Well, it finally happened. Lincoln lost his first tooth.
After seeing his friends start to lose teeth as young as four, he was getting pretty anxious that none of his teeth had fallen out by the ripe age of six and three quarters.
Meanwhile, I was thrilled it was taking so long. To me, losing that first baby tooth symbolized his official exit from being my little boy. I was not ready to let that go anytime soon.
But a couple weeks ago, he came home from school with a tooth that he could push forward with his tongue and we found ourselves there, ready or not. In true Lincoln fashion, once he actually had a loose tooth, he panicked and decided he didn’t want it to come out after all. Luckily he got over that quickly, and three days later he showed up at my side of the bed, tooth cupped in his hand, and a huge grin on his now-gappy mouth.
And because he was such a late bloomer with the teeth thing, he already knew the truth about the Tooth Fairy. He wanted to play along anyway (for the money of course), but assured me he knew it was going to be me switching out the tooth for the cash. When I managed to extract the tooth bag from deep under his pillow, I found that he had turned the table a bit and left me several of his treasures in the bag, as well as the tooth. He was almost more excited the next morning to see my reaction then to collect his coins!
But now it’s been several weeks, and that bag of treasures and tooth still sits here on my desk, waiting for me to decide. What do we do with the tooth?
I kind of hate the idea of being that mom who has a collection of kids’ baby teeth…. I mean, I know myself, and once I save something, it turns super sentimental and I’ll never be able to discard it. Especially if it belonged to my children.
But I also can’t make myself be the mom that just throws her kids’ precious teeth in the garbage! I love his little teeth way too much for that.
So! Here we go on a journey to figure out what moms are doing with baby teeth these days.
Options for saving baby teeth
1) Save them for stem cell treatments. This was a new one to me. I remember when my kids were babies there was the option to save stem cells from their umbilical cords, in case they were ever in need, but it came with a hefty price tag, and it looks like it’s the same for baby teeth storage. Still, it’s an option. Apparently the teeth have to get sent out right away though for preservation, so there’s no using them for this purpose if you save them at home in a little woden box.
2) Plant them. Another new idea that I didn’t know parents were doing, but I kind of like it. It’s like the middle ground of saving teeth in a drawer vs. throwing them away. Weirdly, I couldn’t find any examples of fun things parents are doing with this, but I feel like there are lots of possibilities. Planting the tooth and some seeds at the same time to have a special reminder of the first tooth that was lost. Having a whole fairy garden set up– a tooth fairy garden even.
My first thought was that it would be sad to plant the kids’ teeth in our yard and then end up moving in a few years, but that’s easily remedied by placing them in planters that can could come with us.
3) Store them in some kind of keepsake box or book. This is what I originally set out to find and the way I’m currently leaning. Here’s some fun ideas I found.
Keepsake Box #1
Right off the bat, an Amazon search brings up several box options. This is what I think I’m leaning toward, to keep things as simple as possible. There’s a place for each tooth, and a place to record when it was lost. I don’t love all the extra information to fill out here (like baby’s constellation).
Keepsake Box #2
This keepsake box is a little cuter in my opinion, with less extra details. And I love the little bottles that come with it to keep remnants from a first haircut, or roll up a little note from mom and dad. I wish there were more options for the front cover though. It’s cute, but I’d want something different for kid #2 to be able to distinguish who’s box is whose.
Keepsake Box #3
Okay, even though this one is impractical for us, because I’m looking for something much smaller, I kind of love this design. Each tooth gets its own little tiny, smiling tooth box! That’s pretty adorable. And again, it’s got the little bottles for other keepsakes as well.
I really like the idea of this small book, with the little compartments for teeth in the middle. I could only find one with a little girl on the cover, though from customer pictures it looks like there is a version with a little boy as well.
I’m not sold on any of these just yet, though. Since my ‘one little word’ this year is ‘minimal‘, I’m wondering if I can’t find a way to incorporate lost teeth in the baby scrapbooks the kids already have. Maybe with some little clear envelopes?
What do you think? Are there any methods of saving baby teeth that I’ve missed? What do you do for your little ones’ teeth?