Chances are you remember the tooth fairy, that winged pixie who used to reward you with small gifts or money after you lost a tooth, but do you know the origin of this centuries-old tradition?
It Used to Be Parents Who Hid Their Children's Teeth
While these days, children put them under their pillows, centuries ago in Europe, parents buried their child's lost tooth in a "tooth garden." Custom held that this shielded children from the potential evil spells of a witch. In America, the tradition evolved, with early settlers placing their children's teeth in flowerpots.
The Tooth Mouse Existed before the Tooth Fairy
Another superstition was that if an animal swallowed the child's tooth, that new adult tooth would resemble that of the animal. From there, the French story of the "tooth mouse" developed, a tale in which a fairy turns into a mouse, goes to the palace and hides under an evil king's pillow. Trying to save the queen, the mouse knocks out all of the king's teeth while he's sleeping.
Teeth Were Traded for Coins
The tooth mouse tradition grew, and children started to put their teeth into their shoes. At night, while children were fast asleep, the mouse exchanged the tooth for a coin or two. Cultures across the world still hold onto the tooth mouse tradition, while others, including our own, have adopted the tooth fairy.
At around age six, a child starts losing their baby teeth, allowing room for their permanent teeth to come in. During the early years, it's critically important to guide jaw growth to ensure optimal facial aesthetics.
At KidsBracesNYC, we specialize in Pediatric Orthodontia. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please contact our office by phone (866) 222-3166 or complete the appointment request form by going here.