Teeth

(SPOILER ALERT:  If you believe in the tooth fairy, you might not want to read this post.  I’ve never seen her, but that doesn’t mean she’s not real.  She probably is.  Shhhhh…  Just look away, and keep on believin’…)

tooth

It’s a really creepy thing when your kid starts losing body parts.  Part of you knows it’s a rite of passage, a sign of growing up, and a necessary development…and part of you is just totally creeped out.

It was like that with her bellybutton stub–I couldn’t WAIT for that thing to fall off.  Thoughts of that thing still make me shiver.  I remember the elation and relief I felt when I opened her PJs one morning to change her diaper and IT WAS GONE.  Whew.  Funny thing…as a parent, you get used to puke and poop, and all kinds of bodily issues….but everyone has their own line in the sand, I’m sure.

When our daughter started getting her first wiggly tooth, I was strangely excited–it meant she was growing up!  Another fun little marker of development.  But if anyone thinks I was gonna pull that thing, they’d better think again.  I’ve had a lifetime of dental issues.  I have nightmares about teeth.  No way.

But despite my ick factor, after days and weeks of this wiggly tooth, I tried wrapping a towel around it and pulling, I tried twisting, I tried begging and pleading.  Nothing worked.  So it was a bit of a surprise when we were playing around one morning, and I noticed her tooth was gone.

“I must’ve swallowed it!”  She said.  Eeesh.

Thankfully, my very good friend Christine had made us a little monster tooth pillow, so we had that covered.   Instead of the tooth, we put a little tooth drawing in the pocket…

pillow1

Then came the questions: “How will the tooth fairy find my tooth?  How will she get it if it’s in my intestines?  Will she have to look through the toilet?”  Oh jeez.  Now, trust me–I’ve told her the “truth” about the tooth fairy before, but she just doesn’t want to believe it.  Which means I have to go along with and even expand on these goofy ideas she has….something you’d THINK I’d be creative about…but I’m just not.  Usually I ask her what SHE thinks.  “Maybe she makes the tooth fly to her, wherever it is.  Maybe she uses magic to just make it show up.”

Uhhh.  Yeah.  Okay, let’s go with that.  (I’d hate to imagine any alternatives…)

My sister and my mom were both VERY creative with tooth fairy things, and thank goodness for Pinterest.  I found this little tooth fairy receipt to put in the pocket.  They suggested glitter.  I hate glitter, but I have some glitter, so I did my best.  (I’ve heard about the wonders of glitter spray, so I’d suggest that for future use.  But I just used what I had around the house, which means I didn’t have any magical glitter spray on hand.)  My sister used to fold origami dollars, and that sounded fun and easy.  So I made a little origami dollar butterfly.  And since I happened to have some chocolate coins from the day prior, I tossed that in for good measure (job security for the tooth fairy and all)…

receipt 1

When this next tooth started wiggling, I tried to be a little more brave, but that sucker wouldn’t come out.  My mother in law came to visit.  “Will you pull her tooth?”  I asked.  “NO WAY,” she replied.  I had a friend over for a playdate.  “Will you pull her tooth?”  I asked.   “NO WAY,” she replied.  Hm.  I think this might be part of Daddy’s official duties once he returns from Afghanistan, since no one else can stomach it.

Thankfully, tooth #2 came out on its own at daycare.  They wrapped it in a napkin and I didn’t have to deal with it at all.  Success!  No more uncomfortable wiggle when I help her brush her teeth!

toof

This time, I dispensed with the glitter altogether…but only after a failed attempt nearly blinded me, and left me with a horrible-looking receipt so bad-looking that I had to reprint.  Sooo….plain paper will do, as well as an origami heart dollar this time.

pillow2Soooo….what the heck do you do with the TOOTH?  My mom always said she threw them away.   Strangely, it felt sentimental for some reason.  On the other hand, I suppose I’m pretty ambivalent.  It SEEMS like I should keep it, but….what the heck do you do with a bunch of TEETH?

I follow this artist on Instagram named Scotty Munster, who–aside from being an amazing tattoo artist and illustrator, paints these amazing little bottles with creepy teeth on them:

scottyInspired by those bottles, I decided I needed to paint one myself…

jar jar

I opted for a little more of a “cute” look.  wasn’t sure WHY…or what I’d use it for… But I put her little tooth in there for now.  I’m not sure how I’ll feel about a big ol’ jar full of teeth later on down the road, but for now, I put her little tooth in the jar.

