A Brief History Of The Tooth Fairy

Most children in North America have the tradition of putting a baby tooth that has just fallen out under the pillow in hopes the Tooth Fairy will leave them some money. That typically never fails unless a parent forgets or falls asleep without making the exchange.
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Has the Tooth Fairy always existed? Where did she come from and is it a she or could it be a he? The questions are more difficult to answer than you may think.

The Tooth Fairy and Mice

The story of the Tooth Fairy has no official beginning but is a culmination of many cultural stories and legends relating to losing baby teeth. One of the more stories that influenced the idea the most came from France in the 1700s called La Bonne Petite Souris or The Little Mouse.

Back then, adults lost teeth as much as children as a result of either a lack of or bad oral care. They noticed that mice never lost teeth and the little creatures could chew through walls. The incisors on mice continue to grow so people connected mice with good teeth.

Children started leaving baby teeth as tributes to mice in hopes that would help their adult teeth grow stronger.

A Tradition Started

The French book developed the idea of children placing their teeth in their shoes overnight for a mouse who replaced it with a coin. Children began mirroring the tradition in the book and eventually, they exchanged the idea of a mouse leaving money for a fairy.

The Tooth Fairy Becomes an American

Americans have a way of creating an iconic image out of a myth, mostly for commercial purposes, and the Tooth Fairy took the same route. The idea became popular in the U.S. in the early 1900s and was cast as a woman in pictures, storybooks, and on television.

The popular 1960s television show Bewitched featured the Tooth Fairy when she came for Tabitha’s tooth and tarried too long at the brandy, resulting in Samantha taking over duties for the night.

A display at the Smithsonian museum honors her and the Tooth Fairy is staying busy doing oral hygiene product commercials and being a central character in children’s stories. The American Dental Association runs an advice column with the Tooth Fairy byline.

The Tooth Fairy has increased its pricing for today’s baby teeth. Children received an average of $3.70 per today in the U.S.

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Written by Bentway Dental

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