ROSWELL, GA – Step aside, Cupid. February belongs to another beloved character with wings. Feb. 28 is National Tooth Fairy Day!
Let’s recognize this hardworking fairy for her efforts in rewarding children around the globe for parting with their primary (baby) teeth. This act is certainly worthy of reward, since it clears the way for permanent teeth to sprout and a strong, healthy smile to develop. Do you know how the tooth fairy came to be?
The tooth fairy’s origin seems to be as mysterious as she is…or, he is. Tales of her history differ by culture and region. In early Europe, teeth were buried, and only after the sixth tooth lost was there a reward. Some say the teeth were buried to prevent evil witches from using them for voodoo, or so a new tooth could grow in its place. Vikings believed a child’s tooth held magic that could aid them in battle, so they purchased lost teeth from children and donned them as jewelry.
Losing a tooth can sometimes be uncomfortable, so many suspect the myth was created to soothe and excite kids after a painful tooth loss experience. The modern-day tooth fairy wasn’t commercialized until the 1950’s, shortly after a children’s play titled “The Tooth Fairy” was released in 1927. However she came to be, we at Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry love seeing young patients anticipate the tooth fairy’s arrival.
Another fun fact: according to a recent survey, the tooth fairy’s current rate for a lost tooth stands at $3.70. That’s a 20 percent hike from last year’s $3.00.
Many picture the tooth fairy as a lovely “Tinkerbell” of sorts, but most Hispanic cultures view the figure in a slightly less glamorous light. According to their traditions, a friendly mouse named Ratoncito Pérez (Pérez Mouse in English) snatches the lost tooth from under a sleeping child’s pillow and replaces it with a treat. Many homes in France and Belgium also recognize the tooth mouse, known as “la petite souris.” Interestingly, Scotland merges the two myths and celebrates a white fairy mouse. Instead of simply swapping the tooth for a gift, the fairy mouse purchases it with coins which it leaves under the pillow. How polite!
“Whether your family’s tooth fairy is a winged princess or a magical mouse, losing a tooth is such a thrilling time for a child,” says Roswell children’s dentist Dr. Nanna Ariaban. “I encourage parents to embrace the excitement and make the occasion special.”
Parents, take notice! In the spirit of National Tooth Fairy Day, we’ve assembled a few fun ways to celebrate the tooth fairy’s (or mouse’s) arrival and reward your child for losing a primary tooth.
- Sprinkle glitter (ahem…fairy dust) on the floor leading to the child’s bedroom or by the bed.
- Instead of sneaking a few dollars under the pillow, leave an alternative gift like a charm bracelet, small action figure or movie ticket behind.
- If your family celebrates the tooth mouse, make small paw prints leading to the child’s bedroom, or even leave a few cheese crumbs. Mice eat snacks, too!
- Have your child hold the tooth up next to his/her big, whole-filled grin and take a picture for the scrapbook. Times like these need to be cherished.
At Polkadot Pediatric Dentistry, we love giving children a healthy, clean smile in a fun environment, no matter how many teeth they have! Pediatric dentist Dr. Nanna and our staff provide comprehensive dental services, including sealants, dental fillings and children’s dental restorations in Roswell, Alpharetta and Johns Creek. Call us today to learn more.
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