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Tooth Fairy Traditions

THE TOOTH FAIRY is one of many childhood fantasy figures we remember fondly. We lost our baby teeth, stuck them under our pillow, and the mysterious tooth fairy would swap our teeth out for money! What could be better?

The tooth fairy isn’t quite the same for everyone though! The legend of the tooth fairy has changed over the years and even varies widely around the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about other tooth fairy traditions!

The Tooth Fairy Legend Began With Ancient Superstitions

Before the tooth fairy went looking under our pillow for baby teeth, she used to look in the ground! In early Europe, burying or burning baby teeth was a precaution taken against witches. It was believed that if a witch got a hold of one of your teeth, they could have complete power over you!

Along with a fear of witches, children were instructed to burn their teeth so that they could have a peaceful afterlife. It was believed that if a tooth wasn’t incinerated, the person would be doomed to spend eternity searching for them.

The Vikings didn’t want to destroy baby teeth, however. They even paid for them! In Norse culture, children’s teeth were believed to bring good luck in battle, so many warriors had necklaces made of children’s fallen out teeth!

Before A Fairy, There Was A Mouse

More recently we’ve seen the development of monetary gifts as a reward for a lost tooth. But not all tooth fairies are pixies with wings… In many Latin countries the tooth fairy is a mouse named Raton Perez! He also retrieves the teeth from under a pillow and leaves money or a gift in return.

How Our Modern Tooth Fairy Came To Be

As with many American traditions, the tooth fairy has roots in European folklore. Instead of burying our teeth in the ground, we “bury” our teeth under our pillow! It is said that our modern conception of the tooth fairy came about in the early 1900s. With the help of Walt Disney’s beloved fairy characters, the idea of a tooth fairy gained popularity and became what it is today!

The Tooth Fairy Plays An Important Role For Children

The legend of the tooth fairy is likely still so prevalent because it helps comfort children when they lose their teeth, an experience that can be traumatic for some. The tooth fairy helps them see this big step as a positive experience and a sign that they are growing up!

As your trusted dental professionals, we want what is best for you and your kids. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s teeth, call or come into our office!

Thank you for all that you do!

Retainers for life.

Retainers. Our patients frequently ask questions about the various options for retainers following their braces. ALL orthodontic patients, regardless of age, need to wear retainers following braces FOREVER. Our teeth are suspended by ligaments in a living tissue, bone. Every day some of the bone of our jaws is removed and replaced with new bone. Actually, our entire skeleton is replaced approximately every ten years!
Since the bone is always changing along with the strength of the muscles of the face, our teeth are susceptible to move our entire lives unless held in place with retainers.
There are two general types of retainers, fixed and removable. Most of our patients receive a fixed, our glued-in retainer behind their lower front teeth. We use these as an extra precaution for patients that presented with significant rotations of the lower front teeth prior to braces.
Removable retainers come in two major varieties. The more traditional retainer is referred to as a Hawley Retainer. These have been used for decades and are still a very functional retainer. The alternative, that we use most often, is a clear plastic shell that is vacuum-formed to a plaster model of the teeth. As such, it adapts INTIMATELY to all surfaces of the teeth, holding them extremely well. I find these retainers are best for most circumstances. In my practice I recommend patients wear retainers just at night following the removal of the braces. There are cases, however, where I do request a full-time wear schedule.
No matter what retainer you wear, there is NO time when you can stop wearing the retainer. Simply put, if you want your teeth to stay in their straight positions, a retainer must be worn at least during the night.

– Dr. Nuveen