Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy National Tooth Fairy Day

That's right. According to the Census Bureau Daily, February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day. To celebrate, the Dental Ninja is giving you some "Tooth Fairy Fun Facts."
  • In early European times, it was custom to bury one's baby teeth. This is likely due to the superstition that if a witch happens to get a hold of it, she could put a curse on you. The best way to keep it away from the witches is to bury it.
  • Spanish-speaking countries believe in a "tooth mouse" rather than fairy. The character, known as the "Ratón Pérez" first appeared in a story written for eight-year old Alfonso XIII, as one of his teeth had fallen out. The story stuck, and the character has even been used by Colgate for marketing in Venezuela and Spain.
  • The 18th century French fairy tale "La Bonne Petite Souris" depicts a tooth mouse who morphs into a fairy to help a good queen defeat an evil king by hiding under his pillow. She then tortures him by knocking out all his teeth! This begs the question, why hasn't Disney turned this lovely little tale into a movie?
  • Scotland's lowland areas have a tradition which, like the French fairy tale, combines a mouse and a fairy. The little lads and lassies eagerly await the visit from a white fairy mouse which purchases the teeth with coins.
  • India, Korea, and Vietnam have traditions similar to that of the Japanese in that they throw the exfoliated teeth, however, they aren't as concerned with throwing them straight. Instead, these children throw it and shout a request for the tooth to be replaced by a rodent's tooth. It has something to do with the fact that rodent teeth never stop growing.
  • Children in parts of India will offer their discarded teeth to the sun.
  • The Tooth Fairy as we know her today isn't actually that old. Folklore researchers find the first references around 1900.
Since so many cultures believe in a mouse-fairy combo, I've taken it upon myself to create this composite image to help my fellow Americans visualize what a mouse-fairy might look like:

And, just in case you need a little help explaining the whole Tooth Fairy concept to your little ones, here's a little example from our friends Chris and Brian:

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I was playing tooth fairy with my niece last night. Even though I did not know it at the time, I was celebrating in my our little way.