The Tooth Fairy has long been a part of American culture. She represents a way for parents to talk to their kids about losing baby teeth and growing up. August 22 is National Tooth Fairy Day. And while you may not be granted time off to celebrate, don’t forget to mark the occasion if you’ve got children in the home. After all, the Tooth Fairy is a great way to introduce kids to the idea that teeth hold value. And anyone who has paid to have a dental implant or root canal knows this all too well. If you want to keep your teeth, you need to take care of them!
Origin of the Tooth Fairy
Although experts disagree about the origin story, the concept of a Tooth Fairy has been around for hundreds of years. In one theory, an immigrant to America named Esther Watkins Arnold first developed the concept. Others attribute the idea to a 1927 newspaper ad. Still others maintain the Tooth Fairy first emerged as a bedtime story. America is not the only place that Tooth Fairies frequent.
Tooth Fairy Practice in the U.S.
Wherever the original idea began, most Americans practice some form of Tooth Fairy lore, prompting them to instruct their kids to place baby teeth under their pillows at night. Then, during the night, the Tooth Fairy takes the tooth and replaces it with some sort of trinket or cash. The value of the tooth is often tied to the age of the child. A 6-year-old might get $1, while a 10-year-old could receive $5. Most kids lose teeth at age 6 or 7.
Tooth Fairies Around the World
Some children in Italy believe in not just the Tooth Fairy but also, her helper, the Tooth Mouse. Italian children put their teeth under their pillow, or under the leg of a table (because that’s far easier for a mouse to access, of course) in the hope of getting a gift. In some parts of Italy, children believe Saint Apollonia, who is the patron saint of all things dental visits, arrives at their home in a chariot made of teeth, which is pulled by mice.
In Japan, people do not stow their teeth under pillows. Instead, they throw them. When children lose their lower baby teeth, they throw them onto the roof. They do the same with their upper teeth. This tradition is said to help kids’ adult teeth grow down, and their bottom teeth to grow up.
In lieu of placing baby teeth under their pillows, South African children put them inside slippers in exchange for coins.
‘Raton Pérez’, also known as Pérez Mouse lives with his wife in a box of sugar cookies. When he hears a tooth fall, he exchanges teeth for a little gift.
Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day with your Kids
As a way of making your children feel comfortable losing their teeth and committed to taking care of adult teeth as they come in, suggest they leave a note to the Tooth Fairy, asking how she is doing or giving her instructions about what to do with the tooth. The Tooth Fairy provides a fun way for kids to deal with losing their teeth. It also helps them get excited about brushing their teeth before bedtime.
To introduce your children to good oral hygiene, schedule an appointment with Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry. As a dentist, he can put in a good word with the Tooth Fairy.
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.