The modern tooth fairy in the United States originated in from traditions in Ireland and England. The tooth fairy is not the only strange myth surrounding the loss of baby teeth. These types of rituals and traditions go back for thousands of years and take many different and interesting forms.
Teeth have always been marked as important milestones in a personís life. Most mothers remember their babiesí first tooth coming in. These first teeth developed by a baby have many different names: milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and deciduous teeth are but a few. These teeth remain functional for the next 6 to 12 years while the permanent teeth are formed.
When the baby teeth fall out, it is another marked occasion. It is a rite of passage from infancy to childhood. In the 1700s, a story was written in France called La Bonne Petite Souris. This story has two different versions. In one, a mouse turns into a fairy to fight an evil king. In the other version, the fairy turns into a mouse. In both versions, the outcome is the same: the mouse/fairy hides under a pillow until the king is near and then knocks out his teeth.
Some believe this may be the origin of our tooth fairy. Many people in Spain and Italy still use the tooth mouse instead of a fairy. Scotland has a white fairy rat that buys the teeth for some unknown purpose. Asian cultures have similar stories involving mice and other rodents. The reason for this connection is that rodentsí teeth are strong and never stop growing. It is believed that if a rodent takes or eats your baby teeth, your permanent will grow just as strong as the rodentís.
The modern tooth fairy made her appearance around 1900. The teeth are put under the pillow, and the tooth fairy arrives that night and exchanges them with presents or money. Where the tooth fairy gets all the money and presents is not known. She probably has a rich daddy or acquired a healthy inheritance as fairy tale characters often do.
It is said that the tooth fairy is simply a collector. She probably has some sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In fact, legend has it that if the tooth fairy canít make change to leave the proper amount, she carries around pliers to take out extra teeth. It is said she labels and categorizes each tooth before putting it into a large and impressive display in her castle.
Even though children usually stop believing in the tooth fairy before they lose their last teeth, the story is often carried out anyway. It is simply the fond memories of childhoods that keep the myth going.
Posted 3039 day ago