Happy National Tooth Fairy Day!Rachel Hintz

February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day!

Why Celebrate?

I’m probably not an expert on the Tooth Fairy. You see, as a child, I kept all of my baby teeth. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe the Tooth Fairy existed, or that I wouldn’t get a fair amount of compensation under my pillow in return for my pearly whites. Let’s just say… I had attachment issues. This little tooth had been with me for a while, and I had grown quite fond of it. Why abandon the little guy now? Each time I would lose a tooth, it was quite a process. I’m not sure if every child goes through tooth loss the way I did. In my case, I would drag out the event for days, even weeks. The thing would be hanging by a very thin thread, or root, or whatever teeth hang by. It was bad. It got to the point where my dad actually wrote me a song to help motivate me to embrace losing teeth. To this day, I have a small porcelain box in the closet of my room at my parent’s house which contains all of my precious baby teeth.

My strange aversion to giving my teeth to the Tooth Fairy aside, today is a day to celebrate the wonderful Tooth Fairy, who visits many a child on the night of a lost tooth. According to common parental folklore, placing a lost tooth under one’s pillow at night was a sort of “pick up” signal to the ever elusive Tooth Fairy. In the morning, instead of finding that little tooth, one could expect to find a generous amount of money as payment. And by generous I mean anything from 25 cents to a few dollars. Any amount beyond that was unheard of back in my day.

But let’s talk history for a moment. If we look way back to the Middle Ages, there were other weird traditions and superstitions surrounding children’s teeth. For example, in jolly old England, children were instructed to burn their baby teeth. This would supposedly save the child from hardship in the afterlife, and if they didn’t do so, they would be punished by spending eternity searching for them. In Scandinavian culture, warriors would hang their children’s teeth around their necks for good luck. In medieval Europe, it was considered important to burn or bury baby teeth for fear of witches. You see, if a witch were to get ahold of one, you could be in danger of being under their total control. Creepy, right? And then there were the Vikings. Much like our current Tooth Fairy tradition, they paid their children for their teeth.

Tooth Fairy, today we salute you. Though you are part of a somewhat strange tradition, you help many children around the world cope with growing up. And that’s pretty cool.

How to Celebrate

To be honest, I’m not really sure how to best celebrate this holiday. Maybe reflection on your tooth losing childhood memories, or perhaps watching the movie The Tooth Fairy. But I’m not entirely sure I would watch that movie. Maybe reading this blog post is enough of a celebration. You decide.

Quote of the Day

“The tooth fairy teaches children that they can sell body parts for money.” – David Richerby

 

Featured image via ShutterStock

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