People can remember instances from our youth when the Tooth Fairy traded money for our treasurable baby teeth.
This is a famous tradition for American families, and the Tooth Fairy is even a good narrative for parents to use when trying to entice their children to take excellent care of their teeth. Writer Vicki Lanksy found that kids were far more interested in managing good oral hygiene if their parents assured them that the Tooth Fairy gave a lot more for immaculate teeth. But did you realize that the Tooth Fairy that we know is mainly unique to Americans? Plus, contrary to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the sources of this particular custom are fairly unidentified.
The Business Of The Tooth Fairy Consultant
Rosemary Wells, a teacher from the Northwestern University Dental School, opted to perform some investigation on the mysterious births of the Tooth Fairy. What she uncovered was that the Tooth Fairy wasn't as old as was initially assumed. The earliest form of oral proof of this fairy occurred around the turn of the 20th century, and the first image in print happened as recently as 1927. Wells carried on her research for many years and she actually performed a nationwide survey that incorporated roughly 2,000 mothers and fathers. Amongst the most remarkable of Wells' results is the museum that she has opened that presents all of her research and findings to the curious public. And where is this museum? It's actually inside of Wells' Illinois home. Her business card even proclaims her as the official "Tooth Fairy Consultant."
The Worldwide Traditions Around Baby Teeth
Even though the concept of the pop culture Tooth Fairy has its origins in American customs, the rituals around lost baby teeth differ from country to country. Children from Russia, New Zealand, France, and Mexico place their baby teeth beneath their pillow in the anticipation that a mouse or rat will trade it out for cash or candy. The thought concerning this practice is that the children's teeth are going to grow back as powerful as a mouse's. Various societies' ideas of the Tooth Fairy focus on a rodent rather than the dainty, beautiful fairy that we know. However it relies on the community; for example, depending on where they live, children will either keep their tooth under their pillow and leave it out in the open for the rodent to take. The French call this character La Petite Souris, while the Spanish refer to it as Ratoncito Perez.
Different common beliefs involve dropping the lost tooth in a bottle of water or milk--and even wine--and then leaving it on the bedside table. The Norwegian tooth fairy Tannfe prefers the teeth in clear water because her worn out and exhausted eyes just cannot locate the tooth somewhere else. The following morning, a silver coin will be at the bottom of the glass. For Irish kids, the tooth fairy is a youthful leprechaun called Anna Bogle who mistakenly lost her front tooth while she was playing in the woods. She takes kids' lost teeth to substitute her own, and in exchange, she leaves behind a glossy gold coin. Meanwhile, in Asian countries, kids will throw teeth lost from the bottom jaw onto the roof of their home, and teeth lost from the top jaw will be pitched right into the gap underneath their house. Ordinarily, the daughters and sons will shout an aspiration for powerful, healthy teeth to thrive in its place.
There are a few societies that approach the practice of lost teeth with superstition. In Austria, for example, kids used to cover up their teeth in the terrains bordering their house. This was done to protect the kids given that Austrians thought that if a witch obtained a baby tooth, that kid could easily become cursed. However, Viking fighters felt their son’s or daughters' teeth carried success during the course of the battle, and they regularly fashioned necklaces out of the teeth to wear into war.
Research And Findings Of The Tooth Fairy
It may be argued that the exercise of these multiple tooth fairy rituals can help young children overcome the distress of losing teeth, as well as give peace of mind throughout this new event. Anthropologist Cindy Dell Clark has claimed that a kid earning money for their lost tooth is the primary cross over toward adulthood since getting money throughout adulthood is an exercise in accountability and agency.
Rosemary Wells and Cindy Dell Clark aren't the only ones who have been investigating and researching the impacts the Tooth Fairy has had in America. In 2013, Visa reported that the common amount traded for a tooth in the United States was $3.70. "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," says Jason Alderman, Visa's senior director of global financial education.
Our team would like to know what you think! Did you have an exceptional tooth fairy tradition as a child? What did the Tooth Fairy leave behind for you? Parents, Dr. Mills also has an article about why it’s important to establish good dental habits ASAP for your children. To read more, you can check out his blog here.