Losing a tooth is an exciting moment! You probably remember wiggling a loose tooth with your tongue for hours on end and then tucking it under your pillow for the tooth fairy as soon as it fell out. Exchanging lost baby teeth for coins is a popular American tradition.
But have you ever wondered how the tradition of the Tooth Fairy got its start? Or what the Tooth Fairy does with all the teeth she collects? Since it’s National Tooth Fairy Day this month, let’s take a closer look at the history of the Tooth Fairy and the folklore surrounding her story.
Where did the story of the Tooth Fairy come from?
Although leaving your baby teeth under your pillow for the Tooth Fairy is definitely an American tradition, it might all have started with a French fairy tale from the 1600s. In this rather dark fairy tale, a friendly mouse (who is also a fairy) helps a good queen escape from the bad king who locked her up. The story was republished in English in the 1920s, and it might have been the inspiration behind the Tooth Fairy.
It wasn’t until the 1950s, though, that the Tooth Fairy tradition really got started. Due to the popularity of movies like Cinderella and Peter Pan, the stories about fairies also became popular. It was also a time of prosperity in the United States, and a lot of parents probably thought that the Tooth Fairy was a good way to teach their kids about money and investments.
What does the Tooth Fairy do with all the teeth?
Kids often have a lot of questions about fictional characters like the Tooth Fairy. Why does the Tooth Fairy want children’s teeth in the first place? What does she do with all the teeth she collects? And where does she get the coins that she leaves in exchange?
The Smithsonian Museum made an adorable mockumentary called “The Tooth Fairy File” that answers these questions. If your kids are curious about what the Tooth Fairy does with their teeth, you can watch the video on YouTube together. Just like in the French fairy tale, she even has a mouse for an accomplice!
Keeping Kids’ Teeth Healthy
Losing a tooth is a very important milestone, and it’s always a good occasion to celebrate. But whenever they lose a baby tooth, you should also take the opportunity to remind your kids that they will have their new teeth for the rest of their lives. Driving home the importance of daily dental care and regular checkups will help them form good habits that will carry them into adulthood with a bright, healthy smile.
Children’s Dentistry in Green Valley Ranch
GVR Dental and Orthodontics is a kid-friendly dental office that caters to kids and their unique needs. We want to make going to the dentist a positive experience for kids, so they grow up with healthy teeth. If you’re looking for a family dentist in Denver, we are always accepting new patients. Contact us to schedule dental checkups for your kids today.