As a complement to February being Children’s Dental Health Month, National Tooth Fairy Day will be celebrated on Thursday, February, 28th. If you want to learn more about the history of this magical holiday, keep reading.
The History of the Tooth Fairy
In Western cultures, the Tooth Fairy is a mythical creature that, when a child loses one of their teeth and places it under a pillow, replaces the tooth with a small gift for the child. The legend comes from one of the earliest written records of Norse mythology in which children were paid after losing their first baby tooth.
Following this first mention, in the Middle Ages, several competing legends arose around baby teeth. One from England told children to burn their teeth to avoid difficulties in the afterlife. Another Norse ritual involved wearing children’s teeth to battle to bring good luck.
All these traditions contributed to the tale of the Tooth Fairy that exists today which took its current form in the 1900’s.
Tooth Fairy Ethics
It should go without saying that the Tooth Fairy does not exist, and parents are the ones who replace the baby teeth of their children with small gifts such as money. The question becomes, is it ethical to use the myth of the Tooth Fairy with small children?
Like all mythical creatures, we associate the Tooth Fairy with innocence and an almost naive desire to believe and accept the fantastical. It’s possible that learning the true nature of the Tooth Fairy (along with that of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny) may damage the trust that your child has placed in you and in adults in general. On the other hand, many children enjoy the legend for the wonder it brings and only experience momentary disappointment when they discover the truth.
No one knows your child better than you do, and this makes all advice on the topic relative. Proceed with caution, imagination, and love.
Tooth Fairy Gifts
If you do decide to play the role of the Tooth Fairy, consider leaving more creative presents in exchange for teeth rather than the typical dollar bill. Here are a few ideas:
- Personalized coupons (“Cash this in for an afternoon at the park”)
- Pack of sugar-free gum
- Charm bracelet and subsequent charms for each tooth they lose
Happy National Tooth Fairy Day!
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