The Tradition of The Tooth Fairy

Have you ever stopped to think about the process of losing baby teeth? It’s weird. It’s weird to think that you grow these tiny mouth bone-like things and then those tiny bone-like things fall out of your head so newer bigger bone-like things can grow in their place.

Even crazier to think of life pre-modern dentistry. It’s no wonder the lifespan back in the day was 27. Have you ever had tooth pain and problems? Brutal.

Then somewhere along the way, the concept of the Tooth Fairy was born.

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According to Forbes, many cultures around the world have had long-standing traditions and legends surrounding baby teeth. Some burn the teeth, others bury them, and some even swallow them!

The concept of the Tooth Fairy is largely American drawing from other European traditions. Forbes describes a British tradition of a fairy leaving coins for servant girls, and Italy’s version of Santa Claus would leave coins in exchange for lost baby teeth. There’s even a children’s story in France of a queen who was imprisoned by her king. She got a mouse to help her and the mouse ended up being a fairy. The mouse fairy then knocked the teeth out of the king, hid them under his pillow, and then had him assassinated.

Likely inspired by the end of World War II and the Great Depression and an influx in “fun money” the legend of the tooth fairy was born. It evolved some over the years but the basic gist is that a kid loses a tooth, puts it under their pillow, and then the Tooth Fairy shows up and takes the tooth in exchange for cash.

Maine’s Tooth Fairy is CHEAP

Apparently, state-to-state economy and culture have an impact on the Tooth Fairy’s payout. Dental Care Alliance did a survey of parents throughout the country asking what they paid as the tooth fairy for their kid’s teeth.

Maine came in at #42 with a payout of $2.88 per tooth. Better than Massachusetts at 48 with $2.48 and worse than New Hampshire which was at 36 with $3.43 per tooth. All however are below the national average of $4.57.

Want a big payout? Be a kid in Deleware. Those kids are banking an average of $8.91 a tooth.

My guess is that a big issue is that mom and dad rarely have cash these days and if they do, it’s a big bill. It’s not like you’re going to leave the kid with nothing, right? So here’s a 10-spot.

Let this be a reminder parents, cash in a 20 for a bunch of 1 dollar bills. Don’t get caught with floss in your teeth.

KEEP READING: Here are the most popular baby names in every state

Using March 2019 data from the Social Security Administration, Stacker compiled a list of the most popular names in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C., according to their 2018 SSA rankings. The top five boy names and top five girl names are listed for each state, as well as the number of babies born in 2018 with that name. Historically common names like Michael only made the top five in three states, while the less common name Harper ranks in the top five for 22 states.

Curious what names are trending in your home state? Keep reading to see if your name made the top five -- or to find inspiration for naming your baby.

LOOK: Here are 25 ways you could start saving money today

These money-saving tips—from finding discounts to simple changes to your daily habits—can come in handy whether you have a specific savings goal, want to stash away cash for retirement, or just want to pinch pennies. It’s never too late to be more financially savvy. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving now. [From: 25 ways you could be saving money today]

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