Is There A Tooth Fairy? Written By: Dr. Ankita Shah, February 2019

Tooth Fairy in Infants

Tooth fairies have always been a fascinating childhood memory. Aren't you curious to know what the entire tooth fairy lore is about? Where did the tooth fairy traditions come from? Does a fairy really breeze in and take away the tooth kept beneath the pillow? Does she really leave behind money or gifts?

The tooth fairy folklore has its roots in countries from the Anglosphere. In the early 1990's the tooth fairy has became a famous American fictional character just like an Easter Bunny or Santa Claus. In European tradition baby teeth were buried following which the parents in disguise of a fairy would slip in some gifts or money. The Norse and Northern European rituals suggest that a tand-fé commonly known as 'tooth fee' had to be paid when child loses the first tooth. Over the years the 'tooth fee' has risen from nickels and dimes to dollars. Has inflation affected the tooth fairy's economy also?

Many fads and fallacies arose through the Middle Age. The children were asked to bury teeth to gain eternity in afterlife or having control over the ferocious witches. Warriors wore chains of their children's teeth to bring good luck in battles. In Asian countries the child is asked to throw the tooth onto the roof or the floor depending on which jaw the tooth fell from. They request for replacement of these baby teeth for mice teeth, since mice teeth regenerate throughout their lives. They also believe that by throwing teeth up into the air or down on the ground the future set of teeth will be impeccable.

The tooth fairy has many faces: a Rataonito Pérez in Spain, a mouse in Italy, la petite souris in France, a white fairy rat that purchases baby teeth in Scotland.

The modern American Tooth Fairy has been illustrated as a Tinkerbelle type of fairy with wings and wands. There has been a myriad of imaginary pictures of a tooth fairy from a child with wings, a pixie, a dragon, a blue mother-figure, a flying ballerina, two little old men, a bear and others.

Like the two sides of a coin, there are folks who have faith in fairies and witches and those who have stumbled bleary-eyed into their children's room to slip in some rewards who can safely claim that tooth fairy is a myth.

How can we put this myth to use in a judicious way?

Children believe and absolutely adore these fictitious characters. By telling them fables about how a tooth fairy grants goodies to children with good set of teeth, you can encourage them in a positive way to maintain good oral hygiene. By presenting some rewards for loss of a tooth, you can also boost their self esteem. There are many books, videos and movies narrating tales of a tooth fairy which would help you motivate your children. To name a few are The Tooth Fairy Prize Guide, Tooth Fairy etc.

The perception of Tooth Fairy or Rataonito Pérez or la petite souris is passé. The uber thought is to utilize and implement the concept rationally.

Spread your wings and have a magical day!

Keywords : 'tooth fee', children, Tinkerbelle, child, kids, good oral hygiene, anxiety, dental fear, loss of a tooth, first dental visit