A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

24 Adorable Tooth Fairy Traditions You’ll Want to Try ASAP

Add a little magic to the standard teeth-for-treats routine and create memories your kids will treasure forever.

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Smiling girl holding missing tooth
Yaroslav Mishin/Shutterstock

Give them a receipt

To make the teeth-for-treats transaction feel even more legit to your little one, make sure the Tooth Fairy leaves them a receipt under their pillow. Some adorable versions created even have a spot to rate the “tooth quality” and a barcode for authenticity. Here’s where you can get printable Tooth Fairy Receipts.

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Childish cute mouth with beautiful lips and missing milk teeth dental health care and hygiene six years old toothless kid child closeup, horizontal picture

Bring in the Raton de los Dientes

In many Hispanic cultures, it isn’t some glittery fairy that collects teeth, it’s a rat—but a nice one! In Argentina, before bed, kids put their tooth in a glass of water and El Raton de los Dientes (sometimes called Ratoncito Perez) comes, drinks the water, takes the tooth, and puts a prize in the empty cup. It’s a fun twist on the tradition, especially for kiddos who may not be into fairies.

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Baby milk teeth
Kulikova Alfiia/Shutterstock

Make a pocket pillow

Placing a valuable tooth under a big bed pillow can feel scary—and result in tears if the tooth or the reward gets lost down a crack or in the folds of sheets. Solve this parenting problem by making a super simple pillow with a pocket especially to keep tiny baby teeth safe for delivery to the Tooth Fairy. It’s designed to hang over the bed post or door handle so everyone can rest easier. Get the Easy Tooth Fairy Pocket Pillow pattern at The Ribbon Retreat. Don’t miss these 10 sweet (and hilarious!) tooth fairy stories that will have you laughing out loud.

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Close-up of a little girl losing two lower milk teeth and a permanent tooth in the shape of a tulip coming in.

Give tiny tooth fairy letters

Baby teeth are tiny! Fairies are tiny! So it makes perfect sense that the Tooth Fairy would leave teeny tiny letters in return. Any kid obsessed with Barbies, Legomen, or other miniatures will get a kick out of these minute missives. Get the instructions for Tiny Tooth Fairy Notes from We Have Kids.

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Dietmar Temps/Shutterstock

Craft a golden tooth holder

All you need is an old floss container (how appropriate!), some gold paint, and a marker to create this glam tooth safebox. There’s no way the Tooth Fairy can miss your child’s tooth with this! Get the instructions for the Tooth Fairy Lost Tooth Box from Little Red Window.

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Girl smile with broken tooth

Keep a tooth fairy journal

There’s just something so precious about a gap-toothed grin (in a kid, anyhow, adults not so much). Memorialize their changing smile by taking a picture every time your child loses a tooth and putting it in a journal. You can include notes or drawings from your child as well. Your little one can see their “progress” towards adulthood, and you’ll have something to get teary-eyed over when they are in high school. See one example of a Changing Smile Scrapbook by Nicole Reaves.

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a child smile with missing teeth

Toss the teeth on the roof

In Japan, when children lose a baby tooth, they’re encouraged to toss them—on the roof, that is. Lower teeth are traditionally chucked upwards while upper teeth are thrown downwards, the idea being that the new tooth will be “pulled” towards the old one. It’s a fun myth and one you could even combine with the American Tooth Fairy tradition. And hey, kids love throwing things. These are the most popular fairy stories of all time. 

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Young boy smiling, showing off his first missing milk tooth (teeth), close up portrait. Childhood healthcare, healthy changing teeth concept.
Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Chart their progress

It’s hard for even the most dedicated parent to remember exactly how many and which baby teeth have already come out (and heaven help you if you have more than one child!). Make it easier on impatient kids and overtired parents by using this simple chart to check off the location of each bicuspid, molar, and canine. Get the printable Tooth Fairy Chart from SheKnows.

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The child dropped the first milk tooth
Nina Buday/Shutterstock

Give them a Tooth Teddy

Snuggling a soft stuffie at bedtime is already a ritual for many kids, so they’ll love to bring their favorite bear (or buy a new stuffed animal) into the Tooth Fairy game. Take the stuffed toy, sew a little pocket on the front out of scrap fabric and—poof!—you have a magical tooth helper. Not a sewer? Super glue that pocket on; your kid will never know the difference, we promise. Get directions and see examples of Tooth Fairy Pockets on Toys from Little Worlds Big Adventures.

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kid smile with lost tooth
Lurtrat R/Shutterstock

Pay them with special fairy money

There’s no way that someone as fabulous as the Tooth Fairy would deal in plain old U.S. currency right? Keep the magic going by spraying dollar bills with glitter hairspray to give them that special handled-by-a-real-fairy feel.

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six year-old red haired girl with two front teeth missing and wearing Eskimo style fur lined hood
S Curtis/Shutterstock

Leave sparkle coins under their pillow

If the going rate for teeth in your house is less than a dollar, take a handful of old pennies and turn them into sparkly fairy coins to exchange for teeth. Simply spray paint the pennies and dust them with glitter while they’re still wet. Let your kids keep the “money” or turn it in for a prize.

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Portrait little boy in fall missing his first milk tooth
Zaitsava Olga/Shutterstock

Celebrate with “lost tooth cookies”

Losing a tooth, especially the first one, is a huge deal to kids. (And one of the little things that makes childhood so magical for parents—who would have thought a little chunk of dead enamel could bring so much joy and entertainment?) Commemorate the moment with a special dessert made by putting marshmallows between two cookies, leaving one out to represent the lost tooth. Even better, wrap the treat up and have the Tooth Fairy leave it next to their bed.

