Losing a tooth as a child was pretty exciting for several reasons, but we can probably agree that the most exciting part was a visit from the mystical Tooth Fairy. That wiggly tooth finally becomes free and you place it under your pillow, hoping for a dollar or two to appear in the morning. But where does this somewhat odd tradition come from? Let’s dive in.
The tradition first stemmed from Europe and was brought to the Americas. However, the practice wasn’t always to place the tooth under your pillow. Originally, families would bury fallen baby teeth in a garden or somewhere outside because they were deemed sacred.
When Europeans came to the Americas, most families didn’t have space for a garden so they transitioned to burying their children’s teeth in flower and plant pots. Over time, the tradition changed to children placing teeth under their pillow and parents switching it to a treat or coin, making a somewhat frightening experience for a little one fun.
You are probably wondering where the Tooth Fairy comes into play in all of this. Parents had to come up with an explanation for where the missing teeth went so the Tooth Fairy was born. It is a fun and exciting experience for children, so it stuck. Parents practiced this tradition with their children, who then passed it onto the next generation.