The Origin of the Tooth fairy!
The tradition of leaving a tooth under a pillow for the tooth fairy to collect is practiced in various countries around the world. Tooth disposal has always been a touchy subject. Back in the Middle Ages, it was believed that witches could gain control over you if they had a piece of you -hair, clothing, or teeth - and thus could work their magic. In other times, the teeth were thrown into the fire so that the person would not have to search for their baby teeth after they died. So, as you can see, it was important to properly dispose of teeth.
Some parents would bury their children's baby teeth in the garden so new adult teeth would grow in strong and straight. And the Vikings believed that having a child's tooth was good luck in battle, so they would often create jewelry from baby teeth. The Vikings tradition was called a tooth fee, and the child was paid for their lost teeth.
The Ratoncito Perez (the mouse) originated in Madrid in 1894. The tradition is almost universal in Spanish cultures for the child to place his lost tooth under the pillow so that Ratoncito Perez will exchange it for a gift. Italy's tooth fairy is replaced by a small mouse.
In Japan, the custom calls for the lost upper teeth to be thrown straight down to the ground and the lower teeth straight up into the air; the idea being that incoming teeth will grow in straight.
We see lots of children in our practice starting at age 3. One of the questions most frequently asked is:
How Should I Clean My Child’s Teeth?
* Rub baby's new teeth and gums with a pad of gauze or washcloth after mealtimes. Get your child used to the feeling of clean teeth.
* When the first teeth appear, use a toothbrush designed for children, with a small smear of fluoride toothpaste. ***** It’s important to watch your child when they first start brushing their teeth to make sure they do not eat the toothpaste, especially toothpaste containing fluoride.
* Children need supervision when brushing their teeth until they are at least seven years old. It is a good idea to let them brush first, then follow that up by brushing them once more yourself.
* Don’t forget to brush gently behind the teeth and onto the gums.
* Make brushing a routine – in the morning and before bedtime.
* Remember a child thrives with encouragement and praise. Set a good example by brushing your teeth at the same time.
*Diet is very important. Avoid sugars in bottles when your child sleeps. Fruit juice and milk, however healthy, can cause early decay. Stick with water at bedtime.
*Consider sealants, even for primary teeth if they form deep grooves. Healthy "baby" teeth mean healthier permanent teeth. (We have a spring special on sealants $10.00 off). Valid thru June 30, 2016.
Please call us if you have any questions or concerns we can help you with. We look forward to seeing you.
Your Gentle Dentists,