The tooth chart

After yesterday’s revelation that we don’t do Father Christmas, I’m about to cement my place as world’s meanest mother by saying that we also don’t believe in the tooth fairy!!!

My daughter was only four when she lost her first baby teeth. I was totally unprepared for this. Other friends had six year olds who were just losing their first teeth. Nobody else in her class had lost one.

Her only knowledge of teeth coming out, was Mummy having a gappy smile where my tooth had gone black and rotten because I was very bad and didn’t brush my teeth properly. We used this story lots whenever she complained about brushing (twice a day then!!)

She hadn’t mentioned anything about a wobbly tooth, but one evening she was sat at the table, eating a banana and then there was her tooth, left sticking out of the banana. After the initial shock, we were then left with the question of what to do about the tooth fairy.

She had never heard of the tooth fairy at this point. She had no idea about trading teeth for money, to be honest she didn’t really have much concept of money full stop. We had already made up our minds about Father Christmas, so the tooth fairy didn’t really feel right to us. We were kind of lucky to be starting with no expectations from her, giving us a clean slate to work with.

Losing a tooth felt too momentous to allow to pass with absolutely no ceremony. The next day I made the tooth chart.


She has now lost eight of her baby teeth (and still only five years old!) and with every tooth that is lost we mark it with a new coloured tooth on the chart, with a little word of wisdom, and the date her tooth came out. There is no reward associated with the chart, no treat, no money, just a marking of the occasion .

She has a special tiny wooden box where she keeps her teeth, and likes to look at them now and again. I think most mums have a secret box hidden somewhere, but I like that she can come back and look at her old teeth when she wants, even if they are a little grizzly.

The plan is that one day in the future, when all her baby teeth are out, she can choose a tree and we will plant it with her teeth buried beneath. We really will have an orchard by then!! Friends in her class have lost teeth too now, and so far at least, she seems perfectly happy that the tooth fairy doesn’t visit our house.


2 thoughts on “The tooth chart

  1. I love this. I’m pretty sure I was never led to believe that tooth fairy/Santa really existed, despite doing the wholei ey under pillow shenanigan – I still havey teeth in a box somewhere. However adding to ritual instead, giving them more heart, feels exactly right! (Do I recognise that stamp from MIU injury maps..?!)


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