Recently on social media I found a question asked by a friend’s daughter. I thought it’s finally time to answer this question once and for all: for adults, for kids, and especially in a particularly unpredictable and volatile economic environment. Here was her letter:
Hi Tooth Fairy,
This is just a little note
and can I have 3 dollars pls.
(I’m not trying to be rude!)
and wh[at] do you use our
teeth for I just wondered,
-Elayne R. 8 years old
As a dentist, I am an advocate for, and can speak on behalf of the Tooth Fairies en masse.
First, let me begin with an explanation of the population of tooth fairies and their responsibilities. Then I will do my best to help explain the Fairy-conomy and the prices associated with the “bequeathing of teething” as they call it. They live in diverse places, under mushrooms, the soft underside of leaves, on rooftops just where it meets the gutters, they particularly like water towers, riverbanks, and under outdoor water faucets. Places that are slightly wet and squishy, not unlike the mouth itself. Absolutely they are nocturnal creatures; nearly transparent, they are difficult to see, even if you were looking right at one.
Tooth fairies, as there are hundreds of thousands of them, have two basic responsibilities, as defined by their Odonto-cratic Oath of Fairies (aka OOF! That incidentally also happens to be the sound humans make when they fall and sometimes lose a tooth!), which has been translated in multiple languages, but officially translated in English, with a 2019 most recent edition, as such:
Fantastic Fairies near and Far,
Solemnly State upon the nearest Star,
That This charge, Theory and Thimble,
Needed Necessary and Neatly Nimble,
when Little Lads, Lassies, and Loves bequeath,
to Carefully Collect the Cute Curious teeth
and Maintains a Most requisite Must
to Politely Pulverize the Precious Primary teeth to dust.
You will also notice that fairies specifically talk with alliteration. This means they use similar sounds in sequences to emphasize specific stats. Wow, I guess a bit has rubbed off on me!
While many creatures have need for this dust, most of what is collected is then packaged, transported, and sold to the pixie fairies of the TNKRBL cartels at a premium. These “Tinkerbell” cartels have really made it difficult on themselves with the advent of their exposure by both author J.M. Barrie and subsequently by Walt Disney. Ever since the first Peter Pan book came out, it became widely known that pixie dust has an effect to make humans fly with only a simple happy thought. Incidentally this only infuriates the elves that have been trying to fly for quite some time. The best they can do is bake cookies in a tree. Check out Treehouse Books or the local library for more info on Peter Pan.
Now for your real question: The price of teeth.
I see no reason why $3 would be deemed inappropriate, especially for a molar. If however, this is an incisor, sorry kid, you’re looking at $1.50 tops. If this is a canine – and those don’t come out usually until you’re like 11-13, then perhaps you can get $3-5.
The teeth that pay the most are orthodontically referred extractions. These are teeth that are to be extracted to help with orthodontic treatment. You see, tooth fairies pay upwards of $10-20 for these teeth EACH!! You’ll notice that most dentists keep these teeth to themselves. (Not at our office, mind you, we’ve played a neutral party to the bequeathing since as far back as I can remember.) These unethical dentists will actually swipe out your teeth and pretend to give you your teeth, but please double check!
On the off chance you’ve heard of a fairy paying more than this general standard it’s usually due to a quota they need to fill. Sometimes they get desperate and will pay higher. However, there are some that do so well with the dentist crowd that when you do set it under your pillow they may not even come get it!! Yeah! They’ll wait it out for a while. (Fairies can be really pretentious sometimes.)
So, if your fairy has “forgotten” about your tooth, just give it some time and they’ll be around sooner or later. Be sure to let your parents know and they can usually help to get the ball rolling and some parents will offer a line of credit to the tooth fairy, if you bring your tooth straight to them.
Ok! Good evening and happy pulling!
Love, Dr Burneson