In pediatric dentistry, there is no avoiding hearing about the tooth fairy from young patients. Yet, many don’t know that the present conception of the tooth fairy is a relatively recent invention, yet the legend of this figure has a long and exciting history. Numerous tales and customs developed around the time a child loses their first tooth.
Although you can find the concept of a tooth fairy in many countries, nearly everywhere has a custom for dealing with a child’s loose baby teeth. Some people were throwing their teeth into a flame, others tossed them over the edge of a roof, and some people thought they should be buried.
Traditional wisdom from early Europe held that burying a child’s baby teeth would protect them from misfortune, while other societies wore baby teeth for good luck in battle. One of the more modern European traditions involves a tooth god in the shape of a mouse who visits children’s bedrooms to steal their baby teeth.
How Much Do Kids Earn Whenever a Tooth Fairy Takes Their Tooth?
Medieval parents buried their children’s loose teeth out of fear that witches would use the teeth to cast a spell on their offspring. Tradition held that when a kid lost their sixth teeth, they were entitled to a financial award to show appreciation for their maturation. To encourage their children to brush their teeth, parents have gradually begun giving little gifts, one per tooth rather than the sixth.
How much a reward is offered depends on several factors, including the family’s financial situation, tips for similar children, and the country’s cultural norms. According to a recent survey, the typical child receives $3.70 from the tooth fairy.
What Are the Different Stories Involving the Tooth Fairy?
Infant’s teeth were discarded ceremonially in some ancient and modern cultures. Numerous rituals include mutilating the tooth in some extreme way, be it by burning it, burying it, or ingesting it. These tooth-loss rituals have eerie parallels to the rituals of death practiced by the tribes that developed them. In various parts of Europe and the Americas, a rat or crow was used to help a person get a better tooth. Because of this, we have to look to Europe for the earliest depictions of the tooth fairy. In British custom, “fairy money” was given to maids in their chambers at night, but no teeth were ever traded.
There are fairy “changelings in Irish folklore,” so even a tooth near sleeping children may fool a malicious spirit into thinking it isn’t there. When children lose a tooth, Venetian Befana’s acts as Santa and bring them gifts or coins.
Saint Mary is claimed to return a child’s tooth left beneath their pillow in the later French tradition as money or a gift. On the other hand, a French fairy tale from the 18th century might be the literary relative of the American Tooth Fairy. A mouse comes to the rescue in a story about a fair queen who an evil king imprisons. When the fairy in the form of a mouse rescues the queen, he knocks out the king’s teeth. The fairy in mouse form arranges to kill the king and hide his teeth under his pillow.
Were Tooth Fairies Meant to Protect Children From Harm?
It’s strange to think that other cultures’ practices to protect children from trolls, fairies, and other supernatural kidnappers are so similar to the American custom of the tooth fairy. Myths sometimes have trolls or fairies stealing human newborns and raising them as their shape-shifting offspring. In cultures other than Europe, you can discover stories with similar themes.
For a long time, people have put faith in the magical protective powers of teeth since they seem unbeatable compared to other parts of the body. To protect themselves, members of many civilizations transport them great distances. Placing a child’s tooth beside their bed may be interpreted as an omen of protection from evil or as an offering to supernatural beings who may try to take the child.
The origin of the tooth fairy narrative is more complex than at first glance – both as a talisman of success in battle and a cherished aspect of childhood. The story of the tooth fairy has persisted for centuries. Only time will tell if the tooth fairy will become less or more important in the minds of future generations. You may also want to visit pediatric dentistry if your child’s tooth is about to fall out. That way, you can ensure a painless experience for your child.