The tooth fairy is an important childhood figure, but she looks very different in places around the world and in the past. Here are 5 interesting facts about the origins of the tooth fairy and other tooth disposal practices.
- In medieval Europe, baby teeth were thrown into the fire! But people did this because they were afraid a witch would get a hold of a tooth and try to control their children using a spell with it.
- In the past, those living in Europe used to bury their lost baby teeth in their gardens. Why did they do this? Because they wanted their new teeth to grow in as well as the plants did in their gardens.
- Vikings didn’t get rid of their baby teeth; they collected these teeth and eventually created a necklace from them. The Vikings believed that this necklace would give them good luck in battle.
- The tooth fairy myth actually comes from another, very similar myth which is believed by children worldwide. Instead of a fairy collecting teeth from under pillows and replacing them with gifts, a mouse or rat did the job! This tooth mouse even has a name in some countries.
- A few places in the world do not have the tooth fairy. In Mongolia, children feed their lost teeth to their dog in hopes that they will grow teeth as strong as this pet’s. In several other Asian countries, children throw their baby teeth either up on the roof or down to the floor.