Children’s belief in the mythical Tooth Fairy is generally viewed as harmless fun, and seen as part of the trusting nature of children and a positive bit of childhood fiction.
The tooth fairy is a common childhood fantasy character known mostly in the United States and Europe, as well as most of the greater United Kingdom including its many former colonies. The Tooth Fairy myth states that when a young child loses a baby tooth and it is then placed under their pillow before they retire for the night, the Tooth Fairy will somehow magically replace the tooth with a small gift or a small amount of cash during the night. Upon awakening, the child is thrilled to discover the gift and their belief in the Tooth Fairy then becomes even more “real’ than it was prior to the event. Older children don’t seem to buy into the Tooth Fairy story much these days, then again, older children have few baby teeth left to lose, and many other new “beliefs” and distractions to deal with instead.
No one really knows exactly when and where the myth got started, buy like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy myth has been subject to many variations and interpretations over time. Hnlike the well-established appearance of a bearded Santa Claus in a red suit, the Tooth Fairy’s appearance varies greatly depending on regional interpretations. The studies and surveys surrounding the tooth Fairy have been anything but scientific, but in general the fairy is believed to be female by most. Many children’s books and popular artwork have depicted the Tooth Fairy as a child with wings, a pixie, a dragon, or a magical flying ballerina.
Some of the earliest known interpretations of the Tooth fairy.come from Europe where the tradition of giving small children gifts when their first teeth fell out were recorded in writings of ancient Norse and Northern European traditions. Children’s belief in the Tooth Fairy is generally viewed as harmless fun, and seen as part of the trusting nature of childhood. Most parents that still employ the tradition come from families that did the same, and most seem to think it is a silly, but positive bit of childhood fiction. The gifts and monetary rewards left by the Tooth Fairy can vary by region and the family’s economic status, but one entertaining 2011 study maintained that American children usually receive an average of $2.50 per tooth these days. Given this nation’s current and prolonged economic slump however, it may not be long before children here in the U.S. begin receiving government-issued Food Stamps under their pillows instead of cash.