“I’m Like a Morbid Tooth Fairy Over Here” — Mom Questions Why Parents Are Saving Kids’ Teeth

Mustafa Gatollari - Author
By

Dec. 20 2023, Published 8:17 a.m. ET

Why Do Parents Keep Kids Teeth? Mom Questions Bizarre Practice
Source: TikTok | @little_miss_westcoast

Saving human body parts seems like something a sweaty, lemur-eyed serial killer in an early 2000s dark-blue-filtered thriller would do, but tons of parents put their kids' teeth that fall out into jars to stack away for...well, that's what this mother wants to know.

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The TikTok user who posts under the handle @little_miss_westcoast is questioning why parents, herself included, feel the need to keep their children's teeth as mementos, and what they plan on eventually doing with them.

"So, we're all out here keeping our kid's teeth, right?" the mom says as she flashes a plastic container that looks like it could easily be a Fisher-Price's My First Water Bong toy if the East Aurora, New York-based company had any type of vision and would finally accept my product ideas as being a visionary way to make kids cool again.

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Source: TikTok | @little_miss_westcoast

The TikToker continued as she rattled the teeth inside of the container: "I just come to the realization of how f----- weird this is. Why am I keeping these? And how long did I intend on keeping them for? Like what did I plan on passing them on to them when they get older?" she asked, questioning the practice and why she ever engaged in it in the first place.

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"Maybe like you know leaving them in my inheritance? What is the purpose of me keeping all these teeth? Like I even have my kids rotten teeth when they went to the hospital and had them all pulled during the pandemic. I'm like a morbid tooth fairy over here."

The mom went on with her rant, further highlighting the ridiculousness of saving her children's pulled/fallen out teeth, no matter how rotten and discolored they were: "Oh mom died what did she leave in her will? No money but you got f----- teeth."

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why do parents keep kids teeth
Source: TikTok | @little_miss_westcoast

She then went on to paint a hypothetical scenario about the possible horrific implications of hoarding a bunch of baby teeth: "Can you imagine if my house burnt down and the fire department came across a boatload of teeth like this? Like I'd probably go to jail until the dental records came back."

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Since she was saving them anyway, the TikToker offered up another way to preserve and honor the forsaken and extricated baby teeth: by turning them into a macabre piece of jewelry akin to something a Mortal Kombat character sprite would wear.

"Maybe make a necklace with them like some hunter. I like I mean it is kill or be killed here in motherhood like whenever they're out of line I'll shake my necklace. Like: this is what happens. What the f---?"

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why do parents keep kids teeth
Source: TikTok | @little_miss_westcoast

There were a lot of other people who responded to the TikToker's post who remarked that they, too, either found the practice creepy, unnerving, or just a weird tradition people carried on but have no understanding as to why.

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"I asked myself this question AS I WAS SAVING THEM ONE BY ONE. I truly think we are stuck in a cycle taught by our weird parents," one person wrote.

Another parent said that they found themselves doing the same exact thing...but they don't know why: "The fact I have the most random amount of teeth in baggies in my underwear drawer. I don’t even know which one belongs to which kid at this point"

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why do parents keep kids teeth
Source: TikTok | @little_miss_westcoast

And woe unto a spouse if they married a tooth collector who neglects to hold onto every single piece of calcium phosphate that falls out of their kids' mouths: "my daughter lost one when she was with her dad and I yelled at him because now I don’t have a full set."

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For some reason, baby teeth have held a special significance across various cultures throughout the years. On an emotional level it's easy to understand why: it's a celebration that one's child is on their way to mature into a healthy adult, so teeth can represent this transition.

why do parents keep kids teeth
Source: TikTok | @little_miss_westcoast

Medically speaking, there are some practical benefits to holding onto teeth as well: teeth pack stem cell origins that can be later used to help treat any illnesses children develop later on in life.

But putting them in a jar where you can chatter them around to create a kind of deranged baby toy won't do any good for that, as the pulp inside of said tooth needs to be preserved through a special refrigeration process.

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