While all of us amazing dental professionals at church street dental practice may think we are tooth faries! what do we really know about about the real tooth fairy lets sort fact from fiction and myth from legend
What is the tooth fairy
The Tooth Fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood in Western and Western-influenced cultures. The folklore states that when children lose one of their baby teeth, they should place it underneath their pillow or on their bedside table and the Tooth Fairy will visit while they sleep, replacing the lost tooth with a small payment.
How long has the tooth fairy been around
In Northern Europe, there was a tradition of tand-fé or tooth fee, which was paid when a child lost their first tooth. This tradition is recorded in writing as early as 13th century and seems to be the practice which gave birth to the story of the tooth fairy in its modern form. In 1927 or so, a book popularized what would be considered to be the modern tooth fairy. The legend was obscure for a while, but with the popularity of Walt Disney’s fairy characters, the tooth fairy gained popularity and quickly became a presence in most households.
What does the tooth fairy look like?
Although never seen, the tooth fairy supposedly looks like a small pixie type fairy. The media with its use of pictures animation and live action filming have given a wide range of ideas as to what a tooth fairy looks like and how they manage to complete the task of collecting childens teeth
How much does the tooth fairy pay for teeth
Research shows wide variations in the amount children received for this ancient ritual across the country. The study, which looked at 2,000 families across the UK, showed the ‘going rates’ for the Tooth Fairy varied from county to county from 50p to £2.50. It’s clear there’s no set rate for the Tooth Fairy across the UK but many parents may be relieved to see that 50 pence is still acceptable. The tooth fairy can often be a good way to talk to your children about their dental hygiene. For example, telling them that the Tooth Fairy will only leave a gift for clean teeth is usually a great motivator when it comes to the bedtime toothbrushing routine!”
So you want your child to believe in the tooth fairy – how to deal with common questions and problems that may arise
Explaining the Tooth Fairy to a Child
Children have enquiring minds, so be prepared for some follow up questions once the basic tooth collection process has been described. Children might not know that the reason the tooth fairy collects teeth is to make fairy dust out of them, and by handing over their teeth little children are helping the fairy to fly. Or that perhaps the fairy recycles them into new teeth for babies, or even into stars to fill the night sky.
They might not realise that fairies get their money by melting down some of the teeth and turning them into coins for children to spend. Or that they sometimes sell the teeth as bricks to fairyland castle builders.
Tooth Fairy Ideas for Light Sleepers
Not all kids will sleep through you rummaging under their pillow, so you might want to have a special tooth fairy pillow next to the bed, or a small jar that hangs on the door handle. You could even use a dish or special pouch that goes on the floor outside their bedroom door, which might also help the tooth fairy to remember to collect it!
What to Do When the Tooth Fairy Forgets to Come
Perhaps your child hid their tooth from you and snuck it under their pillow without you knowing, or maybe in the whirlwind of life you simply forgot. Fret not. It isn’t the end of the world.
The profession of tooth collection is a busy and confusing one, and sometimes the tooth fairy looks under the wrong pillow or has so many teeth to collect that they have to go home to empty their bag before they’ve managed to visit everyone. Perhaps you could help your child draw a big arrow and a landing pad for the tooth fairy next to their pillow, so they manage to find the right one this time.
How to Answer, “Is the Tooth Fairy Real”?
Should this question come up, and it’s likely to at some point, the first thing to do is to work out why it’s being asked. Does your little one want to know the truth or do they want to keep believing? Asking them why they’re interested and how they feel about it can help you here. Another thing to consider is how old they are. Could it be detrimental for them to spread rumours of the truth amongst other children if they’re very young, or to carry on believing when they’re a little old? Depending on the above you can either tell them or say that if they believe in tooth fairy magic, then that’s all that matters.