August 22nd celebrates a dentist's favorite character, the Tooth Fairy! This fun holiday acknowledges one of our beloved figures of early childhood years. Folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, s/he places the tooth underneath their pillow, and the Tooth Fairy will visit during their slumber replacing the tooth with a gift (typically money).
The Tooth Fairy is an American tradition with European roots. For hundreds of years people have shared mythical stories about the loss of baby teeth resulting in various cultural traditions.
In the Middle Ages, Europeans buried children’s teeth so witches and evil spirits couldn’t use them for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children's teeth had magical powers that could help them fight in battle. They would pay their children for their lost baby teeth, and warriors would string them around their necks. The tradition in Northern Europe was to pay a tann-te or tooth fee when a child lost their first tooth.
Over time, people began to share stories about a Tooth Mouse who scampers around town and steals children's teeth in the middle of the night. The mouse tale evolved into the story of the Tooth Fairy who leaves treasures under children's pillows in exchange for their baby teeth. The first incarnation of these traditions into the modern-day Tooth Fairy first appeared in print in 1927 in play for children by Esther Watkins Arnold.
Today, parents tend to view the fictitious Tooth Fairy as providing comfort for their children. Research finds that believing may console a child experiencing fear or pain resulting from the loss of a tooth. Tooth Fairy traditions are still popular today; kids all over the world place their baby teeth under their pillows at night in anticipation of a surprise in the morning. At Madison No Fear Dentistry, we will be giving out Tooth Fairy boxes to all the kids who have an appointment on National Tooth Fairy Day!!