The excitement of waking up to a shiny £1 coin just after losing one of your teeth is a feeling none of us forget. But a question that isn’t commonly asked is this: where does the Tooth Fairy come from? Obviously, we’re not suggesting that the Tooth Fairy doesn’t exist, but the origin story is much more muddled and contemporary than you may have thought…
As expected, there is evidence to suggest that ancient societies commonly ritualised the loss of baby teeth in interesting methods compared to modern times. Burning, burying, swallowing and even throwing teeth over your house were all seen as beneficial customs in the development of the full set. However, the tradition of the Tooth Fairy didn’t become customary until after WWII and we have to clamber all the way back to 18th Century France to get any hint of the burgeoning myth.
La Bonne Petite Souris is one of the first examples we have of a hint of the origin story. It’s a classic fairy tale of a good Queen being held against her will by an evil King. In her search for an escape, the Queen calls up a mouse (a popular metaphor for fairies) who turns out to be a fairy. The fairy frees the Queen and knocks out the King’s teeth, hiding some under his own pillow as a timely reminder.
Fast forward to our current time and because of a growth in American prosperity during the 1950s, the possibility of spending was genuinely realistic. This, along with the huge success of Cinderella, Peter Pan and other Disney franchises, only helped to perpetuate the Tooth Fairy story and the mythology behind her has been evolving ever since. According to a recent study by Visa, the average price per tooth has risen a massive 23% compared to last year.
Alongside Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy is one of the most popular, maintained traditions we have in modern society. From the humble beginnings of a mouse, the Tooth Fairy story has become one that comforts children during a time of constant bodily change. So don’t let your children forget: the healthier the teeth, the higher the price!
If you want your children to stay in tip-top condition, paying a visit to London City Smiles is a must! Our surgery is run to accommodate patients of all ages, so get in contact with us and book your first appointment today!