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Toss or Treasure: Jake Johnson Sparks Debate on Keeping Baby's Teeth

When it comes to time to keep or toss his daughters' lost baby teeth the New Girl star has a very Nick Miller approach.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published November 30, 2023
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Image: Uryupina Nadezhda | Shutterstock

Just as baby passes big milestones like learning to walk and saying their first word, losing their first tooth is likely to be a memorable experience. But unlike other milestones, this one comes with a physical reminder. One that can be hard to part with. So, the inevitable question becomes, what to do with all those lost baby teeth?

It’s a hot topic, one that actor Jake Johnson—beloved for his role as Nick Miller on New Girl— recently stirred up conversation around on his latest podcast We’re Here to Help with Gareth Reynolds. A dad of twins girls, Olivia and Elizabeth, Johnson kicked off the conversation with Reynold’s debating whether it was “creepy or sweet” to keep your kid’s baby teeth.

For his part, Johnson admitted that the idea of throwing away his kid’s teeth felt “shockingly sad. Because you adore those teeth. You watched them grow, and then they fall out, and that means they’re not babies anymore,” Johnson says. “So, I have not thrown out my kid’s teeth.”

While Johnson hasn’t thrown out any of his kids’ teeth, in a very Nick Miller moment, he hasn’t exactly stored them in a safe spot. “Here’s where I’m a trash person, and this is where I’m going to embarrass myself. I haven’t put them in a safe spot,” he admitted, laughing. “Oh god. I just threw them up a f**king shelf. I just tossed them back,” Johnson continued. Reynolds interjected, “You don’t even know who they belong to. You don’t know whose teeth are whose,” he said while laughing. “It’s gross, yeah,” added Johnson.

“Is there a better encapsulation of when your buddy becomes a parent than the soft, sweet tenderness of ‘Gosh, my little girls are growing up I should save these because its a way to hold onto an innocent time that’s sort of fleeting,’” Reynolds added. “Versus the man from Chicago who’s like, ‘Eh, I’ll just put them on top of a bookshelf, figure it out later.’”

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Plenty of parents and teens rushed to the comments to add their own opinions and perspectives to the conversation. Some agreed with Johnson that baby teeth are just too precious to toss “I’m with Jake- it is shockingly sad to discard them even if it also feels weird to keep them. I mean, people have kept weirder things so we can take comfort in that,” wrote one mom. While others felt better about throwing them out. “Just one more thing we need to keep track of. I did not keep my kid’s baby teeth because what am I or my kids going to do with those?”

Others shared their funny stories and relatable thoughts. “My dad randomly mailed me my baby teeth when I was in my 30s with just a note saying, ‘thought you might want these back,’ jokingly wrote one user. “I saved until I had 5 children and realized I didn’t want to store 100 teeth,” added a parent.

Whether your team toss or treasure, all can take comfort in always having the memories that come with your kid’s big milestones.

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