Clarissa Johal: #Paranormal Wednesday-The Tooth Fairy

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#Paranormal Wednesday-The Tooth Fairy

My older daughter's baby teeth
You know the drill, moms and dads (no pun intended). Tooth Fairy Rules state that when a child loses a baby tooth, the child places it under their pillow. The Tooth Fairy will then visit as the child sleeps and replace the lost tooth with a small payment. I kept my kiddo's teeth and glued them in a shadow box. My girls used to think it was cool that the Tooth Fairy allowed mom to keep their teeth (due to a special agreement she had with faeries). Now, they feel mom was a bit macabre. The teeth are smiling, so I really don't see the problem.

During the Middle Ages, there were many superstitions surrounding children's teeth. In England, children were told to burn their baby teeth in order to save them from hardship in the afterlife. Children who chose not to do so, would spend eternity searching for those teeth. In the Norse Viking culture, children's teeth (and anything belonging to children) were said to bring good luck in battle. Warriors hung children's teeth on a string around their necks. In medieval Europe, it was thought that if a witch were to get hold of one of your teeth, it would give them total power over you.

The folklore surrounding an actual tooth "Fairy" didn't emerge until 1927 when, The Tooth Fairy: Three-Act Playlet for Children by Esther Watkins Arnold was published. By 1984, 74 percent of people surveyed believed the Tooth Fairy to be female, 12 percent believed the Tooth Fairy to be neither male nor female, and 8 percent believed the Tooth Fairy could be either male or female. In addition to a small payment in relation to the tooth loss ($3.70 per tooth on average) some families leave a note with the payment, praising the child for good dental habits. More children report a positive reaction to the myth even after they discover that the Tooth Fairy doesn't exist.

While we're talking Tooth Fairies....I highly recommend The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce. Not for children, this is a Jungian, darker take on the myth and not for the faint-at-heart. Happy reading!


Sloane Taylor said...

Good post, Clarissa. Love the historical bits, but I'm inclined to agree with your daughter on the art work.:)

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

You think? lol I just see her cute, little baby teeth :) Nothing macabre. Thanks for stopping by, Sloane!