The Tooth Fairy

A Brief History of The Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood. The story goes that when children lose one or more of their baby teeth, the tooth should be placed beneath their pillow and the tooth fairy will visit while they sleep, taking the tooth and leaving a small gift or payment.

The tooth fairy idea is a small gesture that celebrates a new era in a child’s life, that of losing their baby teeth. It’s that small step from a baby into childhood that the tooth fairy idea represents.

In early Europe children used to bury their tooth and in early Norse writings the child was paid a fee for losing the tooth. In medieval Europe children were encouraged to burn the tooth in case a witch took it and thereafter had some control over the child.

This developed in the early 20th century into a nocturnal visit by the tooth fairy. Teething children were comforted with the promise of a visit by the fairy, to ease the minor pain and discomfort, provided that they put the tooth under their pillow. In the morning they would be rewarded with a small prize and the tooth fairy would be long gone with the tooth.

The Forgetful Fairy takes this process a step further.