It’s True! August 22 is National Tooth Fairy Day! Every day, children lose their baby teeth and anxiously await a surprise under their pillow from the Tooth Fairy. One might wonder how this tradition began. The tradition of collecting teeth began as far back as the Norsemen era in Northern Europe. However, the Tooth Fairy as we know her today originated in 1927 through an eight-page playlet by Esther Watkins called The Tooth Fairy. Also at that time, a group of healthcare fairies were created. These fairies encouraged kids to eat their veggies, get fresh air, and of course, brush their teeth. In 2013, Visa surveyed parents in the United States and discovered that the average child receives $3.70 per tooth.
Wait a minute. Children have an average of 20 baby teeth. If my math is correct, 20 teeth at $3.70 per tooth is $74 per kid! The tooth fairy has quite a racket going.
The Tooth Fairy tradition varies among different cultures. In other cultures, the legend differs to include cats, dogs, mice, squirrels or even beavers. Other traditions of the tooth fairy include rituals dating back thousands of years in almost every culture. Here are some of the Tooth Fairy traditions from around the world:
France – La Petite Souris (The Little Mouse) exchanges teeth with coins.
Italy – Topolino, a small mouse who also leaves money in exchange for a tooth.
Spain – The Ratoncito Perez (Perez Mouse) exchanges the tooth for a gift.
Asian Cultures – When a child loses a tooth, it is typical for them to throw it into the space beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw, or onto the roof if it came from the lower jaw. While doing this, the child shouts for the tooth to be replaced with the tooth of a mouse.
Middle Eastern Countries – There is a tradition of throwing a baby tooth up into the sky to the sun or to Allah.
Happy Tooth Fairy Day!