Think back on the days that you believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Do you remember the excitement the prospect of losing a baby tooth brought? Knowing that the Tooth Fairy was going to come to take the tooth and leave money, whether it was a dime, quarter, or dollar, is a highlight of childhood. Bringing the magic of the Tooth Fairy to life with your own children is a whole new, wonderful experience.
As the Tooth Fairy once again becomes a part of your life, you may wonder how the Tooth Fairy came to be. The legend of the Tooth Fairy has changed over time. However, legends and myths surrounding losing baby teeth go back for millennia. Long ago in Europe, when a child lost a baby tooth, they were supposed to bury it. Tradition stated that this would save the child from hardships in the afterlife. The Vikings used children’s teeth to bring them good luck in battle.
Traditions surrounding baby teeth varied from culture to culture. When a child lost a primary tooth, they would do one or more of the following:
– Throw it towards the sun
– Throw it into the fire
– Throw it backwards between the legs
– Throw it onto or over the roof of a dwelling
– Place it in a mouse hole
– Bury it in the ground
– Hide it out of sight of animals
– Put it inside a tree or on the wall
– Swallow it, or have their mother or pet swallow it
There are many versions of the tooth deity. In some countries, a mouse would enter children’s rooms and remove baby teeth. In other cultures, the tooth deity includes beavers, dogs, cats, and squirrels. The tooth deity would take the lost baby tooth that was “buried” under a pillow and replace it with gifts like money.
Our beloved Tooth Fairy was inspired by the legend of the mouse combined with legends from Europe of a good fairy that originated in fairy tales.
We invite you to contact our dental office today to learn more and to schedule your next visit with our dentist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dr. Derek C. Barnes and our team are dedicated to helping your smile and the smile of your family!