Losing Baby Teeth at Age Four?
Did you know that four-year-olds can lose baby teeth? I certainly didn’t!
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Your teeth look…funny
It had been one of those insanely busy weeks where we just had too much going on.
I noticed on Tuesday that her bottom teeth looked…weird. Like the spacing was off. But I was so overwhelmed with everything we had going on that I just moved on.
The next morning over breakfast, there was no denying it — her bottom teeth looked way off. The gap between the bottom teeth was much wider than usual.
With a lot of trepidation, I reached forward to touch her teeth and…*shudder*…they wiggled.
You have a loose tooth!
You have to understand that my four-year-old has been looking forward to losing her first tooth for years. Since she turned two, she started telling everyone that “When I’m five, I’m going to lose a tooth and the Tooth Fairy is going to come!”
So I felt kind of bad that I ruined this much-anticipated moment for her.
I was just so shocked — and worried that she’d hurt herself somehow — that I was pretty grim when I said, “You have a loose tooth.”
Her sweet little face looked so confused — part delighted, part incredulous, part anxious.
I tried to buck up and congratulate her — no matter how it had happened, this was important to her.
Visiting the dentist
Since my daughter is a) REALLY young (four years old and five months), and b) really active (aka, frequently getting banged up), I decided to call our dentist just to make sure everything was okay.
I was worried she had somehow banged her mouth and knocked her teeth out. It would not be surprising to hear that she’d been playing rough at the playground, banged her mouth, and then just kept playing without telling anyone.
We got in to see our dentist that afternoon and they did an x-ray that confirmed, yup, she had two adult teeth pushing up behind her bottom middle baby teeth.
Wait, TWO loose teeth?
I’m no expert, but even I could see that there were two teeth coming in, although one was further ahead than the other. The doctor offered to pull both while we were there just so we wouldn’t have to go through this again in a few weeks.
He also confirmed that yes, this was REALLY young, but not unheard of — although our daughter was probably the youngest he’d had in his office.
A little shot of novocaine and about ten seconds later — BOOM — two new offerings for the Tooth Fairy. (Or as they believe here in Guatemala, El Raton Pérez.)
Visit from the Tooth Fairy (and Raton Pérez)
I was SO not prepared for the Tooth Fairy to visit. I thought we had at least another year before this would happen.
To complicate matters, my husband had to work late that night and was largely out of pocket, so it was up to me to decide how much money to give and how we wanted to present everything.
To start, I put her teeth in a little cup on her nightstand.
While she slept, I snuck in and replaced the teeth with $5 and seven “gold coins” (aka Guatemalan quetzales, each worth about 13 cents).
Honestly, there wasn’t a ton of thought behind the quantity – that was just all the small change I had in the house. It was more money than I might give usually, but a) I was panicking; b) this was her first time losing a tooth; and c) we had to pay for two whole teeth!
To top it all off, I sprinkled some “fairy dust” (aka glitter) and wrote a little note to tuck into the cup.
El Raton Pérez AND the Tooth Fairy
I did consciously include both dollars and quetzales. The next morning, I explained that because she speaks both English and Spanish, she would get visits from both The Tooth Fairy AND El Raton Pérez.
And who is El Raton Pérez, you might be wondering? He’s the Latin American version of the Tooth Fairy, dating to 19th century Spain. He is a little mouse who brings children coins in exchange for their teeth.
This was my solution to inevitable questions about why El Raton Pérez visits her classmates and the Tooth Fairy comes for her. I decided that we’d match the magical creature to whatever langauge we speak, just to make things more fun.
Books About Losing Teeth
As soon as all this went down, I hopped online to order a few books about losing teeth.
I wish we could have visited the library, but we don’t have access to an English-speaking library here in Guatemala (or any library, for that matter).
I ordered five or six, but here are our favorites. They’re worth adding to your own home library just so you’re prepared!
This was our favorite tooth book by far. “The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Pérez” is a really fun book where both magical creatures come for the same tooth. It was practically tailor-made for families like ours, where competing traditions sometimes collide.
We really loved the Fancy Nancy book about losing teeth. I like that it deals with what happens if your tooth falls out at school.
My daughter loved this book, “How to Trick the Tooth Fairy.” It was a fun spin on the traditional cutesy tooth fairy trope, and I’m glad we have it.
I’m always a little cautious with Berenstein Bear books. Some of the older Berenstein Bears are really misogynistic, something I never noticed as a child.
But “The Berenstein Bears and the Tooth Fairy” is actually really great. It is a fantastic overview of the whole tooth-losing process, and it also goes into detail about why some kids get different quantities of money from the Tooth Fairy.
My daughter re-read this one many, many times during the weeks after her teeth fell out. I definitely think this one helped her process the whole event more than any of the other books.
Prepping for the Next Loose Tooth
I have no idea if the Tooth Fairy (and El Raton Pérez) will be visiting again anytime soon. But just in case, I stocked up on some tooth fairy supplies.
I found these adorable little tooth-jars on Etsy and had them personalized for both girls (even the baby!). Next time, baby teeth can wait for the Tooth Fairy in here (no worries about them getting lost or falling into the floorboards!).
Check out these sweet personalized Tooth Fairy letters (also Etsy). I love the idea of slipping these little notes under her pillow whenever she loses the next tooth.
I am kind of in love with this little mouse door for El Raton Perez, but so far I am restraining myself.
Creating Childhood Magic
I know it’s not necessary to buy special tooth jars or tooth fairy letters, but I just adore this phase of childhood.
There is such a short period of time where kids honestly and truly believe in magic, and I ardently want to help my kids embrace this phase.
Am I perhaps trying to create a little magic for the adults as well? Maybe, and I make no apologies for that 🙂
When did your kids lose their first tooth?
Share in the comments below!