All children know that if you loose one of your teeth, you can pop your tooth under the pillow, and the tooth fairy will swap your tooth for a treat. But where did this myth come from and why would anyone want our old teeth!! Read on to find out how the tradition came about and why we do this even in modern times.
Modern day myth commonly includes, Father Christmas, the Easter Bunny and finally the Tooth Fairy. The first 2, we seem to know the origins of the myth and where the stories and traditions came from, however, when it comes to the tooth fairy, we do not know a lot of information this or where the stories originate from.
The first time the Tooth Fairy was mentioned in print was 1927 when there was a children’s story published, but the oldest oral reference of her can be traced back to the early 20th century. The most common practice in Europe was to bury a child’s tooth in the ground once they had lost it, or to throw it in a fire to dispose of it. This superstition came as they thought that if a witch got hold of the tooth, then the child could be cursed!! There are also stories of baby teeth, once fallen out, being thrown into a fire or up to the sky, for similar reasons. In some countries they believe that a little mouse comes to collect the baby teeth from under the pillow.
As time moved on the myths changed and we come to modern times when children put their lost baby teeth under their pillow and then at night while they sleep the tooth fairy comes and takes the tooth, leaving some money in it’s place. In more built up areas people could not bury teeth, so found them selves putting teeth in plant pots and smaller plots of soil, until it evolved to being out under the pillow. The idea of the fairy leaving money possibly comes from the Vikings, who would use their teeth to make jewellery, so would pay the child a “Tooth fee” to take their tooth. The reason for the Vikings wanting to use the tooth in the first place is because they believed that items from children had great power, and it was thought that they would have luck in battle.
The facts of the story remain, that once a child has lost their baby teeth and their adult teeth start to come through, they need to make sure that they take extremely good care of their permanent teeth. We have these teeth for a whole lives and good oral care means that we should keep them well into old age. Regular visits to the dentist as well as brushing twice daily and flossing can all help to keep hold of your adult teeth.
If you would like to book yourself, or your child in for a check up, and get any advise about caring for baby or adult teeth, then do not hesitate to contact the practice on 01474 537 191 and we will be happy to book you in for an appointment.