Happy National Tooth Fairy Day, everyone! For those who might not be as keen about all things dental as we are, August 22, 2017 is recognized as National Tooth Fairy Day. Who is this elusive little dental care helper and where did she come from? Read on, dear dental enthusiast, for everything you need to know about the Tooth Fairy.
The History of the Tooth Fairy
Unlike fellow characters Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy is a relatively recent mythological being. The first mentions of a tooth “fairy” appeared in a book written by Esther Watkins Arnold published in 1927 and called, not surprisingly, “The Tooth Fairy”.
However, the Tooth Fairy didn’t become part of popular culture until the 1950’s, due in large part to the mainstream appeal of fairies promoted by Walt Disney.
Before the Tooth Fairy that we know today, different cultures had different traditions for dealing with babies and children losing teeth. Some of these traditions dated back for many centuries, ranging from throwing lost teeth into a fire to placing them in a mouse hole to wearing them during battle to bring good luck.
A particularly popular European predecessor to today’s Tooth Fairy was La Petite Souris, a small mouse that would enter the child’s room under the cover of night and leave a small reward for fallen out teeth left under the child’s pillow.
How Much Does the Tooth Fairy Pay?
There’s quite a wide range of what the Tooth Fairy pays for children’s fallen out teeth.
A 2015 survey by Visa found out that the going rate for a child’s lost tooth in the United States was about $3.27. First or last fallen out baby teeth would fetch a higher reward, as would larger teeth.
The Canadian Tooth Fairy is a little more generous, paying out an average $3.44 per tooth. The survey also revealed that number increased from $2.80 a year earlier.
Most Canadian children expect a toonie for their lost teeth, while a few (less than 5%) actually receive as much as $20! That’s a cool $400 for a 20-tooth mouthful of those oh-so-cute pearly whites!
Sometimes, the Tooth Fairy leaves small presents instead of money, and in some cases, she’ll even leave a brand-new toothbrush!
Keeping Your Teeth Clean for the Tooth Fairy
What’s the best way to get the best value for lost teeth? Keep them in pristine condition, of course!
Dentists widely agree that the Tooth Fairy pays a higher dollar for the whitest and brightest baby teeth, so if your child wants to make the most out of lost teeth then they need to brush their teeth after breakfast and before they go to bed, and flosses properly and between each tooth at least once per day.
Keeping candy and sugary snacks to a minimum is another great way to help keep those baby teeth in great condition for the Tooth Fairy, as is seeing your family dentist on a regular basis!
No matter what Tooth Fairy is part of your culture, she is part of the childhoods of most children. Children look forward to exchanging fallen out baby teeth for rewards from the Tooth Fairy and are incredibly excited to share news of a visit from the Tooth Fairy with parents and siblings the following morning. Orion Dental can help your child take care of their teeth to get the biggest and best reward when they do eventually fall out! Call either our Milton or Scarborough offices today and book an appointment and let us help take care of all your family’s teeth and mouths!