Have you saved baby teeth?

Maura63May 22, 2007

The thread about "hardest items to purge" and memorabilia has led me to ask....

Odd as it may sound, what about your children's baby teeth? I don't know why I've kept these - DS and DD each have a small pill container filled with their teeth - I have them in my dresser.

I ask myself, now and then, why am I holding on to these? (My mother never kept mine, and I can't imagine my kids wanting theirs either.) Also, my kids had to have teeth extracted (for orthodontic work and DD wisdom teeth) and the oral surgeon handed the teeth to us. (I had to have a tooth pulled a few years ago, and may even have that tooth.)

Sounds kind of gross to hold onto baby teeth or extracted teeth. On one hand, they don't take up much room, at all, but on the other hand, why keep them?

I guess I'm looking for a nudge. Any reason to keep? A compelling reason not to?



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I did, and then I thought, why do I have them? I threw them out. Now, I toss them each time the "tooth fairy" comes.

I told my MIL; she acted scanadlized--I thought, "why?"

who wants these, when they're a grownup? I suppose the DNA might come in useful some day (a sad thought), so you could slip the first one lost into an envelope and put it in the baby book next to the lock of hair...

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 11:46AM
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They don't last over time. My mom saved mine. She had this little three legged trinket box and I can remember looking at my teeth. Over time they fell apart. And yes, I currently have several envelopes the tooth fairy deposited in my dresser when she left the money. My dd decorates her envelope and I don't want to pitch that yet. I have thrown away the earliest tooth fairy deposits.

Our tooth fairy is rather fickle. My DH usually does the duty, but when he was sick from surgery this winter, I had to fill in. My dd left her tooth as usual and the next morning came up and informed me the tooth didn't leave anything. We went down and I quickly shoved the tooth around, claiming the tooth fairy probably couldn't find it. She put those hands on her hips and proclaimed, "Or his WIFE forgot." It's getting time for these magical people to leave our abode.


    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 2:55PM
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I have two tiny boxes with my 2 daughters' baby teeth. I don't know why I can't thriow them out. At least they take up only a little space.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 6:14PM
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Maybe you could design a holder for them to make a necklace of the teeth and wear it for Halloween If that sounds clever, you could market it on Ebay. If it sounds gross, maybe you can then throw them out.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 6:29PM
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Of course not! The tooth fairy takes them away and does mysterious tooth fairy things with them. No one knows for sure what.

Gloria, my dd laughed very hard at your story. The tooth fairy is quite often overbooked and takes a few days to get to our house.

My oldest ds lost his first tooth in the car. He forgot about it and left it there when we got home. So, of course, the tooth fairy had to deliver his money to the car. We've also had to leave a note of explanation to the tooth fairy when a tooth was lost on a swing over a sea of pea gravel.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 10:20PM
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I knew a woman who had her wisdom teeth made into earrings. Gross!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 8:54AM
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we had a picture book in which the tooth fairy turns them into tiny piano keys.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Tooth Fairy, by Peter Collington

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 9:34AM
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I have saved most of my kids teeth. The ones that weren't saved were the ones they accidentally swallowed or the dentist didn't give back. However the tooth fairy would come on those nights. How did the tooth fairy know to come to our house, we would open their bedroom windows, yell out to the tooth fairy to come as they lost a tooth. Sure enough the tooth fairy would come. When the tooth fairy forgot to come, I would say that was because they didn't open the window and call him/her (next paragraph). Then the next night they would call him/her and he/she would come.

Is the tooth fairy a girl or boy? In our house it seems as though we had one of each. One night when claiming my DD tooth I found a Letter she had written to the tooth fairy asking dozens of questions of her. So her tooth fairy is named Tammy and Tammy answered all her questions. One day last summer while cleaning DD room, I found that letter she has "secretly" stashed away. She is older now and doesn't believe but she believed for a very long time.

DS did the same thing, DD must have egged him on so his tooth fairy is Tommy and he also had a letter for the fairy. He is at the stage where if he thinks he stops believing in anything that he won't get anything.

Don't even get me started on the creative Santa that visits our house and all the questions that went with him. However in our house Santa gets champagne and cookies!

