In many cultures around the world, various traditions around the tooth fairy are celebrated! The tooth fairy herself (or himself–as the verdict is still out on whether this spirit is male or female) has been around since at least the Middle Ages, although the exact origins are still unknown. In any case, this is certainly an iconic childhood symbol that brings joy and smiles to children all over the world.
Children in Europe, Russia, some parts of Asia (especially China), North America and other places all have certain traditions that revolve around the idea of a tooth fairy. The tradition usually goes that a child who loses a tooth can leave it under his or her pillow that night.
This special creature, who fortuitously knows when a child has lost a tooth, stealthily exchanges it for a coin or a treat during the night. Some traditions assign this role to a small animal, such as a mouse, rabbit, cat or dog, while other cultures may tend to associate it more with a mythical creature akin to Tinkerbell.
Likely, the idea of the tooth fairy was a myth that evolved over time and, in some cultures, children’s teeth were even considered to be lucky. It’s possible that the tooth fairy may have just been made up by parents as a means to calm a child that was undergoing the strange experience of losing a tooth, which can certainly be an upsetting part of growing up. But it also could have been a clever way to get access to those lucky teeth!
History of National Tooth Fairy Day
So, it should come as no surprise that somewhere along the line, National Tooth Fairy Day was born. National Tooth Fairy Day is a time that is designed to pay homage to this generous spirit that is known to leave treats or coins underneath children’s pillows.
Because the story comes from a long tradition in various cultures, National Tooth Fairy Day is surrounded by a bit of mystery. Often celebrated toward the end of February, some people believe that it should be held in August, instead. Of course, it may be that the tooth fairy is deserving of two different special days!
While it would be nice to return the favor for the Tooth Fairy, a method has yet to be discovered for leaving a coin or a snack for this special friend, as no one is even sure if she (or he) has a pillow! But there are certainly many other ways to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day that will delight children of all ages–and adults too!
How to Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day
Enjoying National Tooth Fairy Day has many opportunities for fun and celebration surrounding teeth! Consider these ways to enjoy the day, especially with children:
Read a Book (or Watch a Film) About the Tooth Fairy
Some people believe that a 1927 book made a strong contribution to what is known as the tooth fairy in America today. This book by Esther Watkins Arnold’s book, was The Tooth Fairy: Three-act Playlet for Children. Other stories that can be appreciated in honor of the day include:
- Bella and the Tooth Fairy, a children’s book by Genna Rowbotham
- The Night Before the Tooth Fairy, a children’s book by Natasha Wing
- Judy Moody, Tooth Fairy, a children’s book by Megan McDonald
- Toothless, 1997 comedy film starring Kirstie Alley
- Tooth Fairy, the 2010 comedy film with Dwayne Johnson
For kids who want to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day, making a craft or enjoying a tooth-related activity can be loads of fun. Some dentists’ offices sponsor a coloring page contest that kids can participate in. But that’s just a start.
Parents might like to help their kids to make their own tooth pillow or bag, a tiny fabric envelope which serves as a place to keep loose teeth so they don’t get lost while waiting for the tooth fairy. This can be accomplished by sewing or gluing fabric together.
Other parents or teachers might like to use this as an educational opportunity. They can help their kids learn some interesting facts about teeth that will keep them motivated to brush and care for their teeth in a responsible and healthy manner.
Visit a Museum
Some museums have been dedicated to the knowledge of dentistry and teeth, and some of them even include folklore and memorabilia surrounding the Tooth Fairy. Known dentistry museums include places like:
- Tooth Fairy Museum, Springfield, Illinois, USA
- British Dental Museum, London, UK
- Museum of Dentistry, Paris, France
- Sirindhorn Dental Museum, Bangkok, Thailand
- Dental Education Museum, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
- National Museum of Dentistry, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Search online to find other locations of dental or tooth museums.
Book a Dentist Appointment
If it’s been awhile since a visit to the dentist, this day could serve as an excellent reminder that it’s time for a cleaning and checkup! Call the dentist to set up an appointment–they will be very happy for the reminder and will thank the Tooth Fairy for his/her special services!
Fun Facts About the Tooth Fairy
Since each child typically has 20 baby teeth that they will lose to make room for permanent teeth, the Tooth Fairy has a fairly busy job. According to certain surveys, some children receive around a dollar per tooth, while others might get up to five dollars for each tooth they leave under their pillow. This might leave some to question whether the Tooth Fairy is actually a wealthy philanthropist!
Because so many children live on the planet, the tooth fairy probably collects about 300,000 teeth from children all over the world–each night. That’s a very busy fairy!