People can think of instances from their childhood when the Tooth Fairy traded cash for their prized baby teeth.
It is a popular tradition for American families, and the Tooth Fairy is also an effective narrative for parents to apply when attempting to persuade their children to take better care of their teeth. Actually, writer Vicki Lanksy realized that boys and girls were far more interested in managing very good dental hygiene if their parents told them that the Tooth Fairy provided a lot more for perfect teeth. However, did you know that the Tooth Fairy that we know is largely distinctive to Americans? And unlike Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the foundations of this ritual are a mystery.
The Qualified Tooth Fairy Consultant
Rosemary Wells, an instructor from the Northwestern University Dental School, opted to carry out some research on the mysterious beginnings of the Tooth Fairy. What she discovered was that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t as ancient as was originally accepted. The first oral example of this fairy existed near the turn of the 20th century, and the very first appearance in print occurred in 1927. Wells continued her exploration for years and she even administered a nationwide questionnaire that consisted of nearly 2,000 mothers and fathers. Among the most remarkable of Wells’ achievements is the exhibition that she has opened that displays all of her research and findings for the public to view. And where is this museum? It’s inside of Wells’ very own Illinois home. Her business card even proclaims her as the official “Tooth Fairy Consultant.”
Fairy, Rat, or Old Lady?
Even though the concept of the pop culture Tooth Fairy has its origins in American society, the rituals around lost baby teeth vary from country to country. Children living in Russia, New Zealand, France, and Mexico place their baby teeth underneath their pillow in the anticipation that a mouse or rat will change it out for cash or sweets. The notion concerning this theory is that the kids’ teeth may grow back as powerful as a mouse’s. Many different civilizations’ practices of the Tooth Fairy involve a rodent or mouse, although it depends on the area; also, that location the tooth is kept varies between being placed under the pillow or if they keep it out for the rodent to trade. The French call this character La Petite Souris, whereas the Spanish refer to it as Ratoncito Perez.
Different famous legends incorporate dropping the lost tooth in a glass of water or milk–and even wine–and keeping it on the bedside table. Norwegians call their tooth fairy Tannfe, and Tannfe prefers the teeth in clear water because her old and weary eyes cannot spot the tooth somewhere else. And when the child wakes in the following morning, a silver coin will be at the bottom of the glass.
For Irish kids, the tooth fairy is a young leprechaun known as Anna Bogle who unintentionally knocked out her front tooth while she was playing games in the forest. She makes use of kids’ lost teeth to take the place of her own, and in exchange, she leaves behind a polished gold coin.
On the other hand, in Asian countries, boy and girls will toss teeth lost from the lower jaw onto the roof of their home, and teeth lost from the upper jaw will be tossed inside the gap below their home. Often, the kids will yell a hope for sturdy, healthy teeth to thrive in its place.
There are certain cultures that approach the custom of lost teeth with superstition. For instance, in Austria, kids had been known to bury their teeth in the fields bordering their home. This was completed to defend the children because Austrians thought that if a witch found a child’s tooth, that a curse would fall upon that child. Yet, Viking soldiers strongly believed their children’s teeth carried fortune during the course of a battle, and they often made necklaces out of the teeth to wear to war.
Sensible Methods To The Tooth Fairy
It could be justified that the practice of these multiple tooth fairy traditions can aid young children to solve the terror of losing teeth, and even give contentment over the course of this new experience. Anthropologist Cindy Dell Clark has stated that a kid acquiring cash for their lost tooth is the initial transition toward adulthood, since getting money during adulthood is an exercise in obligation and agency.
Rosemary Wells and Cindy Dell Clark are not the only ones who have been examining and experimenting with the impacts the tooth fairy has had in American culture. Visa revealed that the average amount left for a tooth in America was $3.70 in 2013. “It is due to a combination of things: one is a reflection of an improving economy, and that parents feel they can afford to be generous in small areas,” claims Visa’s senior director of global financial education Jason Alderman.
We want to know what you think! Did you have a unique tooth fairy custom in your childhood? What amount did the Tooth Fairy leave behind for you? And parents, Dr. Sulken has 5 reasons why your child’s dental health is crucial for their overall health and wellness. You can read about it here!