Enjoy the memories! They grow up so fast. Heidi

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:12AM
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I had an old ivory necklace the Tooth Fairy put under my daughter's pillow. She really believed TF turned the tooth into a necklace!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 7:14PM
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No. I also don't have locks of first hair cuts. DS left a tooth in Amicolola Falls State Park, GA, last summer. Fell out while picnicing and he threw it into the woods. He wanted to think some animal would dig it up, or future archeologists would be puzzled by his fossil tooth. LOL! They know I dont keep them and the tooth fairy is unreliable around here. It's really said when a kid comes home from school with a gap and explains they just threw the tooth in the cafeteria trash can, then asks "will you still give me a dollar?"

We still have good memories about losing teeth, they just aren't the traditional stories. ;o) I am really not cold-hearted. I'm very kind, I'm just not a sentimental person.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 9:22AM
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I love the story about throwing the teeth into the wilderness!

Our tooth fairy is very unreliable, and DD stopped believing when she proved to herself and her little brother that the tooth fairy didn't come unless you actually told mom. She hid a tooth under her pillow, and the tooth fairy didn't come.

Of course, some nights when she DID tell mom and dad, the tooth fairy still didn't come, but she decided that wasn't proof of anything except that mom & dad are kinda lame.

The Tooth Fairy came in my house (when i was a kid) until you stopped loosing teeth, not when you stopped believing. I've had to make that point to my kids as well--the Tooth Fairy *is too* real--it's the game mom & dad play, and that game doesn't ever STOP being real, as long as we're still here and they're still kids, we still like to play it.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2007 at 9:33AM
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My babies don't lose teeth yet, but I won't. I didn't save their umbilical cord stumps either (my mom was a bit shocked as she had kept ours for years - I just thought it gross).

When we were little we had no tooth fairy: When we lost a tooth we either tossed it up to the roof or put it in some hole and recited a little poem calling to a mouse (or rat) to come take our tooth and give us an "iron" one in its place so we could eat hard foods - this was the Greek tradition... I don't think that anyone does that anymore (plus it would be hard to find a real roof or suitable hole...)

Maria in Athens

    Bookmark   May 25, 2007 at 2:36AM
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I enjoyed reading all your responses. The tooth fairy was pretty special at our house.

Our first daughter was always full of questions. More often than not, the tooth under her pillow was enclosed in a little letter. That precious big laborious printing including, of course, questions. How tall are you? A. Six giggles tall. Do you have a sister? Are there boy fairys? What are they called? Answer: They are called Tommy, Steve, Bobby and lots of other names. What do you do with the teeth? Answers for good (well brushed teeth) and bad (neglected teeth).

She got a silver dollar in a small square envelope when she lost her last baby tooth. Printed on it was: Congratulations! You've lost your last baby tooth. I've enjoyed your notes so much. Here is something special for one of my favorite little girls. I'll never forget you. Love, The Tooth Fairy

She never opened it. Its still in a basket on my dresser along with all the other letters and answers. But the teeth are gone now.

Jannie, love that ivory necklace idea! My daughter would have treasured that. Sandy

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 6:05PM
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Oh my I had to laugh when I read this......My kids are now 37,34,30 I have thier baby teeth yet.I use to put teeth in perfume bottle.I still have them.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 7:27AM
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I have my baby teeth, and my kids and one of my mothers. My kids like to see their hair and teeth once in a while. I like having them, just to reminisce over. I keep them in their baby books, and in tiny boxes, so they don't take up a lot of space.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 6:57PM
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I also keep my daughter's teeth, together with the last piece of umbilical cord that fell from her navel. Also have the date each one fell. Is here any psychologist?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 4:43PM
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I have few of my daughters baby teeth, as well as the very long braid that was her first haircut, report cards, and a few pieces of baby clothing. I keep all these things is a special box that doesn't take up much space at all. IMO there is a big difference between cherishing some special items and hoarding junk.

Heck- my mother has my hair from when I was born and I am 53 years old- she has the locks mounted within a beautifully framed photo of me at birth in a display with similiar photos of each of her children.

Keepsakes are not junk!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 11:31AM
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My mother never saved our baby teeth, and I never thought of it with my own DD.

My MIL proudly handed my H his baby teeth when I was pregnant. MIL was so proud and made a big deal out of saving such "keepsakes" all these years.

