Origins of the Tooth Fairy Tradition

June 08, 2021

Child holding lost tooth

Brushalot Families know the Tooth Fairy as the sister of Sir Brushalot, one of the brave heroes from our award-winning storybook.

Children who read our book know the Tooth Fairy can be found hard at work making grown-up teeth in her workshop in Pearly White City located in the Kingdom of Brushalot.

But where does the legend of the Tooth Fairy come from? 

The answer may surprise you.

The First News Report

The earliest mention of the modern incarnation of the Tooth Fairy appears to be a 1908 Chicago Tribune article, which stated:

“Many a refractory child will allow a loose tooth to be removed if he knows about the Tooth Fairy.

If he takes his little tooth and puts it under the pillow when he goes to bed the Tooth Fairy will come in the night and take it away, and in its place will leave some little gift.

It is a nice plan for mothers to visit the 5-cent counter and lay in a supply of articles to be used on such occasions.”

The true origins of the Tooth Fairy tradition, however, appear to date back much further.

European Origins

In Northern Europe, there existed a longstanding tradition of tand-fé (or “tooth fee”), which was paid out when a child lost their first tooth. The earliest recordings of such a practice are from around 1200!

Some children’s tooth traditions date back even further than that!

For instance, Viking warriors were said to have paid children for their teeth because they brought them good luck in battle. Many Asian countries have similar legends.

So, while we may think of the Tooth Fairy as being younger than, for example, Santa Claus, the reality is the traditions that have come to define her go back centuries!

Present Day

Today, the Adventures of Brushalot is doing its part to keep these traditions alive - albeit with a modern twist - while also promoting healthy dental habits that stick!

We’re happy the Tooth Fairy spends her time working with Sir Brushalot, General Floss, and the Knights of Floss defending Pearly White City from Prince Plaque and the Tartar Troopers!

Which is helping kids around the world – and not boosting the fortunes of Viking warriors on the battlefield!

Tooth Fairy

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