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The Tooth Trade

In the letters section of the Wall Street Journal recently, a reader named John Tagliamonte wrote in to comment on a Journal piece exploring how much money parents should give a child when the kid loses a tooth. Tagliamonte’s son lost his first tooth when he was nearly seven; the parents didn’t know how much to pay, so they asked their son. “He asked for one penny for his first tooth,” Tagliamonte writes, “but wanted to double it to two cents for the second tooth, which was also loose. … We’re now up to 64 cents for the forthcoming seventh loose tooth with the stipulation that once he receives $10.24 for the 11th tooth, all subsequent payments, including the $5,242.88 payment for No. 20, will go into his 529 college-savings account.”

I love this kid! I didn’t even know kids lose 20 teeth (do they?), but at the rate he has established, young Tagliamonte would do well to take up hockey or even bar brawling, just to ensure that he’ll have a constant supply of missing teeth well into adulthood.