Tooth Fairy Traditions
My nine-year-old daughter has lost almost every one of her baby teeth and collected, on average, a dollar a tooth for each of them. Now her baby molars are falling out and they’re falling out in two pieces which means, obviously Mother, she gets paid twice for them. Our tooth fairy is no dummy though, she brought fifty cents for the first molar and another fifty will come when the other half falls out. She’s smart, now if she could only remember to actually come on the night one of my kids loses a tooth.
Today I thought it would be fun to take a look at Tooth Fairy traditions and gear.
The Tooth Fairy myth originated in the United States but is found in many other countries like Ireland, South Africa, Italy and Australia among others. It’s said to be a combination of an old European tradition of burying lost baby teeth in the ground and the story of a tooth mouse from a French fairy tale titled, La Bonne Petite Souris. A mouse is transformed into a fairy to help a queen defeat an evil king. The mouse/fairy hides underneath the evil king’s pillow and eventually knocks out all his teeth.
The tooth fairy tradition in other countries is often different from the Fairy myth we have in the United States. In Italy, Spain and France a small mouse collects children’s teeth. In some Asian countries children throw their tooth on the roof if it fell from their lower jaw or put it below the house if it fell from their upper jaw.
You can read about all the various tooth fairy tradition in Throw Your Tooth On The Roof, a book of collected traditions by Selby Beeler.
I love the selection of Tooth Fairy related gear at Chasing Fireflies (no longer available). My kids are very light sleepers so if the tooth fairy were to reach under their pillows to collect a tooth, they’d definitely wake up. I love this hippo version the most. I’ve also found that if the tooth box is left on the kitchen counter, instead of on a bedside table the “Tooth Fairy” is a lot more likely to make a deposit in a timely manner.
You can also make your own tooth box, like this one at Family Fun constructed from a large matchbox. I like the ribbon handle so this box can hang on the outside of a bedroom door. Further insuring the tooth fairy will not forget to stop by and won’t have to worry about tripping over toys and waking up a kid.
This Tooth Bear from Martha is a bit more complicated but far too cute not to share. I know it’s sewing but remember the softies my kids and I made? It has to be easier than that, the bears only have one head after all.
According to this CBS report, the going rate for teeth is rising, up by 22% a year ago. The average kid is raking in $2.09 on average per baby tooth. I’m taking heart though in the fact that most parents in the survey said they give out $1.00 per tooth. How much does your tooth fairy fork over per tooth?