Baby Tooth Traditions

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Think back on the days that you believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Do you remember the excitement the prospect of losing a baby tooth brought? Knowing that the Tooth Fairy was going to come to take the tooth and leave money, whether it was a dime, quarter, or dollar, is an exciting part of childhood. Bringing the magic of the Tooth Fairy to life with your own children is a whole new, wonderful experience.

As the Tooth Fairy once again becomes a part of your life, you may wonder how the Tooth Fairy came to be. The legend of the Tooth Fairy has evolved over time. However, legends and myths surrounding losing baby teeth go back for millennia. Long ago in Europe, when a child lost a baby tooth, they were supposed to bury it. Folklore stated that this would save the child from hardships in the afterlife.

There are many practices relating to the loss of baby teeth going back thousands of years. When a child lost a baby tooth, they would do one or more of the following:

– Throw it into the sun
– Throw it into the fire
– Place it in a mouse hole
– Bury it in the ground
– Put it inside a tree or on the wall
– Swallow it, or have their mother or pet swallow it
– Throw it backwards between the legs
– Throw it onto or over the roof of a house

There are many versions of the tooth deity. In some countries, a mouse would enter children’s bedrooms and remove baby teeth. The lost baby tooth that was “buried” under a pillow and replaced with gifts like money. The tooth deity is a mouse in many cultures because rodents grow their teeth for their entire lives. In other cultures, the tooth deity varies to include beavers, dogs, cats, and squirrels.

Our beloved Tooth Fairy was inspired by the legend of the mouse combined with legends from Europe of a good fairy. In about 1927, a book made our modern idea of the Tooth Fairy popular in the United States of America.

We invite you to contact our office today for more information and to schedule your next visit with our dentist in Metairie, Louisiana, Dr. Stephen Babin.