Losing milk teeth is a big milestone in every family – for kids and parents!

Teeth are big business for young ones, as they get to earn an income from having gaps in their mouths. It sounds like an easy enough job for them but could become a complex one for mom and dad.

  • Do you keep the teeth? And if so, where?
  • How much do you (aka, the Tooth Fairy) pay up for each tooth?
  • How do you answer the “what does the Tooth Fairy do with my teeth” question?”

All of these questions contribute to the fun of raising kids!

So, where do South African moms store milk teeth?

We posed this question to a mom group, and got a wide range of answers.  From squirrelling them away in wallets to keeping them safe in a hidden box. Here’s where moms stored their kids’ teeth:

In their wallet

This is an odd one, but some parents keep the tooth where they get the money! This is understandable when you’ve forgotten to do the ‘exchange’ and you have to sneak into your child’s bedroom quickly before they wake up. Some moms forget to get rid of the “evidence”. Natalie says “I have about 3 teeth in my purse. After playing Tooth Fairy I throw it in there and it’s been there ever since.”

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Keep them in a container in the safe

The last thing you want is to be caught in a lie. That is exactly what would happen if your child accidentally found your stash of teeth! You’d have to explain why you have them instead of the Tooth Fairy who’s meant to collect them to make a shiny castle.

This narrative is followed by many moms who use it to ensure that their kids take care of their teeth. Apparently, the Tooth Fairy does not like, nor use, rotten and dirty teeth. So, the better the kids take care of their teeth, the more money they get to make.

See, big business.

Throw them on the roof

This strategy is a classic and is always accompanied by a song. The song is a plea to the Fairy to bless you with a new and shiny tooth. As your child throws it on the roof, you can teach them the same song your parents made you sing growing up.

Flush them

Some parents are not as sentimental as others and see no use in keeping their child’s milk teeth. If you are this parent and see no use, then down the drain they go!

Viviane shared that “I will be throwing away my little one’s teeth when we get to that stage so I don’t put her through the same trauma that I just went through.” This is after discovering a bronze box in her grandmother’s house with milk teeth in it. The trauma was too much to handle.

Keep them in a box with dates in each compartment

For the sentimental parents, a compartmentalised box works wonders. Moms keep them there with a date of when each fell off. Rosalee says “my dad still has my baby teeth and my brother’s and I am 38.”

What is the going rate for milk teeth nowadays?

The price ranges from R10-R300 for some moms.

Some parents even drop the price as more teeth fall out because they soon realise the initial price they set is hardly realistic. The first tooth falling out is an exciting time and decisions made out of excitement are not always the most sensible.

Daniella paid R50 for the first tooth. “Last night, the tooth fairy gave R10, and I think the next tooth will be R5.”

Upon calculations, Daniella realised that R50 might have been too much. In the end, she would have coughed up R1000 if she kept it up with all 20 teeth being worth R50.

The general going rate is R10 for most moms.

This money-making scheme is also a good opportunity for parents to teach some financial management. Getting them a piggy bank to store their money is a good start to a flourishing tooth career for them.



Jake DeStratis

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