About 40-65% of children believe in the tooth fairy, depending on their age. Belief in the tooth fairy is only second to belief in Santa Claus, among kids. But how did this unique tradition get started? In this article, the office of Brett Blacher, DDS will examine the origins of the tooth fairy, and how it became the modern tradition that we all know.
The Origins of the Tooth Fairy – It was the Norse, Of Course!
The very first appearance of a tradition similar to the tooth fairy can be traced to Northern Europe. In the late 10th century, a “tand-fe” (tooth fee) was paid to children who lost their first tooth. This tradition traces back to the earliest written records of Norse traditions.
Although, in the Middle Ages, children’s teeth were associated with witches. Children’s teeth were often burned when they fell out, because it was believed if a witch obtained a person’s teeth, they could gain total control over them, and even possess them.
In fact, children’s teeth were highly valued in Norse cultures. These teeth were often worn by warriors for good luck in Scandinavia. They would be fashioned into necklaces and worn during battle. However, there is no record of an actual “fairy” involved.
Our Modern Tooth Fairy is Only About a Century Old!
The first-ever mention of the tooth fairy was in a “Household Hints” section of the Chicago Tribune.
In this article, the author, Lillian Brown, suggests that children place their teeth beneath their pillows at night. During this time, the “tooth fairy” will come and leave a gift that’s worth 5 cents.
This “Household Hint” was intended to make it easier for parents to persuade children to pull loose baby teeth. By conjuring up the concept of a “fairy”, a fun supernatural character was born.
The tooth fairy became a national phenomenon. And today, the tooth fairy is an indelible part of Western popular culture. There have even been books, films, and TV shows about the mythical creature!
Keep Your Kid’s Teeth Clean and Ready for the Tooth Fairy with Brett Blacher, DDS!
The tooth fairy may not be real, but it’s still a fun way to talk to your kids about their oral health. Lombard dentist, Dr. Brett Blacher likes to make pediatric dentistry fun for kids and is always ready to encourage preventative dentistry to all his patients, young and old. You can tell your kids that the tooth fairy will pay more for a shiny, healthy tooth.
From regular cleanings to tooth extractions, we do it all. So contact our dentist and team for all your dental care needs. Call (630) 948-8671 to set up an appointment or come to our office at 450 E. 22nd St., Suite 201, Lombard, IL 60148. We look forward to hearing from you!