Honestly, my H and I were both freaked out by the teeth. Ugh...yuck. We both viewed it as MIL too attached to the baby memories, felt compelled to save body parts, and we wondered what her intentions were the more she became obsessed with being a grandmother. Teeth went to the garbage the second MIL walked out the door and we didn't feel an ounce of guilt.

If you need to save them, save them for yourself...but don't expect anyone else to treasure them as much as you did. That's my 2 cents.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2007 at 4:37PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Ohhh, I had no idea people saved teeth. Way to gross for me...but then I tend to throw out everything and have no pictures on display.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 5:18PM
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The other day I was cleaning out some boxes and found my 23 year old's baby teeth. I looked at them and it never occurred to me to throw them away. They don't take up much room. :-)

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 7:52PM
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Didn't want to save baby teeth. Just never seemed like something anyone would want to save. Kinda like saving toenails or something.

Saving umbilical cords is really, really gross!!! Ewwwwww.......

    Bookmark   August 3, 2007 at 11:14PM
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I don't save them; part of my 'decluttering' routine. I am trying hard to keep things that I use.

I remember once when my DS was little, the tooth fairy didn't come. With a twinkle in her eye, older DD told him that if the tooth fairy couldn't make it the first night, she would leave five bucks the next night! Needless to say, the tooth fairy didn't forget very often....

    Bookmark   September 30, 2007 at 11:06AM
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I really enjoyed reading these thoughts on the tooth fairy and saved teeth. :) We're raising a grandson, who's 10 now, and yep, I have his baby teeth saved in a little wooden "first tooth" box we bought while visiting Lookout Mountain. That's where I keep them and it's such a small box I can't imagine throwing them out. Plus my grandson loves to look at how small they are!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 4:44PM
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I'll tell you the baby tooth I wish I'd saved--the one w/ the big, disgusting cavity in it.

As an object lesson.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 4:48PM
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I find that if I don't throw things like this away immediately, the longer I keep them, the harder they are to get rid of later.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 8:24AM
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I have tried so hard to avoid this thread. I AM GUILTY.

LOL OK I am giving you all permission to get after me but I am not giving into tossing.

YES I have saved baby teeth from three of our dogs. And a small lock of hair from each. I also have a tiny antique bottle,about an inch square and four inches tall with glass stopper on it that I save my kitty whiskers in from kitties I have had for years and years, more than 30 years. NO I do not pull the whiskers out. Anyone that has had house kitties will have found whiskers around and the vacuum does not pick them up well.

NO I am NOT tossing these things. They take up less than 6 inches in my houes and life. They give me enjoyment to know my beloved critters are still with me partly in body and completely in sole.

I never had children so have none of that kind of thing saved and feel for me it is ok to keep these things.

OK So there I have said it and YES I know I am crazy as a bed bug and really do not care. I shake my finger at myself and it does no good. I am not tossing these things.Stamping my feet and hanging on for dear life. See the hoarder is still in me buried deep. Hehehehe


    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 5:23PM
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Idaho, you're not alone! I have several of my dogs' teeth, along with our son's, in one of my jewelry boxes. Also have a few porcupine quills in there, too - same ones I hadda pry out with a plier from one of my dogs' face. They're all in a miniature "treasure chest" and will remain my treasures always.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 6:18PM
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There's a maxim that gets quoted a lot:

William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement in the 1880s, once said, "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful and believe to be beautiful."

You know those to be useful--you look at them and "use" them by remembering your dogs and cats.

But 28 baby teeth? They don' thave much "use" to me. So I'll toss--but you can keep.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 7:53PM
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I am a sentimental type, so if it weren't for my horrific (LOL) discovery that the tooth fairy isn't real, I would probably do it once we have kids.

I found my baby teeth when I was 7, looking for batteries for a toy, in my mothers side table. Had they not told me that the tooth fairy made things out of teeth, they could've gotten away with it.

About a year before that I'd called mom & dad, while they were out for dinner, bawling. Demanding to know if santa was real, because I'd found the already wrapped and stashed santa presents in the closet.

So I've learned two lessons. Dont save baby teeth, and don't wrap santa presents early. LOL.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2007 at 5:24PM
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I know I must have saved my daughter's baby teeth...I can't imagine I'd throw them out...but I don't know where I put them. :)) Heck, I even saved baby teeth from some of my horses. (Don't know where those are either.)

    Bookmark   November 4, 2007 at 10:21PM
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