…Is that weird?  Yeah.  I guess.  But it wouldn’t be the weirdest thing we’ve got in this house.

So what’s tradition in your house?  Does the tooth fairy come?  And what do you all do with all those TEETH!?

Thankfully, daddy will be home soon, and maybe HE can be in charge of the next wiggly tooth.  :)

30 responses

  1. I saved my baby’s first tooth, put it into an envelope, wrote the date & place on the envelope & put it in my Important Shit box, along with my flower girl dress from 1951, my mother’s dress from the early 40’s, etc. That was close to 40 years ago & it’s still there. Every now & again, I go through the box, whose contents have changed & been added to over the years, & I see that envelope & hold it for a minute with that sappy mom smile on my face.

    The rest of her teeth I just tossed.

    And, back then, she only got a quarter. When I was little, I only got a dime, which was big money then, since it would buy 2 candy bars or a comic book.

    1. I love this blog and the jar you painted is really great. So you know, me being a 5 mom…I did save the teeth. I never had one spot for them and through life and moving they ended up being everywhere…my jewelry box, wrapped in foil or clear tape, in my drawers, in the desk…you get the picture. So after coming across these teeth I would question why I kept them and now I just throw them out after the Tooth Fairy has made her rounds. I was inspired too by Pinterest and decorated an Altoids box really cute. I will send you a pic later. I do agree…pulling a tooth I cannot do. It gives me the wiggly hands and thinking about the blood and grossness on it is also well…creepy! They grow so fast. Yes I do document when they lose their teeth…on a calendar…somewhere!

      1. Jelena, with all 5 of yours, I can’t imagine trying to save all those teeth! I like the little altoid box–very cute!

    2. I’m thinking the first tooth at least, might be the way to go!

  2. My parents always thew out my teeth (and the teeth of my 3 older brothers.) Once, I found a big jar of teeth in my aunts addic. It freaked me out so much, I dropped it and shattered glass/teeth were everywhere. I still cringe when I think about the tinkling sound the teeth made inside the jar.

    1. Hahah! Oh my goodness. I bet a jar of teeth WOULD be absolutely creepy. Yikes.

  3. We tossed the teeth- usually buried in a toilet paper roll (if there was one in the bin) or in amongst the refuse of the laundry room as no one but me dares go in there, let along look through the piles of lint in the garbage (which is all that’s in the garbage can in there- well, & teeth I guess). The kids got a dollar bill- & we were done. I, too, went with “what do you think?” when asked if the tooth fairy (or Santa or Easter bunny or any other fictional creatures) were real. They get there & I can say I didn’t lie. I had a friend with a jar of her baby teeth though when we were in college & they freaked me OUT! We called it her “nightmare in a jar.” I could never save baby teeth after seeing that. Your jar is cute though, so maybe it won’t be so awful looking…

    1. Hahah! I know, I keep thinking that a jar of teeth is borderline SUPER creepy! And thanks, maybe the “cuteness” of the jar will prevail. We’ll see how I feel after a few more teeth. :)

  4. LOVE your blog! Kids now 44 and 42 had a tooth pillow. First tooth taped in baby book. Recently discovered husband’s mom kept A LOT of his each individually wrapped. I taught first grade many years. Always a BIG DEAL to celebrate when they lost a tooth. They never could concentrate when that tooth was really wiggly–all day they’d wiggle it. We told them they would grow a GOLD tooth if they hadn’t put their tongue in the hole, but what little tongue can resist? Wrapped those babies up and sent them home in an envelope to the tooth fairy, and a few kids had to make a trip to the nurse if the tooth got really stringy and gross.

    1. I still remember the feeling of a wiggly tooth!

  5. Love those tooth fairy receipts, how clever! And the monster pillow, and everything else too, including her knowing the “truth” and refusing to believe it. That might be the very best of all.

    1. Ha! I know, I think she just loves the idea behind the magic.

  6. We never had the pleasure of a tooth fairy visit since my forward thinking child wanted to save them all and make a necklace out of them. He didn’t care about the money. They are saved in an old film canister in a special box he made for me in preschool. No necklace has been made since now at age 17 he thinks that it would be too strange.

