Thanking the Tooth Fairy

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Thanking the Tooth Fairy

August 22, 2015

Today is National Tooth Fairy Day, when we honor our little flying friend who takes our teeth and leaves us treats in their place. If you think about it, the Tooth Fairy has to work pretty darn hard. Every kid like you has up to 20 baby teeth that will eventually fall out, making room for grown-up teeth to grow in their place. Well, in the U.S. alone there are about 20 million kids of the right age to lose teeth. Together they have 400 million teeth to collect by the time they’re done! Thousands of years ago, before people had figured out that there was a tooth fairy, parents used to place lost baby teeth next to a mouse or rat hole as a little present for the animal, in hopes that their child’s grown-up teeth would be as strong as a rodent’s (mice and rats have super-sharp teeth). But still, the best plan of all is for you to brush well!

Wee ones: If you’ve lost 6 of your baby teeth, what number tooth do you lose next?

Little kids: If your tooth falls out of your mouth at 6:00 pm during dinner and you put it under your pillow 2 hours later, at what time do you put it under your pillow?  Bonus: If the Tooth Fairy swoops in at 11:00 pm to take the tooth, how long was the tooth out of your mouth?

Big kids: If you lose 20 baby teeth and grow in 32 teeth, how many more teeth do you have in your new set?  Bonus: If you know 20 kids in your neighborhood and each one loses 4 teeth this year, how many teeth is that for the Tooth Fairy to collect?




Wee ones: The 7th tooth.

Little kids: At 8:00 pm.  Bonus: 5 hours.

Big kids: 12 more teeth.  Bonus: 80 teeth.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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