While the tooth fairy is firmly entrenched in childhood whimsy, this myth actually has roots that extend back many centuries in cultures around the globe. The children’s dentists at Alaska Dentistry for Kids know it often takes a bit of imagination to instill in kids the importance of good dental care. Here, this Anchorage dental clinic explains the history of the tooth fairy for you to share with your little ones.
Rituals Related to Tooth Loss
The first rituals related to tooth loss were free of any fantastical connotations. For instance, the Vikings believed their children’s lost teeth were good luck charms and would often take them into battle. Other cultures thought burying lost teeth would facilitate more robust growth of adult teeth. The exchange of money for teeth also originated in Europe, although money was only awarded after the loss of the sixth one.
Different Cultures Have Different Tooth Fairies
Not all tooth fairies are the same. In fact, many cultures employ different forms, including animals like bats, bears, and even dragons. A number told tales of a diminutive mouse that would sneak into a child’s room and leave behind a coin in exchange for a tooth. Of course, traditions can change from family to family, as well, which explains why there is so much variation in how much the tooth fairy leaves for each one.
An American Take
In America, the tooth fairy typically serves a more practical purpose. Children’s dentists in years past used the tooth fairy to help assuage kids’ fears about losing teeth and dental hygiene in general. The myth really took hold in the 1950s, which may explain why the American version personifies a fantastical fairy in the style of the highly popular Disney cartoons of the same era. The goal of this version of the tooth fairy is to make the idea of losing baby teeth less traumatic by offering a reward.
At the Alaska Dentistry for Kids, you can rest assured of skilled and compassionate service, whether your child is undergoing a routine cleaning or more comprehensive procedure. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with a top children’s dentist in Anchorage, feel free to call (907) 274-2525. For more information on the complete listing of kids’ dental care services, visit the website today.