As children, many of us have heard the legend of the Tooth Fairy – an enchanted being who visits us during the night and leaves a shiny coin in exchange for our teeth. This beloved figure has been part of popular culture for generations, but little is known about the mythical creature. that have captivated children.
Every child eagerly awaits the arrival of the mythical creature who visits during the night to exchange their fallen tooth for a small reward. As children grow older, they begin to wonder if this magical figure really exists and what does it look like. Despite the popularity of the Tooth Fairy and its its long-standing presence in many cultures, there is no definitive description of what the Tooth Fairy looks like.
Different cultures and individuals have their own unique interpretations of this magical creature, which has led to a variety of depictions in popular culture. In fact, there isn’t a consensus on whether the Tooth Fairy is a female or something else! According to European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry, only 75% of those surveyed thinks that the Tooth Fairy is a female.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the history of the Tooth Fairy and explore the different versions of this magical legend. So sit back, grab a glass of milk, and get ready to delve into the fascinating world of the Tooth Fairy.
History of the Tooth Fairy
The Tooth Fairy have been a beloved character in Western folklore, but her origins are somewhat mysterious. The concept of a magical creature visiting children when they lose their baby teeth can be traced back to early Norse and European mythology, where it was believed that children’s teeth had mystical properties. As such, Vikings warriors would pay children for their teeth and wear it as a good luck charm ahead of battles.
In early European culture, many practice the tradition of burying a baby teeth as they believe that it would help the children to grow a healthy adult teeth. Today, this is still prevalent in many parts of Europe as well as Malaysia and Nepal.
One of the earliest mentions of the Tooth Fairy in America can be traced back to a newspaper article from Chicago Tribune in 1908. However, the legendary creature was only brought to the limelight in 1927 when Ester Watkins Arnold published an eight-page playlet called “The Tooth Fairy”. In the play, the fabled creature collected the lost teeth of little boys and girls and left coins behind in return.
The Tooth Fairy gained popularity in America during World War II when soldiers stationed overseas began sharing stories of the Tooth Fairy with their children back home. In the following decades, the mythical creature became a prominent figure in children’s literature, movies, television shows, and their journey to teenagehood.
The depiction of the Tooth Fairy varies according to culture, and range from young to old, from human to spirits and even animals. However, the ‘modern’ Tooth Fairy is commonly depicted as a small, winged creature dressed in a white gown with a tutu and carrying a magic wand. She is said to float through openings in the windows and doors to visit children and retrieve their fallen teeth. If a child begins to wake up, the Tooth Fairy would wave her magical wand and sprinkle fairy dust, putting the child back to sleep instantly.
Despite the lack of a definitive history, the Tooth Fairy remains a beloved figure in Western culture. For many children, the Tooth Fairy represents a source of excitement and wonder during their development.
What Tooth Fairy Does With Your Teeth
According to Western folklore, the Tooth Fairy collects children’s baby teeth when they fall out and leaves a small gift or monetary reward in return. But what does the Tooth Fairy actually do with these teeth?
It is exactly unclear what the Tooth Fairy actually does with the teeth albeit there are several theories put up by parents and fairy-lovers. Some people believe that she grinds them up to make fairy dust to fly and cast magical spells. Others speculate that she keeps them as souvenirs or uses them to make magical potions.
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Another theory is that the Tooth Fairy uses the teeth to build her fairy castle, creating a magical fortress made entirely of children’s teeth. A more sinister theory suggest that the Tooth Fairy is a genetic creature created by researchers in the oral care industry to harvest teeth for scientific research. However, this theory is not widely accepted.
Tooth Fairy in Different Cultures
For decades, parents have done their best to keep the magic alive by leaving behind money for kids who’ve fallen a tooth and placed it under their pillow. Yet, while many children eagerly anticipate the Tooth Fairy’s visit, some parents and children have taken it upon themselves to try to catch her in the act. There have been numerous reports of parents setting up cameras in an attempt capture the Tooth Fairy in action. Note that some (if not all) of these pictures are made up with digital editing.
1. Tooth Fairy #1 by James Hashimoto
The Tooth Fairy was captured by five-year-old James Hashimoto and his dad Daniel Hashimoto in 2016. The father and son pair had set up surveillance cameras around James’ room to attempt to capture the mythical creature.
2. Tooth Fairy #2 by Drew Malino
This glowing Tooth Fairy was caught by Drew Malino’s RING doorbell camera on August 2020. While some believe that it is merely a flying grasshopper or a wasp, many are convinced that it is something out of this world, possibly the Tooth Fairy.
3. Tooth Fairy #3 by Alicia Stoddart
This Tooth Fiary was spotted by Alicia Stoddart and her three kids during a holiday at Alicia’s caravan at Clacton, Essex. It was believed that the strange looking figure is merely a luna moth that looked eerily like a fairy.
4. Tooth Fairy #4 in Spanish culture
Ratón Peréz, which translates to Perez the Little Mouse, is the Spanish version of the Tooth Fairy. While he looks just like any other mouse, Ratón Peréz is depicted as an intelligent creature who wears clothes and glasses and travels around the city to visit children and retrieve their fallen teeth. Luis Coloma, a Spanish writer and journalist created the tale of Ratón Peréz in 1894 for King Alfonso XIII, who had just lost a baby teeth at the age of eight.
5. Tooth Fairy #5 in Ireland
Instead of looking like a Tooth Fairy, Ireland folklore potray the Tooth Fairy as a mischievous leprechaun who goes around stealing children tooth to replace the front tooth she has lost during an accident in the forest. As leprechauns are not thieves, Anna would always leave a piece of gold in exchange for the tooth she has taken.
Ultimately, what the Tooth Fairy look like is up to everyone’s imagination. Traditionally, we think of a small, fairy-like being with wings and a wand who comes to collect teeth and leave behind coins. However, her appearance can vary depending on cultural traditions as people come up with their own interpretations. Despite the variations in her appearance, the Tooth Fairy remains a symbol of magic and wonder for children.
The tradition of leaving a lost tooth for her adds excitement and anticipation to childhood milestones and encourages good dental hygiene habits. Whether you believe in the tooth fairy or not, it remains a symbol of childhood innocence and hope. We may not know exactly what the tooth fairy looks like, but we will all keep searching and hoping to find out one day.