth: When is a good age to take away pacifiers?

Free educational materials for kids and teenagers

6 Oral Health Myths We Learned From Our Parents

Emergency dental care and how to handle it in kids

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