National Tooth Fairy Day

February 28, 2012 is National Tooth Fairy Day. Here in America, the most popular tradition related to the Tooth Fairy involves having children who lose a tooth, hide them under their pillow at night. The next morning the Tooth Fairy leaves a surprise in exchange for the baby tooth.

Legends and traditions about the loss of baby teeth go back a long way. Early Europeans are said to have buried children’s teeth to ward off witches and evil spirits. It is also said that the Vikings believed that children’s teeth had magical powers and so they wore them in their necklaces to help them fight in battle. In Spanish cultures, there is the story of Ratoncito Perez or Raton Perez, a mouse who exchanges a child’s lost tooth for a gift, much like the Tooth Fairy.

Losing baby teeth can be traumatic for young children, the story of the Tooth Fairy, often helps soften the blow. The promise of a reward upon the visit of the Tooth Fairy, turns the negative experience of losing a tooth into a more positive one.

Celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day by encouraging kids to brush and floss regularly, reading books about the tooth fairy, talking about good oral health habits, and visiting your pediatric dentist.

Check out this video of  actress, comedian and author Amy Sedaris as the Tooth Fairy on the children’s show Yo Gabba Gabba.

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