History Of The Tooth Fairy

History Of The Tooth Fairy

If you want to learn a little about the tooth fairy so you can tell a believable story to your children, Dental Innovations Willows tells you everything you need to know about this story.

Is the tooth fairy real?

It is expected that when a child loses one of his baby teeth, his parents tell him to expect a visit from the tooth fairy. 

Many children know that when they lose a tooth, they will receive coins or dollar bills from the tooth fairy in exchange for their teeth. Other children receive some toys or treats in return.

If you want to learn a little about the tooth fairy so you can tell a believable story to your children, Dental Innovations Willows tells you everything you need to know about this story. With any luck, you'll learn and satisfy your fascination with folklore!

But considering how common it is to hear about this story, how did it originate? Was it always a story about a magical fairy? 

Where did the myth of the tooth fairy originate?

The Tooth Fairy is a prevalent childhood myth. If your little one's baby teeth fall out, you may introduce them to the ritual of leaving teeth under the pillow in exchange for money or treats.

Unlike the mythological heroes of modern folklore, the Tooth Fairy exists through religion and culture in many Anglo-Saxon societies. But where did this humorous character originate, and how long has her magic been believed? 

Although it is impossible to know what the Tooth Fairy does with all those teeth (are they labeled and stored like museum pieces in a giant fairytale castle?), it is possible to trace the history and myth of the Tooth Fairy back to various cultures and traditions.

The tooth fairy tradition is believed to have begun around 1900, according to Peter Navarez. There is a Lancashire tradition that children had to brush their teeth and take care of them, or they would receive a visit from "Jenny Greenteeth," who haunts the ponds. She was a kind of fairy but perhaps more of a witch. 

The tooth fairy is a typical early childhood figure for Westerners and Western-influenced cultures. Other cultures have different traditions, in France, it is a mouse or a rabbit that visits us, in Spain it is the tooth fairy, other countries have beavers, cats, dogs or even squirrels.

Legends go back thousands of years, and the fairy in Western culture has appeared in many shapes and sizes, young and old, human to spirits, and even animals and birds have inspired the tooth fairy.

The most recent legend 

The tooth fairy as we know her was inspired by the mouse legend mentioned above and the myth of the good fairy. In 1927 or so, a book popularized what would be considered the modern tooth fairy. The legend was obscure for a time, but with the popularity of Walt Disney's fairy characters, the tooth fairy gained popularity and quickly became a presence in most households.

A recent survey conducted by Visa revealed that the average U.S. child receives $3.70 per tooth, an amount considerably higher than what we received as children. Some parents offer more money for more prominent teeth or the first or last tooth, inspired by European tradition.

Up to what age is the tooth fairy believed?

Although the last baby teeth are not usually lost until ten or eleven, most children stop believing in the tooth fairy at seven or eight years old. Of course, children are more than happy to play along when money is at stake.

The idea of the tooth fairy did not appear much in the literature of the time and was more of an oral history tradition. However, today it is a popular tradition among children and parents and a great way to get children to realize the importance of taking care of their teeth.

Fairy or mouse trade?

Although the origins of the tooth fairy vary from culture to culture, many stories involve mice! It's unfortunate, but in the old days, most people who lost their teeth (even adult teeth) did so because they didn't have access to proper oral care.

They may have realized that mice always had plenty of teeth to chew through walls. Mice have incisors that never stop growing and are also strong, so people began associating mice with good teeth.

People would leave their baby teeth as an offering for the mice, hoping that giving them their teeth would help their human teeth grow more robust.

Dental services you need in Winslow, AZ

During the last pandemic, children were in doubt as to whether or not they should continue to wait for a visit from the tooth fairy during quarantine. Prime Minister Francois Legault assured them they should wait for her visit and listed her as an essential worker. 

But one crucial detail must be remembered; everyone knows that the tooth fairy won't pay much for decayed teeth! To ensure your child's oral development is on track as they lose their baby teeth, it's a good idea to see a dentist regularly. 

Our professionals at Dental Innovations Winslow will be happy to discuss these things during your next visit. We always make sure our patients feel as comfortable as possible during their appointments - we look forward to seeing you soon! Contact us at (928) 289-3738 or visit our website.