First Tooth Fairy Experience
Do you remember losing your first tooth? Running to your mother, eyes wide, tooth in hand. Feeling terrified, your body pumping with adrenaline after you finally yanked that sucker out of your skull. Or maybe your experience was a little less… melodramatic.
Regardless, we can all agree that the best part of the experience was placing that tiny baby tooth under our pillow, and anxiously awaiting the magical arrival of the Tooth Fairy. Despite our efforts to stay awake all night at a chance to see her, we would awake the next morning to a gift in place of our tooth. Those are fond memories to look back on, but how much do we know about this mysterious person that would silently come into our bedroom at night and take our teeth?Before the Tooth Fairy
There have been various traditions and superstitions surrounding children’s teeth dating clear back to the Middle Ages. In England, it was customary to burn your baby teeth – after they fell out, of course – to save yourself from hardship in the afterlife. Children who did not participate were presumed to spend eternity searching for their lost teeth in life after death. Vikings were known to pay children for their teeth; in the Norse culture, teeth were said to bring good luck in battle. There was even a myth that if a witch were to get one of your teeth, she would have total power over you. Yikes! Another tradition in early Europe involved burying baby teeth, and once the child’s sixth tooth came out, it was custom for parents to slip a gift of money under their pillow.
The details of the Tooth Fairy’s appearance isn’t as concrete as her fellow mythical friends (such as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny). In fact, many fantasized their Tooth Fairy as a mouse! Let me explain: one of the wider practiced rituals involved offering the tooth as a sacrifice to a mouse or a rat. They did this in hopes that the child’s adult teeth would then grow in as robust and sturdy as a rodent’s.
This practice has been documented everywhere from Russia to New Zealand to Mexico. If that’s the case, then where the heck did us Americans come up with an image of a lovely tooth-obsessed woman with wings and a wand? The details of the Tooth Fairy’s appearance may differ from person to person. A study conducted by Rosemary Wells in 1984 explained that people picture our mythical friend anywhere from your basic Tinkerbell-type fairy to a potbellied flying man smoking a cigar. Which, hey, if your imagination is that wild, more power to you… I think. She has even been depicted as a child with wings, a pixie, and a dragon; someone even mentioned a dental hygienist!
Our Version of the Tooth Fairy
When the Tooth Fairy started to surface in the United States, it was around the same time that Disney was also starting to release animated films like Cinderella and Pinocchio. It’s no coincidence those films featured an entrancing, magical fairy with powers to make wishes come true. Pop culture played a significant role in the portrayal of the Tooth Fairy, and it stuck. By the time children start losing their teeth, they may be too old to believe in the majesty of it all, but I’m sure they’ll have no problem playing along when money is involved!
Whatever way you choose to envision, the delightful Tooth Fairy is all up to you. Children only have their sweet, innocent minds for so long; take advantage of your child’s beautiful imagination and let them believe in something magical. Let the idea of the Tooth Fairy be beneficial by letting them know she gives bigger, better gifts for cleaner, whiter teeth. It’s an exciting way to make a routine, everyday chore a little bit more enjoyable! Schedule an appointment for your child today to keep those pearly whites healthy; your Tooth Fairy will thank you.