My son lost a tooth the other night. It was a molar, so there was lots of blood. You could see the root where it had detached, and it was, in the most scientific terms, super freaking gross.
When I first heard about a parent saving their kids’ teeth, I laughed. Surely, this must be a joke, I thought. I mean, who would save their kids’ teeth? If I had my druthers, baby teeth would go straight in the garbage or down the toilet, much like toenails, fingernails, and hair clippings.
But as it turns out, it was no joke. Parents actually feel sentimental attachment toward their kids’ baby teeth, and they are going to great lengths to save them.
Look, I get the desire to hold on to the past, feel connected to our children, and keep those little reminders of our kids’ childhood. I really do. In fact, I keep my son’s old blankie in the nightstand next to my bed. But keeping body parts? I just can’t.
The mere sight of an old, bloody tooth sets off the gag reflex, and when my husband recently admitted that there might be one of our kids’ baby teeth in his nightstand, I pretended not to hear. [Insert fingers in ears and start singing lalalalala.] I can’t even manage to save my kids’ art projects; there’s no way I’m going to be able to keep track of their baby teeth. I’m just not that ambitious.
If you’re a teeth-saver, I’m not judging. Gagging, yes, but not judging. I legitimately do not understand this urge, but whatever. You do you, to each their own, and all that.
But, folks, listen: Nostalgia aside, this parental fetish is out of hand. Parents aren’t just saving their kids’ baby teeth, there’s a big market for baby teeth keepsakes. Parents are actually spending their hard-earned money on things that hold their kids’ dead teeth, so that they can be put on display.
What the hell is happening here?
Parents are so jazzed about this teeth-saving kit that they are using the all caps to internet-scream their excitement to the world. Not only is there a place for every single one of your kid’s teeth, but there’s also a place for your umbilical cord and lanugo. Side note: The “lanugo” is that fuzzy hair on a newborn’s body, and I have never even heard of one person collecting (or preserving) this, but here we are.
There’s even a tooth monster doll, and OMG what the fuck are people thinking? I’m going to have nightmares for a month.
And the pièce de résistance? There’s baby teeth jewelry — $240 for earrings with your kid’s teeth inside of them? This is why we can’t have nice things, y’all.
Parents, our memento-keeping standards have officially jumped the shark. I can get behind taping a tiny lock of hair into an album, but these are teeth we’re talking about. You know, old bones that have fallen out of our kids’ mouths. They are ugly as hell, usually have a little blood on them, and depending on our kids’ brushing habits, might not even be all that clean.
I’m all for a little Tooth Fairy magic, but trying to sneak in and out of a sleeping kid’s room is stressful enough as it is. Holding on to a mouthful of old teeth in a fancy box, making a creepy doll with them, or turning them into jewelry is just too much. What comes next? A box of toenail clippings? A nest of hair? A vile of blood worn around the neck a la Angelina and Billy Bob? Stop the madness!
Look, like I said, if you’re a teeth-saver, I’m not judging. I’m grossed out, but I would still probably be your friend. Go ahead and save those weird little teeth, and I’ll pretend there isn’t a baby tooth or two in my husband’s dresser drawer.
But if you plop down a few Benny’s for teeth earrings? All bets are off.