Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Today is...National Tooth Fairy Day
Today is National Tooth Fairy Day. Who/what is your favorite make-believe character?
The Tooth Fairy has very few details as to its origin. The myth seems to come from Europe with the tradition to bury baby teeth that fell out. On the 6th tooth, the parents would leave a gift or money.
In northern Europe, there was a tooth fee that was paid when a child lost their first tooth.
The current average amount children receive in the US is $2.60 per tooth (When I was a kid, I got $.50).
In a 1984 study, 74% of people thought that the tooth fairy was female, while 7% thought the tooth fairy could be male or female.
There is a related myth in Spanish and Hispanic American cultures, originating in Madrid in 1894, that when a child looses a tooth, the Ratoncito Perez (Perez Mouse) will exchange it for a gift.
There is a tradition in Asian countries to through teeth onto the roof if the tooth came from the lower jaw, or beneath the floor if it came from the upper jaw. While doing so, it is traditional to give a prayer for the tooth to be replaced with a mouse.
Relatedly, Finland has a tooth troll, Hammaspeikko, which is used to explain tooth decay to children.