Do you remember the excitement of losing your baby teeth as a kid? Maybe even sticking your tooth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy and waking up to a fun surprise. The Tooth Fairy makes losing teeth so much more exciting and helps children overcome any fears they have when teeth start falling out of their mouth. But where did this tradition come from? Carolina’s Dental Choice wants to share the story of the Tooth Fairy with you.
Each magical figure, like Santa Clause, the Sandman, and the Easter Bunny, has a story and reason that we love them. These stories are all interesting and are so different in many widespread cultures. Everyone’s traditions are all unique and the way people celebrate them make it fun and create charitable moments.
Where does the tradition of the Tooth Fairy come from?
The Tooth Fairy is an old, ancient, mythical figure from western folklore. The tradition began in Northern Europe by the Old Norse. They would reward children for the first tooth they lost. The tradition formed to help children escape the fear of losing teeth and replace the feelings with excitement. The myth goes as follows: children would lose their tooth and tuck it under their pillow at night. Once the child was fast asleep, the Tooth Fairy would fly in, collect the tooth, and in exchange leave the child a small gift or money. This tradition goes back to as early as the beginning of the 20th century.
Before the Tooth Fairy tradition, people did not celebrate teeth in quite the same way. Some actually feared teeth or thought that teeth could bring hardships or even cures. In the Middle Ages, people thought that teeth would bring bad experiences in the afterlife and that they would be searched for after death. To save children from future hardships, they would burn the teeth. Others burned their teeth out of fear that witches would find them and with the tooth, they could control them.
The Tooth Fairy myth came about to distract the fear of losing teeth. Children can be scared when it comes to teeth falling out. They may think that it will hurt or have fears that they won’t be able to eat or speak normally. Many are afraid that their tooth will never come back and that all of their teeth will just fall out. The Tooth Fairy tradition helps alleviate the fear of losing teeth and replaces it with a fun and exciting tradition that leaves children waiting for the fairy.
What does the Tooth Fairy leave in place of the tooth?
Twenty years ago, the tooth fairy may have left a quarter under the pillow but as with everything, teeth are subject to inflation. On average children receive between one and five dollars per tooth. Sometimes children receive different amounts based on which tooth is lost. Generally, the first tooth children lose is valued far more by the tooth fairy and children may receive a higher amount as a reward. Many warn against giving too much for a tooth, as it could cause problem amongst the child and their friends. Children love to share their encounters with magical figures. Who wouldn’t? But when the stories don’t add up, some might get angry or feel left out. This fun and exciting myth should stay fun instead of having children compare whose tooth was worth more.
When does the Tooth Fairy stop coming?
The Tooth Fairy stops visiting a child when they have lost all of their baby teeth or when they stop believing in the magic. Children begin loosing baby teeth between the age of four and eight. This process continues until a child is around nine to twelve years old. Many children will place every tooth under their pillow: some still believing and others just enjoying the fun in the magic. Others will outgrow the tradition before they have lost all their teeth. If this happens, don’t be discouraged: it is just a part of growing up but they will cherish the memories of the tradition when they are older. Children often stop believing in the magical figures around the same time. So if they have out grown the magic of the Tooth Fairy, be prepared for them to lose interest in the Easter Bunny and Santa Clause soon after as well. When children are around age seven to nine, they are psychologically expanding their mind to begin distinguishing fantasy from reality. They is usually when they begin questioning magical figures.
Even if the child has figured out the myth, it can still continue in the spirit of fun and tradition. Many children admit that even once they no longer believe, they still enjoy the tradition and find it fun to do with their parents. As long as it’s still enjoyable and you don’t have to lie to keep the children believing, Carolina’s Dental Choice says continue with the fun. Who doesn’t love tracking progress with small rewards along the way? The Tooth Fairy is a great way to keep track of a permanent smile in growth.
Why Carolina’s Dental Choice loves the Tooth Fairy
Here at Carolina’s Dental Choice, we love the Tooth Fairy because it helps promote oral health early on. Children can’t learn about their teeth and the importance of the oral health early enough. Starting good habits and educating children on their teeth early in life will help children carry oral health skills with them as they grow. The Tooth Fairy lightens the introduction to dentistry. For children, visiting the dentist, losing teeth, and keeping up with oral hygiene can be scary, but the Tooth Fairy helps take away from the fear and makes the process of dental growth more exciting, less scary, and fun for children.
To get the most out of the Tooth Fairy while teaching children about oral health, we recommend telling your children that the Tooth Fairy likes healthy and clean teeth. This is a great way to encourage your child to brush their teeth and start building healthy habits. At Carolina’s Dental Choice, we love working with children to help them learn the value of their smile early. Our goal is to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy and will make sure your child leaves our office with a smiling face. Also children are able to earn small prizes for every appointment where they make the No Cavity Club! To make your appointment, call (704) 289-9519.