Tooth Fairy

Serena has had two loose front bottom teeth for over a month. We learned they were loose when she last saw Dr. Rex (our dentist, who is also a self-proclaimed superhero) and he explained that she is losing her teeth about 1.5 years early. He says there’s a high probability she will need substantial orthodontic care because her teeth will be big and her jaw small. Hmph.

And so, Serena’s teeth have increased in wiggle these last few weeks. We went to a fun little UUFCO dinner thing last night, got home late and we were hurriedly going through toothbrushing when Serena exclaimed – “My tooth is gone!” She mostly looked perplexed. “Where did it go?”, she asked. Hmmm… I couldn’t see it anywhere. So, I (brilliantly) explained that sometime people swallow their teeth and don’t even know it. She got very concerned about what would happen to the tooth in her body – or what would happen to her body with her tooth roaming around in there. Then, expectedly, she got a tummy ache. I tried to explain that her body is totally fine with a tooth in it because her tooth was originally part of her body… and of course the whole process of how the tooth would come out of her body with no problem. Mostly, I just wished I had gone a different route with “where did it go?” entirely. I was trying to avoid searching all night for the tooth (that was probably nowhere to be found). Jim chimed in with the fact that she may very well NOT have swallowed it but that she might have spit it down the drain when brushing her teeth. Serena explained that she had not spit at all when brushing since she used no-flouride toothpaste on this occasion. Hmm.

Then she became very concerned about how the Tooth Fairy would know she had lost her tooth. So we decided to write a note and put it under her pillow, in place of the tooth:


I asked if I could take a picture of her missing tooth in the morning and she said, “No. I just want to show everyone.” When I explained that our family and friends in California and Ohio and other places would like to see her missing tooth, she agreed. “Well, as long as it’s not video then that should be okay.”


We spent the next hour trying to get through bedtime books while every third sentence Serena had another contemplative questions or comment about her lost tooth.

“Mama? How will my big tooth fit into the little space in my mouth?”

“Mama? Will my mouth look funny with a grown up tooth and all my other teeth are little?”

“Mama? Is the tooth fairy a person?”

“Mama? Will the tooth fairy wake me up when she comes to get my tooth?”

“Mama? Can the tooth fairy really fly?”

I started to worry that she was actually a little freaked about the tooth fairy coming into her room while she’s sleeping. When I thought about it, I realized I’d probably be a little freaked, too. I asked her if she wanted to put the note in our room, under our pillow, since she comes into our bed every night anyway. But she said “no”, she wanted it under her pillow in her room.

After a few more questions, I was just about to explain that the tooth fairy is a Spirit (much how we describe Santa and for similar reasons) and that she’s not really real and that she just inspires us to do this whole leaving money thing when our kids lose a tooth. But suddenly she stopped asking questions so I let it go.

This whole traditional tale/lying thing is a conundrum for me. Looks like I put off making a major move around smashing another one of these childhood stories this round though.

She does look pretty cute with her missing tooth. And she has sworn off all hard foods in order to delay the loss of the other loose bottom front tooth. We’ll see.

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