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How Much Money Should the Tooth Fairy Leave?

How Much Money Should the Tooth Fairy Leave?

Every parent has been there: Your kid has a lost tooth, and they excitedly look up at you … the tooth fairy is on their way! 

Then, it hits you — you have no idea how much money the tooth fairy left the last time your little one lost one of their baby teeth. Did you leave too much? Too little? Will your baby notice if you make the going rate too low or too high? 

How much money should the tooth fairy leave? Should she go all out for the first tooth and then conserve her wealth for subsequent teeth after? Or does that set an unrealistic precedent? 

I am one of the many parents here at eLuxury, and after much discussion, we are all fairly on the same page as far as dollars per tooth goes. If you asked everyone here how much they received for their pearly whites as a child, that number drastically differs from what we give our little ones today. I received a dollar for my first lost tooth way back in 1996, and some parents are leaving $5-$10 nowadays!

So, what’s the happy medium? Let's find out! We’re here to help you figure out how much the tooth fairy’s payout should be on this visit! 

Let’s Talk Money, People.

When that first pearly white is lost, the one that causes you to realize that your baby is growing up, it is our opinion that it is worth a pretty penny. A cool $10 or $20 is a fair price for that first tooth. Seeing their faces light up in the morning is so worth that amount of money in our eyes. 

According to a recent survey by LendEDU, it turns out that the average kid is collecting $3.25 per tooth. For every tooth lost after the first one, it seems that most children are collecting a national average of about five dollarsfor every tooth. Not too bad (compared to what us adults received as kids!). 

How Many Teeth Has It Been? 

If your child is losing a molar or canine for the first time, their expectations for what will be under their pillow might be pretty high! So, maybe have the tooth fairy be a little generous the first time around. Perhaps they’ll leave a bit more on the first tooth, even if it’s a bit higher than the average payout for a tooth.

Not only will this be a guarantee that your child will stay excited about visits from the tooth fairy, but you’ll also get to see their face light up once they see those dollar bills beneath their head — and what’s better than that? 

Of course, your family’s tooth fairy tradition doesn’t need to abide by the trendingaverage cash gift amounts around the country. It’s all about finding an amount that works for you!

How Does the Tooth Fairy Give the Cash? 

The tooth fairy can get pretty creative with how she visits her friends that lay asleep in their beds at night. Sometimes they leave a bit of spare cash behind with no other indicator. Other times, they will leave a note along with the money for the child, congratulating them. 

You could even change it up depending on which tooth this is, maybe having the tooth fairy add a new element with each tooth! 

You know your child the best, so decide what will excite them most about the tooth fairy. If they are just after the cash, then a note might be an unnecessary measure. If your child is going to need more proof, on the other hand, something in writing might be essential.

No Cash? What?

I have heard children around the playground and daycare talking about different things that the tooth fairy leaves. In your house, does the tooth fairy come bearing gifts other than casholla? 

The tooth fairy at my house leaves sparkly hand-written letters advising and encouraging our girls to keep brushing and flossing. One family here at eLuxury actually has that precious pixie leave oral hygiene products, like a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss.

That might be a great way for the Tooth Fairy to leave something that will keep them out of the dentist's chair later in life! After all, setting up a standard for maintaining their oral health will help make sure your little ones have healthy teeth their whole lives. 

Others may leave small toys or other presents in place of cash. If you want to switch things up this time around, a new token of congratulations may be in order!

Tooth Fairy Night!

Let’s talk about the night the Tooth Fairy comes. How do you have little Johnny or Sally store their tooth in wait for the Molanator to enter your home? Are you the classic "stick it under your pillow" type, hoping that the pixie has brushed up on her Ninja skills? Or, do you have a tooth pillow, a decorated pillow with a pocket for said fang to slide into in exchange for cold hard cash?

There is no right or wrong way to go about this, but we do highly suggest the "tooth pillow." It is an easy way for the Tooth Fairy to sneak in under the cover of night without waking up the little one. Super quiet, super easy! 

