One of the first rites of passage as a child is losing your first tooth. Not only is it fun to wiggle it around in your mouth until it falls out, but you are officially turning into a “big kid”. Things couldn’t be better than the day you lose your first tooth. Until your parents tell you all about an added bonus to your most magical of days: monetary compensation.
Wait. So, I get money for my baby tooth? From a fairy? While I sleep?
But where did the Tooth Fairy come from? What is the folklore behind this magical creature that seems to be obsessed with tiny teeth? Turns out, the Tooth Fairy has been around for centuries. But when it started in Europe, there was a little twist.
Before she was a tiny mystical creature, the idea behind the Tooth Fairy was more of a superstition. People believed that burying a baby tooth is like burying a seed that will eventually grow into a new “permanent” tooth. People also believed that a witch could place a curse on a child if she got hold of the missing tooth. I mean, the Salem witch trials? We definitely believed in evil witches at one point in our histories. To combat this, the tooth was buried in the ground near the home so the witch couldn’t find it. And while this all sounds absurd in reality, you can see that hiding the tooth somewhere is the part of the ritual that stuck.
As folks began to migrate to America and continued to populate cities and less rural areas, there wasn’t as much unused land to bury these teeth. So begins the use flower pots and other smaller planters located in the home that eventually evolves into the ritual of hiding it under the child’s pillow. As the process evolved, so did the curiosity of the tooth’s last owner. In order to entertain them, the myth of the Tooth Fairy was born.
The story begins with a fairy living under a tree’s roots near a riverbank. One of her favorite things to do was to collect the little objects people lost that washed up on the shore. From buttons to marbles, these tiny treasures not only became fun toys for her to play with, but she could also feel the memories associated with it.
The one treasure she always wanted but never washed ashore was a child’s tooth. To her, there was nothing happier than a child about to lose their first tooth and she wanted one very badly.
One day, a little girl found our little fairy while playing with her friends. When she spoke to the little girl, she noticed that the girl had a loose tooth and asked her for it. The little girl said she would put it under her pillow as soon as it fell out and that the little fairy could have it.
So excited, the fairy couldn’t wait until nighttime to see if the little girl lost her tooth. Then she thought, “Oh, no! That little girl is going to give me her tooth. I need to give her a gift in return!” So she rummages through her trinkets and finds a coin.
The next morning the little girl wakes up and finds the coin gift left by the little fairy. She just can’t wait to tell her friends at school all about it, but they don’t believe her. Upset they didn’t believe her, she challenged them to try it themselves. And wouldn’t you know it? The next day her friend came to school with her own gift from fairy! And thus, the Tooth Fairy was created.
If you would like to learn more about the Tooth Fairy, contact Kemmet Dental Design at 701-872-4789 or visit www.kemmetdental.com for additional information.