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Tooth Fairy, Tooth Fairy

Jun 3, 2014

“What did the Tooth Fairy bring you?!”

This is one of my most favorite questions to ask patients… And boy, have I been surprised by the things they say! I wrote a post about the Tooth Fairy last year (remember: your child will be losing 20 teeth… So plan accordingly!). But recently, I got to thinking about the Tooth Fairy’s history (ie: who invented her? How did she come to be?) after a patient informed me about Mexico’s Tooth Mouse (aka El Ratoncito Perez)!  After a little digging, I found that France also uses a Fairy Rat (known as La Petite Souris)… which makes our Tooth Fairy 100% unique and 100% American.

So what gives with the rat fairy and why don’t we have one? Apparently, as history has it, baby teeth were given as a sacrifice to the rodent with hopes that the adult teeth would grow in strong and sturdy like the rat’s. (Who knew rats had strong teeth?!).

But as for why we use a human fairy instead of a mouse fairy? Who knows. Perhaps we didn’t buy into the strong rat teeth theory. In comparison with the magical mouse, our Tooth Fairy is A) fairly new in the realm of children’s mythology and B) next to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, a mere baby in age.

Nevertheless, our beloved Tooth Fairy is very popular and only getting more generous with age! According to a survey by Visa, the Tooth Fairy is leaving an average of $3.70 per tooth, up 23% from last year (and up 42% from 2011). And then factor in Manhattan prices… well… it’s no surprise kids love the Tooth Fairy!

© 2014 Dr. Jennifer Fountain, DDS.
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