The Story of the Tooth Fairy

A lighter interlude….

As a light hearted break from our more ‘medical’ blogs, we thought you might like to hear the story about how the tooth fairy came into being. Although this is perhaps currently more prevalent in America, many of us will have received a little money from the tooth fairy in our childhood and probably tell our children the same story too. So whether the Tooth Fairy is American or is perhaps currently residing somewhere in Sutton Coldfield, here’s the basic history of how she started.

The story starts back in ancient times when belief in animals as mystical beings was very strong. In ancient Abyssinia, for example,  it was common practice for the children of the day to offer their teeth that had fallen out to hyenas. As they did this, they asked them for stronger second teeth. This practice and variations of it have continued over time and even in the 1800s it was common for children to put a tooth that had fallen out under their bed and would ask the mice to eat them and replace them with nice new shiny teeth.

As science progressed however, and our understanding of the natural and medical world increased, some of this filtered down to young children who started to question this, feeling that it no longer made any sense to them.

It is thought that during the late 19th century, children started to replace their request for the mouse to bring them a new tooth, with one that had more instant results, quite often in the form of a request for sweets (which is ironic considering the damage that sweets can do to a child’s teeth of course!) The wiser children though, would often request a small amount of money from the mouse in place of their tooth.

As children became more and more aware about mice, and the fact that there was less belief about the mystical connections of animals, the mouse was gradually replaced by the Tooth Fairy. Whilst the fairy story is no more believable than the mouse with super powers, most of us know how young children enjoy stories about fairies!

The story of the Tooth Fairy has, of course, provided an excellent way of consoling a child who has just lost a tooth although persuading them to sleep when they want to see the fairy may be even more difficult. The rewards for a child now may also be slightly higher and the purchases made with the money more varied, but the story still lingers in our imagination.

Back to the more serious stuff though, and whilst the loss of a ‘milk’ tooth is entirely natural, it is still important that we take care of our children’s dental health as they progress in years.

Here at our local Sutton Coldfield dental practice, we pride ourselves on offering a great dental service for children of all ages.

We hope you enjoyed the story….