The History of the Tooth Fairy

tooth fairy

It’s common for a child’s early dental experiences to include a unique character: the Tooth Fairy. Have you ever wondered why we utilize the Tooth Fairy to celebrate the loss of a baby tooth? Read on to learn more about where the Tooth Fairy originated, how American families celebrate this tradition today, and when parents should tackle revealing the Tooth Fairy’s true identity to their kids.

The Tooth Fairy’s Origins

The idea of what is now the modern-day Tooth Fairy started in Northern Europe. According to records of this tradition from the Norse and Northern European cultures, it originated as a “tooth fee” that was paid to the child whenever they lost a baby tooth. But the magic and fun of a mythical tooth-collecting fairy wasn’t incorporated into this tooth fee tradition until the 1900s.

Western Adaptation

Each family has their own interpretation of the Tooth Fairy’s role; if and how you choose to incorporate it into your little one’s childhood is completely up to you. The most common adaptation of the Tooth Fairy is the child loses a tooth and places it under their pillow that night. While they’re sleeping, the Tooth Fairy pays them a visit, takes the tooth, and leaves them with a small reward. This reward is usually a small amount of money, typically ranging from $1 to $5. It could also be a small toy, or whatever works best for your family. However, to promote optimal dental health for your child, we do not recommend leaving any sweet treats in exchange for their tooth!

Revealing the Tooth Fairy’s True Identity

The Tooth Fairy fantasy can create excitement around the loss of a tooth and encourage your kiddo to be more involved in their oral health. But, parents often wonder, “When should I tell my child the Tooth Fairy isn’t real?” While it’s fun to keep the fairytale alive for as long as you can, most kids usually discover the truth around age 7 from peers at school. We encourage you to answer your child truthfully if and when they ask you if the Tooth Fairy is real. They will probably be disappointed and even upset, but it’s best your children know they can trust you to be honest!

Kids’ Dental Care at Hillstream Dental

Is your child in the process of losing baby teeth? We’d love to see them in our office for a dental checkup and keep them on the path to a healthy smile from now until adulthood. Contact us to schedule your child’s appointment with our Hillstream Dental team today!

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