The tooth fairy is a magical character who swoops in and leaves some funds under your child’s pillow on the night they lose their teeth. If Mom and Dad remember. (And hasn’t every parent awakened in a cold sweat trying to remember if the tooth fairy made her visit?)

In our house, the kids go to bed with a glass of water by their bed, and in the morning, the water is coloured and filled with sparkles the same colour as the tooth fairy’s dress when she made her appearance. Complicated, I know. Not sure why I ever started that tradition!!! She leaves a coin under their pillow, a ‘tooth receipt’ and typically she also leaves the tooth as well. Ever wonder how much the tooth fairy doles out? We’ve got a handy article and infographic on that deep question here!

The tradition of the tooth fairy differs from country to country. In early Europe, parents used to bury their children’s teeth, and when they sixth tooth fell out, the parent would give the child a coin. As usual, in our day we have taken this tradition to an extreme.

Writer Tanya Underwood states that “During the Middle Ages, other superstitions arose surrounding children’s teeth. In England, for example, children were instructed to burn their baby teeth in order to save the child from hardship in the afterlife. Children who didn’t consign their baby teeth to the fire would spend eternity searching for them in the afterlife. The Vikings, it is said, paid children for their teeth. In the Norse culture, children’s teeth and other articles belonging to children were said to bring good luck in battle, and Scandinavian warriors hung children’s teeth on a string around their necks. Fear of witches was another reason to bury or burn teeth. In medieval Europe, it was thought that if a witch were to get hold of one of your teeth, it could lead to them having total power over you.”

Yikes. Between that mythology and the scary stories of the brothers Grimm, I’m glad our fables and traditions now have happier mythology!

What are your tooth fairy traditions? And what do your kids think happens to all of the teeth she collects? We’d love to know! In the meantime, you can print out our tooth fairy receipt that reiterates great brushing habits. Oh, and have you seen the new Star Wars toothpaste from Crest. That’s what my kids use… yeah. The kids. ; )


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Jill Amery

Jill Amery is a mom of 2 small boys and the Publisher of UrbanMommies, a stylish digital lifestyle magazine filled with fitness, style, health, recipes and savvy mom advice to help you through pregnancy, birth, and raising your kids.

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