Start brushing harder, kids: It sounds like the tooth fairy is done putting up with half-hearted dental hygiene.
And one 8-year-old boy had to learn that the hard way.
When Sam Warren lost his tooth earlier this week, instead of getting cash from the tooth fairy, he got a letter—an incredibly formal one, signed “Barry T. Tooth Fairy” and printed on letterhead bearing the same name.
The letter told him his payment for the “substandard” tooth would be delayed.
“We expect a certain amount of wear and tear on the teeth we appraise,” Barry T. Tooth Fairy wrote in a letter Sam’s father shared on Twitter. “However in this case your tooth had to be referred up to the committee for further analysis.”
That’s a tough message for any 8-year-old to hear—and the tooth fairy’s grievances about the tooth got pretty specific.
“We believe this is due to the lack of care and attention by yourself,” the fairy wrote. “We have detected more than trace amounts of Fanta™ and residual amounts of both cereal and chocolate which have not been removed by appropriate brushing technique. We recommend you review your practice here as a matter of urgency.”
Sam’s father, Henry, told Buzzfeed that Sam was “chastened” by the letter. But it was all in good fun—and “one is never too young to be exposed to petty bureaucracy,” he added.
When the TODAY show reached out to the Henry with some questions, the father insisted he had not written the letter, but said he was happy to forward the questions along to Barry.
Barry defended his decision to withhold payment: “The tooth was substandard, what would you have done?” he told the TODAY show.
So did Sam ever get his tooth fairy earnings—whether deserved or not?
Yes, Barry says: “He took the money and ran. Hopefully to buy floss.”
Henry said that, though many online have accused the tooth fairy of being a bit harsh in dealing with an 8-year-old, people should consider how much pressure British tooth fairies are under these days.
“The Department of Tooth Fairies (DoTF) has not been immune to austerity,” Henry told Buzzfeed. “Barry’s hours are long, the pay is poor, (the free dental is obviously a plus) but overall it’s a tough gig.”