Friday, August 6, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

My daughter lost her first tooth the other day. Watching her excitement was awesome. You know what that meant right? A little visit from the Tooth Fairy!

My daughter decided to make her own little ritual. She made a picture of a donkey (that had really...and I mean really BIG teeth) along with a little note. She decided that instead of placing the tooth under her pillow, she would place a pillow at the foot of her bed with the tooth under it, along with the picture. Let's just say that she was beyond excited when she got her money, was able to keep her tooth AND the Tooth Fairy left her a note thanking her for the picture.

Now...this got me did the Tooth Fairy come about? How? More importantly, how did the importance of losing a tooth come about? I just had to google it...I just had to! As you can imagine I got a lot of hits and bits of information. The information is actually very interesting and more like a history lesson once you start to search.

My Findings on The Tooth Fairy:

As we now know it, the tooth fairy comes when a child has lost a tooth. Commonly, she is very small, and she comes in the middle of the night. The child is to leave the tooth under his/her pillow, so that the tooth fairy can take it during her visit. Once she has taken the tooth, she leaves some money under the pillow. The teeth are then taken to her tower, and used for her purposes. Just for exactly what purposes? Hmmm...

Many pictures of the tooth fairy have been captured in everything from storybooks to art. The painter Maxfield Parrish is said to have depicted her once in the corner of a painting. It is reasonable to think that the tooth fairy legend originated from a place where folklore and legend are tradition, like England or Ireland.

Pre-Tooth Fairy:
Among my findings, an interesting tidbit I found was a very old tradition in England. The tradition holds that if a child's tooth falls out, they must drop it into a fire, to avoid having to look for it after death...yikes!!! This may very well be the starting of just how important losing a tooth was. From what I gather this tale was handed down during the Middle Ages to smaller children during the teething stage. With fire being added into the mix, may have brought up images of sorcery. Back in the day an alleged witch was often burned because people believed money appeared after they threw articles into fire.

Now here is where the importance of keeping your tooth comes. When a witch burned a piece of hair, clothing or teeth from a person, she supposedly obtained power over them. Parents may have taught children to keep teeth or burn them themselves in order to stay safe from being controlled by a witch.

Another interesting point is the fact that Vikings had a "tooth fee," or a fee/money that was given to children upon the use of a tooth. This old legend is surrounded in mystery. Alongside it is the superstition in early Viking days that children's articles and pieces contained great power. Having an article of a child, or a child in your possession was supposed to bring power and luck in battle.

Today, this myth is regarded as no more than children's entertainment. Parents dutifully sneak into rooms at night, bearing cold hard cash for the loss of a tooth. Perhaps it is a reward for a "passing of age." A lost tooth is one of the first signs of growing up. Perhaps it is felt that a piece of childhood is lost with every dropped tooth. Whatever the case, the tooth fairy lives on, carrying teeth away for uses that no one will ever know. I just hope it's not for jewelry.

Before I go, I just had to leave you with this:

All the best,



Jennifer @ The Toy Box Years said...

How sweet! Congrats on that tooth -- and thanks for the history lesson!

Visiting from the Over 40 Blog Hop!

Becky said...

How cool!! I had no idea the history behind the Tooth Fairy! Thank you for sharing! :)

Alice in Wonderland said...

Yes, I vaguely remember a verse that my Grandmother used to tell us:
"Fire, Fire,
Burn this tooth.
Bring a straight white one,
Not a black crooked one."

Why this happened, I'm not sure. But we were always told that they went to make new babies teeth!
Pretty gruesome thought!

Big hugs!

Teachinfourth said...

Oh my heavens, I absolutely love Stuart!A few years ago I had a student who used to talk like Stewart all the time… but back then I had no idea who Stuart even was.

One of the best stories I've ever read about the tooth fairy was one where it talked about the TF being witch who used the teeth by turning them into gravel for her driveway. From what I can remember, there was another witch in the story that would change the teeth into stars. I can't remember much else about the story but I remember the reaction of the kids who only wanted their teeth to become stars, and not gravel.

Marnie said...

Jennifer - Thanks for stopping by!

Becky - I'm glad you liked it :0)

Alice - Ugh! New babies teeth, oh say it isn't so!!!

Marnie said...

Teach - I know, isn't Stuart the best! Now that is another great story to add to the Tooth Fairy files. Yes, stars would be a lot nicer.

Heff said...

Incorrect ! The Tooth Fairy collects teeth from children who have recently lost them. Later the teeth are given to well deserved toothless rednecks in the south that desperately need them due to years of opening beer bottles with their previous teeth.

It's True.

Marnie said...

Heff - LMAO! Now that is one very interesting fact! Thanks :0)

Marlene said...

It's always such a big thing when your child loses one of her first teeth! :)

Thanks for the trivia!


Very interesting post,Marnie.
Was that Susan Sarandon as the Tooth Fairy?

Marnie said...

Ubermouth - Thanks! Yes that was Susan Sarandon.


Amazing actress.
* I am a redhead, too. :)

smArtee said...

Hey Marnie...did you that that until now....I still believed in the tooth fairy...I guess now I can move on...Thank You for that...and for the interesting hx...I loooove your site...very pretty..!

Cranberry Morning said...

Great post. I love it when people have enough curiosity to look things up and find out...the rest of the story! Why else do we have Google!! How fun. :-)

Marnie said...

Ubermouth - I believe redheads are lucky. I dye mine to suit my personality - when you're heritage is Irish/Italien, you just have to.

Smartee - Welcome :0) I'm sorry you had to find out that

Cranberry - Thank goodness for Google, otherwise I'd still be wondering over a cup of coffee ;0)

fahad ali said...

great post about Extraction tooth child
gud luck-----------

fahad ali said...

good job! i like your because u share the info about teeth for Extraction tooth child


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