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Lost milk tooth girl, Close up view.

Do a little origami

Some Tooth Fairies are more low-key than others (no judgment here!) and one super simple way to make the money-for-teeth exchange a little more magical is to fold a dollar bill into a heart. Your kid will think it’s so cute they won’t want to spend it! Get simple origami dollar heart instructions from Snap Guide.

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Kids Hand with one milk tooth. First tooth lost.
Zaitsava Olga/Shutterstock

Bury the teeth

In Mongolia, children take their baby teeth and either feed them to their dogs (we don’t recommend that) or bury them near a favorite tree (safer for all involved). The tradition dictates that burying teeth near the roots helps the new teeth grow strong, just like the tree.

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The child dropped the first milk tooth

Collect their teeth in a tooth tin

Many little kids are born hoarders, er, collectors. And as such, they hate to let anything go, especially something that was once part of their body. Keep all their teeth safe in a Tooth Fairy-approved box made out of an old mints tin and some paint. Get instructions for the Tooth Fairy Tin from Amanda Creation. Find out why you shouldn’t get rid of your children’s baby teeth.

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Portrait of preschooler girl with open mouth without milk tooth
Nina Buday/Shutterstock

Get ’em a tooth tattoo

No, we’re not recommending taking your child to a tattoo parlor (baby’s first ink!) but a cute temporary tattoo is a great way to show the world how proud they are of their lost tooth. Have the Tooth Fairy slip a temporary tooth tattoo under the pillow along with the money. Try these Tooth Temporary Tattoos from Portes Bonheur.

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Lost milk tooth boy, Close up view.

Tell some tooth jokes

Hey, why did the tree go to the dentist? To get a root canal! (And good luck explaining what a root canal is to your kindergartner!) Kids love telling silly jokes and Tooth Fairies love hearing them. Help your child come up with a creative pun or use one from a list of toothy jokes and leave a few from the Tooth Fairy along with the tooth. Get a list of hilarious dental jokes from A Mom With a Lesson Plan. Or go through our archive of funny kids’ jokes.

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The adorable girl smiles with the fall of the first baby teeth

Craft a tiny door

Just like Santa Claus needs a special way in through the chimney, the Tooth Fairy needs a special method to make her grand entrance. You and your child can make her a fairy-sized door and then hang it on a human-sized door, window, or wall to make sure she can get in. Just make sure to open the door after you make the midnight swap so your kid knows the Tooth Fairy used it. Get instructions for making a DIY Tooth Fairy Door from It’s Sew Stinkin’ Cute or purchase a Tooth Fairy Door Kit from Amazon.

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Close up detail portrait of young child with loose and missing milk teeth, happy joyful smiling.
Rob Bayer/Shutterstock

Deliver a healthy tooth gift bag

Dental hygiene is important, and who better to help your child embrace brushing and flossing than the Tooth Fairy herself? Instead of just leaving money, put a gift bag with items for healthy teeth under their pillow. Ideas include xylitol pops, a fancy toothbrush, a tooth timer, toothpaste, and animal-shaped flossers. Make sure your kids don’t make these 8 toothbrushing mistakes!

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Portrait cute little Boy shows the First dropped-out milk Tooth.
Zaitsava Olga/Shutterstock

Give them a custom letter

Sure, you could just write your own letter from the Tooth Fairy, but if you’re feeling fancy (or just tired), the Internet is full of beautiful, creative, entertaining letters you can personalize to your child. Download one of 30 free Tooth Fairy Letters from Frugal Living Mom.

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Cute asian girl missing front tooth pointing at it with her finger
TY Lim/Shutterstock

Use a shoe

If the Tooth Fairy at your house is anything like she is at my house, then she is exceptionally forgetful. One way to sneak in some money the morning of is to have your child put the tooth in their shoe, just like children in Swaziland. You can then drop a few coins in while you walk by, no midnight visits required.

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Diego Cervo

Go high tech

Put your selfie-editing skills to good use by photoshopping the Tooth Fairy into a snap of your little one sleeping. On the big night, take a picture of them snuggled up with the tooth and then add an image of the Tooth Fairy hovering over them. (It’s only creepy if you do a bad job! Kidding.) Present them with the “evidence” in the morning. Get detailed instructions for Photoshopping in the Tooth Fairy at Totally Pinteresting.

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Little smiling child, boy hand showing his first milk or temporary teeth fall out
Zaitsava Olga/Shutterstock

Sprinkle some sparkly dust

Make sure the Tooth Fairy knows which house to come to by giving your child a packet of “tooth fairy dust” to sprinkle. Pro tip: Have them sprinkle it on the lawn or driveway rather than on your doormat or, heaven forbid, their carpet, or you’ll be picking up glitter bits for months afterward. Get instructions for Tooth Fairy Sparkle Dust and a printable poem from Jillian Vance.

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close up headshot portrait of young little 7 or 8 years old boy with sweet funny teeth smiling happy and cheerful in joy face expression looking at the camera in childhood lifestyle concept
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley/Shutterstock

Come up with a good excuse

Did you, er, the Tooth Fairy, just flat-out forget to come? No worries, just use one of these 25 totally cute and believable excuses why the Tooth Fairy forgot to come, from Your Modern Family. And then make sure that scatter-brained imp shows up the next night!

Charlotte Hilton Andersen
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a health, lifestyle and fitness expert and teacher. She covers all things wellness for Reader’s Digest and The Healthy. With dual masters degrees in information technology and education, she has been a journalist for 17 years and is the author of The Great Fitness Experiment. She lives in Denver with her husband, five kids and three pets.