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Dean George is the Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Dental Insurance
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The Tooth Fairy – Separating Fact from Fiction

Feb 26, 2014

By Dean George

Riddle: What mythical children’s figure enjoys 97% approval from parents, has increased its public dividends 42% since 2011, and has a special day in its honor February 28th?  

Of course we’re talking about the Tooth Fairy, the little dental sprite that has seen more pillows than Bed, Bath and Beyond® and handled more teeth than millions of students at thousands of dental schools.  

If you think of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or Larry the Cable Guy when you read “Tooth Fairy,” I feel your pain. I know after I saw The Rock in angel wings and Larry in a pink tutu, I almost had a nervous relapse just thinking about today’s post.

But forget about the Tooth Fairy being a hockey player or an adolescent-acting school volunteer. The real Tooth Fairy is a hybrid of two preexisting figures: a good fairy that watches over children, and a charitable mouse that swaps children’s teeth for money, candy or a small gift.

What is the Tooth Fairy? The Tooth Fairy is a legend that helps children cope with what often is their first rite of passage on the U.S.S. Life – the loss of a baby tooth. Most children begin losing their baby teeth between 5 years to 7 years of age. For many it can be a scary and traumatic experience when those little “chiclets” loosen, as terrified children imagine themselves subsisting for the rest of their lives on flavorless tapioca pudding and sipping chicken noodle soup through a straw.

The legend of the Tooth Fairy helps children deal with the uncertainty of tooth loss and the accompanying separation anxiety.  With mommy and daddy’s prodding, they quickly transition from dreading the loss of this tiny body part to eagerly looking forward to a “prize” and maybe even the possibility of a glimpse of the nocturnal winged wonder. 

What Does the Tooth Fairy Look Like? There are as many opinions on this as there are children’s teeth, but apparently the Tooth Fairy looks nothing like The Rock or Larry the Cable Guy.  The Tooth Fairy describes herself this way on “I am not tall, and I am not short. I have nice skin, and nice hair. My eyes are very pretty, and I have an enchanting smile.” Based on this modest description self-esteem apparently is not an issue for TF.

What the Tooth Fairy Does With All Those Teeth? This is the subject of rampant speculation on preschool playgrounds, at the fruit juice cooler and during day care snack time. Below are the five top vote getters for what the Tooth Fairy does with kids’ teeth, according to the Giddyup and Gallop Poll. Note: There is a sampling error of 3% to 3.5% based on kids’ surveyed who were old enough to lose baby teeth. 

  • Grinds them into fairy dust before converting them to magic so she can fly from house to house undetected
  • Places them in the sky so they can twinkle and glimmer for the world’s enjoyment
  • Makes jewelry with them to sell on the QVC channel and to help fund donations to the It Takes A Happy Village to Smile and Giggle Foundation
  • Gives them to elves, gnomes and pixies to make into gems for worldwide fairy distribution
  • Converts them to sea share seashell condos for fish

  • Where Does the Tooth Fairy Get Her Money To Buy Teeth?
    Government subsidies and residuals from tooth sales, mostly. Just kidding.  According to an impeccable source I developed years ago, I know for a certainty the Tooth Fairy works closely with parents and other adults to swap money for teeth and investment in adult tooth futures. (Hat tip to Mom). This is all the more reason for parents to encourage their kids to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist every six months.

    And how much is the Tooth Fairy leaving these days? Researchers report on average kids are earning $3.70 per tooth, a 23% increase from 2013 and 42% since 2011. Similar figures for adults losing teeth are unavailable, and neither The Rock nor Larry the Cable Guy is talking.

    You Mentioned a Mouse? In many parts of the world, including Mexico, New Zealand and Russia, children offer a lost tooth to a mythical mouse or rat. In France, parents share the tale of La Petite Souris, and many Spanish speaking countries honor Ratoncito Perez as the giver of money or other gifts.  This is based on an original superstition that if a mouse or rat took a child’s tooth, the vacated tooth would be replaced by a similarly durable one as enjoyed by the gift-giving rodent. 

    Call me an ugly American, but I’m thankful for Walt Disney. His rendition of fairies in movies like Cinderella and Pinocchio helped shape the American image of the Tooth Fairy as a twinkling, sparkly personage foisting a wand rather than a scurrying rodent brandishing a child’s tooth and a crusty lump of cheese.

    At Dental Insurance Store we don’t have access to fairy dust, fancy wings or tooth-collecting mice, but we do have excellent dental plans that can help make your worries disappear when visiting the dentist.  To see plans available in your area, click here.

    Thanks for reading Agent Straight-Talk, and we invite you to read more about our affordable plans and dental adventures on FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogle+, and LinkedIn.

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    Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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