10 Fun Historical Facts About The Tooth Fairy

cartoon of tooth fairy and tooth

Losing a tooth as a child is considered a right of passage in many different cultures, and parents throughout history have created rituals to celebrate with their children. The legend of the Tooth Fairy is one of the most popular and iconic childhood stories in the world.

Here are 10 fun facts about our favorite dainty-dental-dealer.

She’s Not Always a Fairy

Worldwide, the Tooth Fairy varies in appearance. The majority of baby-tooth traditions around the world are connected to rodents. Depending on the culture and the nationality, the Tooth Fairy can be a squirrel, a mouse, or a rat. Cultural diversity is one of the things that make the Tooth Fairy so unique, and no matter the shape she embodies, the Tooth Fairy is one of the most magnificent magical creatures for children around the world.

She’s Younger Than You Think

When compared to Santa Claus, who dates back to ancient history, the Tooth Fairy only dates back to the early 1900s. She was first mentioned in an article in the Chicago Daily Tribune’s “Household Hints” column from September 1908. The story was further popularized by Esther Watkins Arnold in the 1927 play for children, The Tooth Fairy.

The Longstanding Celebration of Lost Teeth

While the specific concept of the Tooth Fairy is recent, cultures around the world have been commemorating lost baby teeth for hundreds of years. In the 13th century, the Middle Eastern tradition of throwing a baby tooth into the sky and praying for a better tooth to replace it was a common practice. In Turkey, Mexico, and Greece, children traditionally toss their baby teeth onto the roof of their house.

Her Rates Are Subject to Market Fluctuation

Insurance group Delta Dental has been tracking the average Tooth Fairy rewards since 1998 and comparing their results to stock market activity. Their research has found that in at least 12 of the past 15 years, trends in Tooth Fairy payouts have correlated to movement in the S&P 500. This can only indicate one thing – that the Tooth Fairy takes her stocks and investments very seriously.

She Visits Each Child About 20 Times

Children have 20 baby teeth that will fall out over the span of a few years.

The Vikings Had One Too

The Vikings, who pioneered many of the expeditions that lead to the discovery of the new world, seem to have developed something similar to today’s modern Tooth Fairy. While researching the 13th-century Scandinavian myths and poetry, The Norse Eddas, historians were able to transcribe the Viking language and successfully reference something that the Vikings called tand-fe´or tooth fee. In these writings, they described a ritual that took place between the parents and the child, in which the mother would offer a small payment to the child in exchange for its first tooth.

She Had Her Own Museum

Located in the split-level home of Dr. Rosemary Wells in Deerfield, IL, the Tooth Fairy Museum showcased art, books, dolls, and other Tooth Fairy memorabilia. Dr. Wells took it upon herself to become America’s foremost Tooth Fairy expert and even had her own business cards labeled with “Tooth Fairy Consultant.” Unfortunately, the museum closed following Dr. Wells’ death in 2000.

She Has Her Own Holiday

National Tooth Fairy Day is celebrated annually on February 28nd. However, other sources and calendars also list the holiday on August 22nd. With such a busy schedule, surely the Tooth Fairy deserves two holidays a year, right?

She Collects A LOT of Teeth

The Tooth Fairy collects about 300,000 teeth from children all over the world every night. It’s believed that the Tooth Fairy uses these teeth to build the fairy community where she lives.

She Helps To Promote Healthy Habits

Possibly the best thing the Tooth Fairy does is to help parents promote good dental hygiene from a young age. For years, many parents have told their kids that a perfect and healthy tooth is much more valuable to the Tooth Fairy than a decayed one. Schedule your child’s next dental exam with Cherrywood Dental Associates to keep their teeth as valuable as possible for future Tooth Fairy visits.

 

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