Photo of child without two front teeth

I’m on the verge of taking on a new title… tooth fairy! My niece lost her first tooth while at a sleepover at my house (surprise!), and I am committed to being a little more prepared for my oldest child. As I was trying to figure out the going rate (spoiler alert: it’s a lot!) and other ways to make it fun without going broke, I collected some cute ideas.

Here is a list of seven ways to be the best tooth fairy you can be — and enjoy it!

International/specialty coins

Collect coins from countries you’ve visited and save them. It’s cool to say the tooth fairy came from ______ location and brought you this coin! Or, you can purchase coins from places you visit, like museums and zoos, and that can be a fun memory for the kids to relive.


The G word may be a curse word in some houses, and it can definitely be annoying to handle, but it does add a little bit of pizzazz. Whether it is a baggie with glitter that the money is inside or glitter sprayed directly on the coins, you can make it sparkle!

20 teeth = $20

Kids, generally speaking, have 20 baby teeth that they will lose (approximately) between ages 6 and 13. So, whatever you decide to do, keep in mind you are in it for 20 teeth and about six years (plus any other kiddos you may have). One “quick fix” idea is to take a $20 bill to the bank and get a roll of gold $1 coins. Boom, done!

$2 bills

Many friends of mine do a $2 bill per tooth, which makes it pretty simple and only $40 total!

Price = age

Some tooth fairies decide to deliver a dollar amount equal to the child’s age. I think this is fun, but it can really add up — and be warned that some kids (like me!) might lose most of their teeth in 6th grade.

Something special for the first tooth

Some parents may do something special for the first tooth, potentially with a note explaining. So whether it is a $5, $10, or $20 bill — or something else entirely — you’d then give something smaller for the rest of the teeth. (I will say that for my kiddos, I think this method may set an unreasonable precedent!)

Anything but under the pillow

Depending on your kid’s level of suspicion, light sleeping, or just creeped-out-ness, there are alternatives to the “old school” under the pillow. Some people opt to have their kiddo leave the tooth in the mailbox, and the tooth fairy can deliver the prize there. Others use something like this tooth fairy pillow to hang on the outside of the door so the fairy doesn’t need to go into the room!

Whatever your tooth fairy experience looks like, make it your own, make it low pressure (we have enough to think about everyday!), and make it fit your budget. There are lots of good options to consider! Peace, love, and fairy dust!

Colleen Lubin
Colleen Lubin grew up in Arlington, MA and dragged her Yankees-loving New Yorker husband back to the Boston area after years of splitting the difference in Connecticut. After getting her master's degree at UMASS Amherst, she worked for 15 years in higher education across New England. Recently, she made a career change into the Learning & Engagement world within Human Resources. Colleen is most passionate about supporting women and families navigating infertility, pregnancy loss and the postpartum experience. Colleen's most used coping mechanism is laughter, so she utilizes honesty, authenticity, and humor to talk about tough subjects including grief, loss and mental health. Colleen is a mom of two miracles, Liam and Logan, born in 2018 and 2020, and is therefore very tired all the time. When not "momming so hard" you can find her at the beach in York, ME, riding her Peloton, taking a dance class or sleeping whenever humanly possible.