Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage children from all cultures experience. In many Anglo countries, when the tooth comes out, it’s placed under a child’s pillow. A fairy fixated with teeth, aptly called the Tooth Fairy, then visits while the child sleeps, takes the tooth, and in its place leaves money or some such gift.
There is a lot of mystique surrounding the Tooth Fairy. Questions like “What does the Tooth Fairy look like?” and “Where do Tooth Fairies get their bankroll?” are posed in the delightful children’s book, Dear Tooth Fairy, by Alan Durant which imaginatively answers questions children may have about the beloved taker of teeth. Unlike Santa Claus, the exact details of the Tooth Fairy’s appearance vary greatly. Although a considerable amount of people envision a Tinker Bell-type winged fairy, many also believe the tooth fairy to be a mouse, man, a bunny, a flying ballerina, a dental hygienist, or even a dragon!
This “good fairy with a professional specialization” (aka, Tooth Fairy) didn’t surface until the early 1900’s, and grew slowly in popularity. It wasn’t until Lee Rogow’s book “The Tooth Fairy” hit the shelves in 1949 that the interest and popularity of the fairy started to spike. The baby boomer kids and parents couldn’t get enough of the pro-dental hygiene Tooth Fairy. She became a media celebrity, marketed in books, comic strips, TV shows…and also became a part of family traditions.
But alas Tooth Fairy, the world is full of other tradition surrounding extracted baby teeth. In Costa Rica, the tooth is covered in gold and presented to the child as a charm. In Mexico, El Raton, the magic mouse, takes the tooth in exchange for money. In Indonesia, children throw the tooth backwards over the roof of their home. In his book, Throw Your Tooth on the Roof, author Selby Beeler finds a huge correlation between mice, milk teeth and money.
Want to make it real easy for the Tooth Fairy? Rather than putting the tooth under a pillow, here at eFairies.com we have a variety of Fairy Tooth Boxes such as the I’ll Trade Ya Tooth Fairy Box or Toothfairy Fairy with Mushroom Box in which to stash the chomper. Or select one of the prized Pewter Fairy Box Collection, a fancy compartment to store the prized milk tooth. Then there’s My Tooth Fairy Pillow complete with a tiny pocket to hold the tooth until it’s exchanged for the gift of cash, Fairy Jewelry or some other such prize.
However you envision him/her/it, the Tooth Fairy provides comfort for children experiencing fear or pain in the loss of their teeth. And that’s the whole tooth!