Let’s Talk Tooth Fairy with Dr. Vik Tiku of SLO Pediatric Dentistry in San Luis Obispo, CA
Our book review last month of, ‘Throw Your Tooth on the Roof,’ got us thinking about teeth traditions, and how they started. Here’s a bit of what we found;
The earliest Norse writing called, ‘The Eddas,’ contain record of a tradition called, ‘tand-fe,’ or tooth-fee. For the first baby tooth lost, a child was given payment in exchange for the tooth. It was then worn around the necks of warriors headed into battle to bring them luck. This is likely the origin of the tooth fairy tradition in the United States.
It seems that matter where in the world you go, there is a tradition associated with children losing their teeth. What a neat connection between different countries and cultures. So let’s take a little trip from our pediatric dental office in San Luis Obispo, to India where kids bury their teeth under a big tree in their neighborhood. Do you think the city of San Luis Obispo would mind all of our kids burying their teeth at Laguna Lake Park?
One of the most common myths across many cultures is that of either a rat or a mouse coming to collect your child’s tooth. This is probably because rodent teeth don’t stop growing, and we want adult teeth to grow? In some hispanic cultures, he’s called, ‘Ratoncito Perez.’ Kids leave their tooth under their pillow, and he brings them a gift. In Italy, a tiny mouse called, ‘Topocino,’ does the job. In Scotland, France, and Belgium, a fairy mouse visits when a baby tooth is lost.
In a 2013 survey conducted by Visa, it was found that $3.70 is the average payment per tooth in the United States. Is that more or less than what the tooth fairy is bringing to your house? Dr. Tiku wants to know! What are the kids in San Luis Obispo getting for their teeth?
The idea of the tooth fairy is a great way to encourage your littles to take more care when brushing and flossing. Knowing that the tooth fairy values healthy teeth more than those with cavities can persuade sleepy brushers into another minute of teeth cleaning.
One of our favorite things to listen to at SLO Pediatric Dentistry is This American Life. The tooth fairy themed prologue to their kid logic episode is hilarious. A warning though, this episode could ruin the tooth fairy magic for your kids, so listen to it alone.
If you want to add a little more magic to your kids tooth fairy experience, try writing a note from the tooth fairy that praises your kiddos for their good tooth brushing skills (or, points out room for improvement). You could also sprinkle a little bit of glitter on the window sill where the tooth fairy came in and out of the room, or use some glitter glue on the money the tooth fairy left. Just make sure you let it dry completely before putting it under the pillow. Do you have any fun tooth fairy traditions? We’d love to hear about them!