When children lose a baby tooth, it is a very exciting time for them as they put it under their pillow and wake up in the morning to a quarter from the tooth fairy. The tooth fairy is a beloved figure for children; however, you may wonder where the myth of the tooth fairy came from.
Plant Your Teeth In The Garden
The tooth fairy had its origins in Europe, though one of the earliest practices of teeth disposal involved burying them in a garden or field. This was done to help encourage new teeth to grow just like plants did in the garden. Over time, more cities would spring up all over Europe, and more people didn’t have places to bury their baby teeth. This reason changed the practice to “burying” teeth under a pillow rather than in a garden.
The Tooth Fairy Was . . . A Rat?
It was believed that a mouse or rat was the one who took baby teeth and left gifts in their place. A rodent may not seem like a very nice gift giver in comparison to a fairy, but rodents’ teeth are constantly growing, which was the reason they were chosen to take away lost teeth.
An American Myth
The idea for the tooth fairy we have today actually didn’t show up in culture until the early 20th century. The tooth fairy myth emerged in America, though it had origins in European myth and culture.