Who is the Tooth Fairy?

Did you know that the Tooth Fairy is only about 100 years old? That might seem pretty old for a winged pixie who spreads fairy dust and leaves money in exchange for baby teeth, but before this friendly version came into existence, teeth exchanges were done by a witch!

In medieval England, people would bury baby teeth, in part so that a witch could not get ahold of the teeth and place a curse on the child. People also believed that burying the teeth would encourage adult teeth to grow in the child’s mouth.

As immigrants came to the US, they brought their tooth customs with them, but these changed over time. As people had less space, they often planted teeth in flowerpots. This eventually changed to leaving the baby tooth under the child’s pillow, and replacing it with a small token or gift. But the idea of the actual Tooth Fairy that we are familiar with today did not come into play until the 20th century.

Did the Tooth Fairy take your teeth? What did you get in exchange?