Why does the tooth fairy need teeth?

When my daughter lost a tooth she was super excited and also a tad perplexed, asking “why does the tooth fairy need teeth Mummy?” Excellent question, unfortunately I was knackered and I could not think of a valid reason, so we looked on Google. This was a mistake as it seems that every answer is deeply creepy. Here are just some of the many reasons given:

  1. She builds her castle/palace with them. I have heard this before but it always struck me as a weird thing to build a castle with. As my daughter said they would be a “horrible size and shape to try and build with”. We decided that it would be a pretty cold place, although I suppose it would be easy to clean the walls.
  2. She plants them to grow tooth trees. This just led to asking “why?” and again “what does she need with them?”
  3. She melts them to make into money she gives to the children. She saw through this one immediately, pointing out that coins are not white and if she did make coins out of teeth, that it would be illegal.
  4. The most horrific suggestion was that she needed the teeth for babies to help them with chewing. This is wrong on so many levels but is perfectly summed up by “ewwwww, that is gross!”

After our research we decided that no-one else knew either. My daughter was taking no chances though and left a note asking that she keep her teeth, which the kind fairy allowed, still leaving a generous 50p.

I was giving myself a pat on the back for having successfully negotiated this tricky issue, but it was not over. Apparently one of her school friends had also lost a tooth and been given £5. Knowing the family well I was able to ask “WTF? Who gives £5 for a tooth?” and totally understood their night time panic where the only cash available was a fiver, so I forgave them! Thankfully, I remembered some advice that I had heard many years before and it was a lifesaver which I thought might prove helpful to other parents. Basically this is how the Tooth Fairy works.

Every tooth fairy has a patch (these are not clearly defined, so even through my daughter’s friend lives 10 minutes away they are clearly living in different patches.) Each night the fairies have a set amount of money for those that have lost teeth. Now obviously, some patches will have a lot of children that have lost teeth that day, others only one or two so they have to share out the money they have between the number of children – therefore some children will get 50p and others £5. It also explains why sometimes your child gets 50p and other times £2 and it is NOT just depending on what you have in your purse – honest! This is also a fantastic way to help children understand maths as well so is a total parenting win win!


Sarah and Michelle run a company called Purple Parenting, offering behaviour and sleep support through individual work, groupwork and workshops. Email info@purpleparenting.co.uk to arrange your free telephone consultation to help with behaviour, selective feeding and fussy eating, sleep, tantrums, aggression, anger, anxiety and more.

Thank you to Fröken Fokus at www.pexels.com for the lovely photo.