National Tooth Fairy Day Date in the current year: August 22, 2024

National Tooth Fairy Day National Tooth Fairy Day is an unofficial holiday celebrating a beloved childhood character. It has two possible dates: February 28 and August 22.

The loss of a child’s deciduous teeth, informally known as baby teeth or milk teeth, is considered a rite of passage in many cultures. Various cultures around the globe have customs and traditions associated with the loss of baby teeth. In Norse countries, there is a tradition of tooth fee (tand-fé or tannfé), dating back to as early as the Eddas (circa the 13th century). When a child loses their first tooth, they are paid a small sum of money.

Characters that reward children in exchange for their baby teeth probably have something to do with this custom, but they are much more recent. In some European countries, children place their baby teeth under the pillow so that a small mouse will exchange it for a small gift or payment while the child is sleeping.

This rodent character is know as El Ratoncito Pérez or Ratón Pérez in Spain and Hispanic American countries, Topolino in Italy, and La Petite Souris in France, French-speaking parts of Belgium and Quebec.Fairy tales about La Petite Souris date back too the 17th century, and the character of El Ratoncito Pérez was created by Spanish author Luis Coloma for King Alfonso XIII in 1894. In Catalonia, the same function is performed by a “teeth angel” (angelet de les dents).

The anthropomorphic character of the tooth fairy is mostly popular in English-speaking countries. The first mention of the character can be found in a 1908 issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune. There is no consensus on the tooth fairy’s appearance and even gender. Although most people believe the character to be female, some think that the tooth fairy could be either female or male, or neither male nor female.

The tooth fairy has been portrayed as a pixie-like fairy resembling Tinker Bell from Peter Pan, a child with wings, an elderly woman with a magic wand, a little old man… Basically, the tooth fairy can look however you want them to look, unlike, say, Santa Claus who is portrayed in a very particular way.

Encouraging one’s child to believe in the tooth fairy is a form of paternalistic deception, i.e. when a parent deceives their child for his or her own good. Losing baby teeth is often a source of distress for children, and many parents use the tooth fairy myth to provide comfort and help their children to cope with fear or pain.

The origin of National Tooth Fairy Day is unclear, and even its date isn’t set in stone: some people observe the holiday on February 28, some on August 22, and some celebrate it twice a year. But how exactly can you observe National Tooth Fairy Day?

If you have a child who is going to start losing their baby teeth soon, which usually happens at around six years of age, tell them about the tooth fairy and prepare them for her first visit. If you don’t have children or niblings of tooth-shedding age but still want to celebrate, you can read a book or watch a movie about the tooth fairy or book an appointment with your dentist so that you won’t have to deal with the tooth fairy as an adult!

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National Tooth Fairy Day, observances in the United States, unofficial holiday, tooth fairy, fictional characters