    1. Ha! That’s funny! I’ve actually seen a jewelry artist that will make pendants or rings out of teeth you provide. :)

  7. I only kept the first one from each child…they’re in a pill box in my jewellery box.

    1. I like the idea of keeping just the first one!

  8. awww this is soo adorable :”>

  9. Too cute! I keep them in a shoebox. I find the hardest part is explaining why the tooth fairy didn’t come when they left it under their pillow. Oops…

    1. Heeheh! That’s true! I asked Myla before we put the tooth in the pillow, “Do you think if I asked the tooth fairy, she would let me keep your tooth for the jar?” She was quite surprised that the tooth fairy “allowed” it. :)

      1. That’s too funny. I love this stage. Mine are nine year old twins and they are nailing me to the wall with questions. My time with this stuff is fleeting. :(

  10. Oh wow! reading your post made me think of this song that I love from Wye Oak… here is a video with the lyrics :-)

    P.S. I love the bottle!

    1. Wow, thank you for commenting–I’ve never heard of Wye Oak, and WHY NOT?!?! Goodness, they are awesome. I have spent the evening listening to them on YouTube, and I’m going to have to buy their albums now. Thank you!

      1. I’m so glad you like the song! I fist heard it in the soundtrack of The Walking Dead tv show… don’t know if you watch it (not for the faint of heart!)… but I’d love to see a portrait by you of one of the characters!! Like maybe… Carol? ;-)

        I think you’re incredibly talented!

      2. Thank you so much! Oh YES! Carol!!! If you follow on Instagram I’ve been doing a lot of portraits, and I’ll have to do a Carol. My heart broke for a fictional character this past season with her, but she’s one of my very favorite characters!

      3. YAY!!! and I do follow you on Instagram so I’ll be watching out for her :-)

      4. Wow your fast!!! should have checked Instagram before! The portrait is amaaaaazing!!!! Thank you so much!!!

  11. I’m 44 and somewhere in a draw or box i have most of my teeth that the toothfairy paid a fair price for. I don’t think it’s weird. I sometimes look at those little teeth and try to imagine the little mouth that they fitted into. My little mouth. I now have 2 teeth of my sons that i will keep for him and i am guessing he will look at them with the same wonder.
    I loved the pillow and perhaps i will get my act together for my daughter to lose her teeth into something soft like that. Thanks for your wonderful story.

  12. Love your blog! I came for the art and ended up reading this cute tooth story. Fairies are awesome! I’m totally with your daughter on that one. But I thought I should share the best way I got my teeth own out. (I’m 25 and don’t have children yet, but I remember this being the best way!) If you take some long dental floss, tie it in a loop as if you’re going to tie a knot. Before you pull it tight, put it around the base of the tooth. Then pull on both ends hard and tight and pop! The tooth will come right out with little or no pain!

  13. I grew up in Switzerland so we never had a tooth fairy. However, losing teeth was a big family ritual with both my mum and my dad having a go to get rid of that tooth. The most adventurous time I remember was when my dad tied a string around my loose tooth, tied it on the door handle and slammed the door… I actually don’t remember whether it worked or not. My mum had more of a hands on approach: tissue in hands she would just pull the tooth out once it had become adequately lose on its own. i also lost one by biting into some bread – it was already fairly lose (and Swiss bread has a significantly harder crust than any British toast bread I’ve encountered ).

    The pulled and otherwise reaped teeth were collected in a nice small and colourful box that I still own today – with my first teeth AND the wisdom teeth in it. I don’t look at them constantly but I have over the years. I am not sure I am ever going to do anything with it but they make nice memorabilia. I also still have the first nail piece my mum cut off my finger, early hair strands and even the dried umbilical cord – there’s not much that my family is afraid of when it comes to bodily parts :)

  14. My 5 year old son has lost 3 teeth in the last month and has another one just dangling there all snaggle tooth looking. I only have 1 of the 3 because he swallowed the other 2. I kept my older sons teeth in a jewelry/ring box, just because I guess. Don’t really know why I started doing that. So my youngest now has his own ring box with a tooth in it. I bet my husband doesn’t know thats what is in those old ring boxes haha.

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