While Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are fairly recognized across the globe, the Tooth Fairy is one
hundred percent American. Each culture has its own ritual for disposing of baby teeth, but the Tooth
Fairy only makes visits to American children. And, in true American fashion, the Tooth Fairy has
traditions from a few different cultures combined with a little bit of Disney thrown in.

It was in 1927 that the Tooth Fairy made an appearance in American culture with Ester Watkins
children’s story and play, The Tooth Fairy. While other cultures had traditions of animals such as
beavers, cats, or dogs taking the teeth, some rituals dating backs thousands of years include quite a bit
of throwing. Some cultures throwing rituals included throwing the tooth into the sun, fire, over a roof,
or even backwards between the legs. Other rituals include placing the tooth into a mouse hole, burying
the tooth, placing the tooth in a tree hole, placing the tooth in a hole in the wall, or swallowing the
tooth (either by the mother, child, or a pet). Then, there is the Tooth Troll Hammaspeikko, who comes
for children in Norway and Finland who don’t brush their teeth.

The American version of the Tooth Fairy really took off after World War II. Many families were deeply
affected by the Great Depression and did not have a spare nickel or penny to give to their child for
something as meaningless as a tooth. Also, catering to children did not really happen before World War
II. Many children were expected to work and bring in income to their families. Lastly, Disney had a huge
impact on children during the 1950’s with the creation of Tinkerbell and the Fairy Godmother in

Like most things in America, the legend of the Tooth Fairy has started to take off around the world.
Many countries like the Canada, Australia, and the UK have started to adopt the Tooth Fairy and the
tradition. The Tooth Fairy does not have a set appearance like Santa Claus. Appearing many different
ways in different countries, books, and movies.

Many children become afraid when they first lose a tooth. The excitement of a fairy coming to reward
them for their lost tooth will help ease some of the discomfort your child might experience for those
first few teeth they lose. Now, how much does the Tooth Fairy pay for a tooth these days? Gone are the
days of finding a shiny quarter under your pillow for that molar, inflation has affected the Tooth Fairy as
well. The average price the Tooth Fairy pays for a tooth these days is $4.66. Many dentists encourage
parents to engage in the myth of the Tooth Fairy to promote healthy oral hygiene. A higher reward for
teeth that are healthy and clean. Many parents decide to reward more for a first tooth, last tooth, or
healthy molar. So, while many teeth cost the Tooth Fairy $1, expect to grab a Lincoln for that super
shiny molar.