Have you ever wondered why we have children leave their teeth out for a fairy? Origins trace back to Norse and Northern European traditions of tand-fe, or tooth fee, which was paid when the child lost their first tooth.
In medieval Europe, fear of witches caused people to burn or bury baby teeth. It was believed that if witches were to get hold of one’s teeth it could lead to the witch having total power of them!
Slightly more modern traditions in Italy, France and Belgium revolve around a small mouse who purchases baby teeth with coins.
So, how did a mouse transition into a fairy? No one knows for sure, though about the same time the tooth fairy was gaining popularity in America, Disney was releasing films featuring magical fairies. And a magical fairy certainly is more welcome in most homes than a mouse!
If you are looking for ideas other than the traditional tooth under the pillow, consider a special dish to place in the child’s room. It may provide easier access for the tooth fairy!
If you are the crafty sort, a tooth journal or scrapbook page might be fun. Start a journal when your child starts getting their teeth, with tooth numbers and dates. Then you can go back and record when they start to lose them.
The ADA MouthHealthy website has printables available for scrapbook pages, tooth receipts and more fun activities. Visit their website at www.MouthHealthy.org and search for ‘tooth fairy’ to find them.