The Tooth Fairy Is Alive and Well?

A message board I frequent has a thread going about the tooth fairy.

I should tell you that all the commentators are adults. Yes, grownup are indeed concerned about the tooth fairy. I don’t have kids, so I had no idea this was still an issue. I assumed that once kids discovered the “i’s” of life (iPad, iPhone, iPod and the related gadgets) the Tooth Fairy went the way of Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Closet MonsterMan and other pretenders to the childhood throne of imagination.

Of course, the Tooth Fairy’s main reason for existence has little connection with educating a child in anything remotely connected to dental care. The Tooth Fairy’s main job concerns a transaction involving an exchange of a body part for money. Seems strange that we abhor the idea of selling internal organs for cash, yet this dough-for-dentition trade isn’t a problem. In fact, it’s kind of cute, and it’s apparently still expected. Not to mention worth quite a bit more than it was when I was young, if some of the comments below are any indication:

  • “My daughter is almost sixteen and she got $1 for the first tooth and fifty cents for the rest.”
  • “Son got $10 for the first tooth. Damned husband overreacted and overpaid. I was only planning on $5. Second tooth and onwards $1.”
  • “The most I’ve heard is $20, and that was for one that had to be pulled.”

Of course, some parents have opted to go the “mature” route and end the payout:

“We are mean parents; our kids got nothing.”

Others took the more direct route, and managed their own funding:

“I can remember my mom forgetting once, so I took a dollar from her, and flat-out told her – the tooth fairy forgot, so I just took a dollar from your purse.”

I recall getting a dollar for my first tooth, and fifty cents for the others. I thought it was a relatively good moneymaker, and I believe I hastened the loss of at least a few baby teeth in order to collect these funds. After all, a dollar bought at least one 45 RPM record back in the 1960s. And fifty cents was a good day’ eating at the local candy store.

While I think $20 for a tooth is a lot of cash, I can understand why inflation happens. Kids can’t buy much with small change or one dollar bills anymore. Even with the competition, the most sought-after electronics don’t come cheap, once you figure in the data plans and accessories. At the moment, I have a ten-year-old Samsung flip cellphone. Anyone know how many mouths it takes to buy a Blackberry Bold?

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