Always Check That Your Kids Are Actually Asleep! 

Some children could be so anxious and excited over the tooth fairy’s visit that they’ll stay up to try and catch a look at what the tooth fairy looks like. It could be quite an awkward encounter with the tooth fairy when your child realizes they look just like their mom or dad! (Those tooth fairy payouts might never be the same after that.)

To avoid this, wait until far after your child has fallen asleep to drop off your gift from the tooth fairy — you don’t want to crush their dreams of the fantasy that the tooth fairy brings! 

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

Do your children have the patience to wait until that tooth is ready to fall out naturally, or are they the “drop a toaster from the second story with a string” kind of kid? I have one of each, and, so far, my oldest is most definitely the yank it out at the first sign of being wiggly.

My second child is an “Ow, ow, ow, just let it fall out on its own”-type. She is so afraid that it’ll hurt too bad to pull it. Should the Tooth Fairy pay more for the natural tooth or the yanked one? I know a lot of kids, once they find out the tooth fairy dishes out that cheddar, are chomping at the bit to get that money for the piggy bank. 

We highly advise encouraging your kids to let the tooth get wiggly and come out on its own with a little bit of help. Just yanking them out at the first sign of being loose is no good for anyone (And waaaay too painful for only $5!).

What Does the Tooth Fairy Do With All the Teeth?

In your house, what does she do with all those pearly whites? In our house, she gives them to us in a sandwich bag, and we keep them in a super-secret drawer in our dresser. I have seen some parents use a wooden box shaped like a mouth with holes for each tooth in anatomically correct positions. 

Another good question: How long do we hold on to those teeth? Maybe until your child moves out of the house? I know it would be awkward for me to ask my children, “Hey, so I saved your baby teeth: Do you want them?” I am pretty sure they would look at me like my head was spinning, all while thinking it’s super gross. 

We think that parents should just hold onto them for safekeeping to pull out of the drawer when the little ones go off to college and reminisce about those younger years. 

Conclusion? It’s Up to Moms and Dads.

When it comes to how much the tooth fairy should be leaving after a loose tooth comes out, it’s really up to you. Just keep in mind what would make your child most surprised and happy, and the experience should be enjoyable for both the parents and them! 

Whether the Tooth Fairy is a big spender at your house or a penny-pincher, either way is perfect when you see your sweet little one light up at the fact that they have money! Here at eLuxury, we value family and traditions. Please feel free to comment below with any family traditions that you have when it comes to Ms. Money Bags herself, the Tooth Fairy! 


How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay per Tooth in Your State? | Dental Care Alliance

How Much Money Does the Average Tooth Fairy Give? | LendEDU

2022 Tooth Fairy Payout Reflects double-digit inflation | PR Newswire

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comments ( 2 )

Amanda Gore
Jun 18, 2018

Hi Rachael,

Thank you for reading my blog! I truly appreciate it! What an exciting new tradition you have have started for your little girl. It’s so funny that 2 days after this blog was published, my middle daughter lost her tooth, so the tooth fairy recently visited our house again! We can always hope that our little ones stay innocent for as long as possible. My girls are much more interested in the money more than anything anymore! The letters get pushed to the side to reveal the cash and they are done with it.

Thank you again for reading my blog!
Amanda Gore

Rachael Mcmanaman
Jun 05, 2018

Hi Amanda,

My daughter lost her first tooth a couple of months ago. She’s only four, so its quite early and she doesn’t really appreciate cash money yet. Hopefully that won’t change too soon :-)

We did leave her $5, but also made her a personalized online story at You download a keepsake certificate (PDF) that’s part of the animated story. We read the story at bedtime, so she saw her personalized keepsake being written by a magic pen then found it under the pillow in the morning. Very cute, and a bit more special for her than just cash. So, it’s a new tradition for our family!

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