There is no shortage of childhood fantasy figures that parents are expected to keep up on. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny and yes the Tooth Fairy! So lets look into the history of the Tooth Fairy and see when and who decided that children needed just one more character!
The tooth fairy, as Americans know her, is actually not that old. The first written mention of her appeared in 1927 in a children’s playlet written by Esther Arnold Watkins. Since then she has been the motherly creature of good will; a tiny thing that flies around sprinkling fairy dust, collecting the teeth of tiny tots and leaving them a reward in return! It is not surprising that many cultures around the world have very interesting thoughts on the importance of a child’s first teeth and what is to be done as they come out to be replaced with the adult teeth.
There are written records from the Eddas, of the Norse people that had a tradition called tand-fe meaning tooth fee that paid the child for the loss of the first tooth. During the middle ages in England, children were instructed to burn their baby teeth to keep from having any hardships in the afterlife. In medieval Europe if witches were to get a hold of your baby teeth, it would give them power over you. Just about every culture has some type of superstition or tale attached to the loss of baby teeth, so with America being a melting pot of so many cultures it is not surprising that some of the traditions have influenced us directly.
True story, in the 1970’s a Chicago DJ happened to mention the tooth fairy on the air and the American Dental Association was flooded with calls wanting more information about her! She has become so associated with children that there are studies done to help parents with a guideline on what the going rate is for a tooth fairy visit! Currently according to a study done by Visa, Inc the average amount paid to a child for a tooth is $3.70! So for all that are new to the parenting of little ones, there is help out there. Websites full of ideas on custom made tooth fairy pillows, notes and all sorts of ideas to make your little ones experience of losing baby teeth a positive one!