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Exploring the Origins and Traditions of the Tooth Fairy

If you had any kind of childhood, you undoubtedly heard of the fairy who comes into your room and night and takes the teeth that you have lost. This article is about the history and variations of this children's tale.

Exploring the Origins and Traditions of the Tooth Fairy

Ronald Pedactor is a former dental assistant and has authored hundreds of articles relating to general and cosmetic dentistry. He recommends (http://www.drcmohler.com) for a dentist in South Carolina.

The tooth fairy is one of the most beloved characters in all of children’s folk lore. There have been books made about her, movies designed around her story and profession, and many a letter written to this figment of children’s imaginations.

According to popular tradition, like the Santa Clause who comes all year round, all you have to do is place your tooth under your pillow, and the fairy will sneak in at night and replace it with a small token or amount of money. If you are very lucky and ask nicely in a letter, sometimes she will even leave your tooth for you to keep!

While this is the most popular American version of this tale, each country around the world seems to have their own variation on the popular, magic gift giver. In France, children have their “tooth mouse” which apparently was based on a fairy tale.

It seems that a good queen needs a little help defeating an evil king, and a fairy comes by to help. She changes into a mouse and knocks out all of his teeth.

Whether this is really the connection to the present day Fairy, no one really knows, but it sounds quite plausible. A little mouse in your bed seems a little bit more sinister than a magical flying woman!

According to centuries of storytelling by parents and leaders alike, this magical being is tiny enough so that you can’t see her. She visits only when you are sleeping, and can somehow get under the pillow to take away the tooth.

Some children like to believe that she is someone related to the character of Tinker Bell from the beloved story of Peter Pan. She has been described to wear a silver pink costume, and takes the lost loot home with her to build this magnificent castle.

Some parents even tell their children that their mouth had better remain pearly white and well cared for, or she will not what whatever falls out of it! This is one way to get your children to floss and brush.

According to Great Britain folklore, she may not have existed in the past of this country, though she is certinaly a part of the present. In years gone by, children were not instructed to place their small treasures carefully beneath their pillow.

Instead, they were to drop it into a fire so that after they “kick the bucket,” they wouldn’t have to look for it. This is just plain creepy.

It certainly is interesting how children’s stories evolve, and change over time. If you go back even further, the Vikings had their own traditions after this manner of magical visitations.

Instead of waiting until the little white baby tooth fell out, a “tooth fee” was left for the child when the it first appeared. As you can see, the origins of this loved character go further back then we could have even realized!

Here is something that you might never have considered. In Costa Rica, parents have baby teeth that have fallen out, made into a charm.

Can you imagine wearing teeth around your wrist? To them it is a symbol of youth and good luck, and seems no more strange than wearing any other kind of jewelry.

In days further back, even in America, children were taught to place their small token into a small flowerpot full of dirt. Perhaps it was thought that this is how the special visitor came to blossom and live.

Slowly, this tradition was done away with, and placing it under the pillow while sleeping became more fashionable.

Believe it or not, just to keep this fable alive, companies today have actually invented special envelops that fashionably store the lost treasure under your pillow, so it is not lost. You can also keep them preserved this way, though one can’t think of why you would want to!

No matter where you are from, there is probably some sort of version of this story that you heard since you were a small child. Whether or not you choose to teach it to your children is up to you-it certainly is exciting waking up to find a few coins or even dollar bills under your pillow, though!

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