Remember the first time your child lost a tooth? OMG SO EXCITING right?! You get to play Tooth Fairy! You can finally break out that super cute Tooth Fairy pillow, maybe you get all extra with it and spray glitter onto a dollar bill and write out a Tooth Fairy note. Maybe you just toss a couple quarters under the pillow and call it a day, but either way, what you are left with is a tooth. Seriously. You get a tooth. Now, what do you do with it?!
Now, at first, you don't realize you'll be the new owner of this recently discarded actual human tooth. You're all wrapped up in the cuteness of being the Tooth Fairy, maybe a little teary eyed about your baby growing up, but once you slip out of their bedroom hopefully undetected, you've got a tooth in your hand.
If you're like me, you're kind of like, against throwing it away. I mean, I don't necessarily want to keep these teeth, but I also feel super weird about just chucking them into the garbage. It just feels kinda wrong to toss them into the trash with the apple cores and paper towels and actual GARBAGE.
So what do I do? I put them in my jewelry box and forget about them.
Until I have to go find earrings and I realize yes, I have like TWENTY OLD KIDS TEETH in my jewelry box. Is this a weird hoarder situation? Is this some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder warning sign? What am I supposed to do with all these baby teeth?
The thing is, you've got some options. If you're cool with it, you throw them out. To be honest with you, I think this is probably the most sane solution because really, they are teeth. You aren't keeping their fingernail clippings and every haircut clippings (ed note: I really hope you aren't) so why keep their old teeth? Throw them away and move on with your life. That is option 1. And if you do this, I admire you.
Option 2, you can get a keepsake box (like this one) and apparently you keep EVERY tooth in order and with some of these you can even record the date it was lost. Now, let's get into this here, shall we? Presumably you either a) Keep this for yourself to cry over when they go to college? Or b) present it to your child when they are older? I thought about what my reaction would be if my own mother had given me a box containing all my baby teeth. I imagined my reaction would be something like "Um, thanks?' with a shrug and an awkward face, and if presented with this sorta strange "gift" it would most likely go into a box somewhere never to be seen again, sort of like the teeth in my jewelry box. Also, would you care to know when every tooth was lost? Honest question, really.
If you are the kind of mom who will record each and every tooth being lost, kudos to you. I mean, I can get the first word, first food, maybe crawling/walking date down somewhere, but first teeth? Not something I'm recording. To each their own though. You be you.
Option 3, you can get a ring made out of the tooth YES THIS IS A THING. And you can get it here. I'm not trying to be judgmental, this just isn't my thing because it's maybe a little weird? I mean, technically not weirder than keeping them in a jewelry box randomly, but, I don't know. A baby tooth ring, that's just...it's different.
I'm going on my third kid losing teeth now. That's a lot of teeth. I'm running out of room. And yes I have sent my older children in search of jewelry for me and they have been like "Mom why do you have our old teeth in here" and I don't have an answer. Also because I'm not a dentist, at this point I don't know what tooth it what or when it was lost or what tooth belonged to whom, I just know I don't want to throw them away and I don't want to keep them.
I'm going to go into the obvious here and admit that yeah, I probably can't let go because I don't want to admit that they are getting older. Finn is in MIDDLE SCHOOL (yes I have to type that in all caps for right now because I'm still in disbelief). He knows the Tooth Fairy is not real. That part of his childhood is over. I am so excited watching him get older and grow and change, but it also makes me sad. And it probably always will? Do you ever not miss parts of their childhood? I don't know. All I can say it the bittersweetness of parenting and childhood and growing up is always there, and for right now, those baby teeth will always be there too. Maybe I will always be kind of stuck in this space, where the time keeps marching on and forcing me and them forward, but I can still have this little (yes weird) keepsake of when I was their make believe fairy.