Tooth Fairy Failures: How to Get Out of a Parental Tight Spot

tooth fairy
The Tooth Fairy is a marvelous creature. Just think about what losing teeth would be like for children without her: a bloody, traumatizing incident which deprives them of their ability to bite into an apple and leaves a gaping hole in their smile. But a magical fairy turns the episode into something mysterious and rewarding.

Of course, parents know the fairy isn’t really magical at all. Generally speaking. she’s a tired, busy, frazzled parent who has bills to pay, laundry to fold and work to catch up on. No wonder sometimes kids who went to bed gap-toothed and shining-eyed, come upstairs the next morning in tears, wondering why the Tooth Fairy forgot her. But all is not lost! The following are some tips to make up for the Tooth Fairy’s occasional flakiness.

Tooth Fairy’s Schedule

Even children can see reason and logic. Explain that there is only one Tooth Fairy, and there are millions of children in the world. Sometimes so many children lose their teeth in one day that the Tooth Fairy can’t possibly get to all of them on the same night. Reassure your little one that while she may be incredibly busy, the Fairy never forgets, and if they continues to leave their tooth under the pillow, the Tooth Fairy will eventually make good. Of course, this explanation won’t hold water for more than a couple of nights!


Avoid the tears altogether by telling kids on night one, if the Tooth Fairy doesn’t show, they are allowed to charge interest. An extra nickel or dime a night ought to do it. This method is also a motivating force for you, so you don’t end up stuffing a hundred dollar bill under the pillow months later!

Consolation Prize

Try slipping a small piece of candy or toy under the pillow with the money as an apology if the Tooth Fairy is late. Whatever you think will stem the tide of disappointment and sorrow is fair game.

Giving More

Tell kids that the Fairy might need the whole story before they collect a tooth. Have them write, if they can, a small story about how the tooth was lost. Maybe they tried the old floss and doorknob trick, bravely pulled it out themselves, or had a local dentist get it out for them. This is a great chance for kids to practice important spelling, storytelling and handwriting skills, while giving you time to slip under the pillow the next night.

The Tooth Fairy is a fun way to mark a rite of passage in a child’s life. There’s no need for her forgetfulness to ruin it; the real magic is in how you save the day!

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