Where Did the Tooth Fairy Come From?

The period from July 4th through Labor Day is known for a number of events and national holidays. As we grow closer to the end of summer, many are unaware of a special holiday approaching that is widely celebrated by both the dental community and kids alike. 

If your child happens to have a loose baby tooth, that Sunday would be the perfect day for a special visit from the tooth fairy and swapping out their tiny tooth for a small prize.

Now, without further adieu, let’s look into the mysterious origins of the entity known as the Tooth Fairy to get you and your child ready for that special day.

Although stories of fairies have been around for centuries, the specific one known as the Tooth Fairy appears to have its origins at least as far back as the 1920s. At that time, various fairies began appearing in ads to educate and encourage children to be healthy by eating their veggies, getting fresh air, bathing, and brushing their teeth daily.

Esther Watkins Arnold is widely credited with popularizing the tooth fairy with her play, The Tooth Fairy, which introduced kids to the mythical creature who visits late at night to exchange their teeth for gifts.

Following World War II, the Tooth Fairy became even more popular with the publication of Lee Rogow’s, The Tooth Fairy. This catapulted the Tooth Fairy into becoming an American icon.

In Rogow’s tale, the Tooth Fairy only left lucky kids a measly 10 cents. Fortunately, perhaps due to inflation, today’s Tooth Fairy is far more generous. In fact, according to the most recent Houlik Family Dentistry Tooth Fairy Survey, the average going rate for an exchanged tooth is now a whopping $4.02!

National Tooth Fairy Day is all the evidence you need that everyone loves a good story, particularly when fairies and magic are involved! Myths have always sparked the imagination of children around the world for centuries.

The idea of the Tooth Fairy is encouraged in many households for its effectiveness in helping children deal with their lost teeth without all the anxiety. If a child is afraid of losing a tooth, waking up to a small gift or money makes it bearable. Even eagerly anticipated!

  • Visit your local library to find some fairy-filled stories! This is a great way to expand the imagination of your child with stories of fairies, wands and magic!
  • Watch a Tooth Fairy movie with your child.
  • Use the occasion of Tooth Fairy Day to educate your child about dental hygiene in a magical and fun way using songs or stories!

Although the originator of National Tooth Fairy Day seems to have mysteriously vanished after founding this special occasion, we can still honor the day that they created by doing things like encouraging the Tooth Fairy to make a special stop at your home, leaving behind a new toothbrush, a pack of dental floss, or a few dollars, to encourage your child to maintain their healthy teeth-cleaning habits!

Thanks for your support!

– Dr. Houlik



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