She’s almost as famous as Father Christmas and the Easter bunny, but just how old is the tooth fairy ritual and why did pillows become the hiding place of choice?
“Mum! Look!” and there it is, a bloody gap in their mouth where my child has wiggled and fiddled a tooth right out of their own head! Yuck!
Irrespective of what the day or evening had planned I now have a very significant and almost certainly unexpected job to fulfil. Now where did I put those fairy wings and … OMG do I have a £1 coin!
According to a recent survey by The Fine Bedding Company half of the UK is with me on the going rate and currently leaves a shiny £1 coin per tooth. However more than 20% of British kids are getting between £2 and £5 per tooth – A FIVER! REALLY? That’s up to around £100 per child by the time they’ve lost all of their baby teeth!
I am also not alone when it comes to service levels as the ‘Tooth Fairy’ has also FAILED to turn up in around 78% cases per child – my top tip to remembering is to set an alarm on your phone for 10pm, although I have been known to dash across the landing first thing in the morning and chuck £1 under the pillow!
Forgetting is an expensive mistake to make and also demands some creative explaining, popular excuses for failure to show including:
- The tooth wasn’t clean enough – she’ll check back tomorrow.
- How tidy is their room? If messy Tooth Fairy couldn’t get in so will come back tomorrow….
- The coin wasn’t shiny enough so she’s taken it back to polish it up
- Bad weather can prevent the Tooth Fairy from flying
- Sometimes the Tooth Fairy leaves two £1 coins when she’s too busy on the first night
According to Wikipedia, the modern incarnation of putting a tooth under a pillow was first documented around 1927 and it’s a practice carried out in various countries in the Anglosphere. Prior to this teeth were burned, buried and put in mouse holes!
It’s thought that the ‘fairy’ idea may have been a means to calm a child while they were undergoing the strange and fearful experience of losing a tooth.
I have a couple of emergency £1 coins in the car for parking they have been needed for more tooth fairy duties than they have parking meters! My two are always thrilled when “she’s been” and even though remembering to don my tooth fairy wings isn’t easy at 10pm at night when I’m shattered I will be sad when her visits come to an end.
Are you an amazing tooth fairy? Or a little last minute like me?!