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Sample Essay on Tooth Fairy Day: Who Is She?

Mom2moMThis sample will explain who Tooth Fairy is by looking at where her legend starting from to the point where parents know how to leave money under their child’s pillow when they lose a tooth.

Today, we view Tooth Fairy as a winged little sprite who exchanges the baby teeth of children for money when they leave them under their pillows. But this was not always the case. This leads us to question what the true origins of Tooth Fairy are and how long people have been believing in this legend. This sample essay delves into the Tooth Fairy’s origin to answer the question of who she is.

The true origins of Tooth Fairy can be found in Europe. These are not the stories about Tooth Fairy we know and love today, but precursors that led to her development. In Britain, there is an old custom that involves giving servant girls “fairy coins.” But as you can tell, no teeth are involved. The Irish people have one folk tradition where they place a tooth near a child who is sleeping, believing this will ward off evil fairy “changelings.” In Venice, Italy, they believe in a Santa Claus – like a figure who gives presents to children when they lose a tooth. In the late 1800s in France, there was a tradition where the Virgin Mary would give presents or a coin to children who have left a tooth under their pillow.

The Vikings used to pay children to get a hold of their teeth because such articles from children were believed to make one lucky in battle, according to the Norse mythology. These Scandinavian warriors would hang the teeth around their necks. In Medieval Europe, people used to burn or bury their teeth to protect themselves from witches. They believed that once a witch got a hold of your tooth, they could control you against your will.

Later on in Europe, a new tradition that depicted the fairy as good was created out of the stories from an old folk tradition. The most well-known version is a “tooth deity” that looked like a mouse, who removed children’s baby teeth as they were sleeping.

The modern Tooth Fairy (the American version) takes her inspiration from the mouse version we spoke of earlier and became popular starting from 1927 after she was depicted in a book. After lounging around in obscurity for some time as a legend, fairy characters from Walt Disney made Tooth Fairy a household name. Today, households spend $3.70, on average, for every tooth that is lost and placed under a pillow, according to a study conducted by VISA.

Although some of the history concerning the development of the Tooth Fairy’s legend is dark, no one can deny the positive impact she has today. Tooth Fairy is indeed an icon, as you can tell from her rich Anglo-based roots to her status as a pop-culture phenomenon that makes kids giggle with joy when they lose a tooth.

References:

  1. A Brief History Of The Tooth Fairy. (2015, February 27). Retrieved from: https://www.123dentist.com/a-brief-history-of-the-tooth-fairy/
  2. Hedges, H., & Joy, C. (2003) “The Tooth Fairy Comes, or Is It Just Your Mum and Dad?: A Child’s Construction of Knowledge”. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, Vol. 28. 19-24.
  3. History of the Tooth Fairy. Retrieved from: http://www.thesmilestones.com/toothfairyhistory.htm
  4. Killgrove, K. (2016, September 14 ). Where Did The Tooth Fairy Come From? Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2016/09/14/where-did-the-tooth-fairy-come-from/#7a00854d59d4
  5. Sameroff, A., & Mcdonough, C. S. (1994). “Educational implications of developmental transitions: revisiting the 5- to 7-year shift”. Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 76
  6. Schultz, Colin. (2014, February 13). The Tooth Fairy Is a Very Recent, Very American Creation. Retrieved from: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/origins-tooth-fairy-180949746/.
  7. Watts, L. S. (2007). Encyclopedia of American folklore. 386
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