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The History and Mythology of the Tooth Fairy

June 9th, 2021

While the last baby teeth generally aren’t lost until age ten or 11, most children stop believing in the tooth fairy by the time they're seven or eight. Of course, children are more than happy to play along with the game when there’s money at stake! While it is impossible to know what the tooth fairy does with all those teeth (are they labeled and stored like museum pieces in a giant fairytale castle?), it is possible to trace the history and myth of the tooth fairy to several cultures and traditions. Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall and our team learned about some interesting myths about the tooth fairy!

The Middle Ages

Legend has it that Europeans in the Middle Ages believed a witch could curse someone by using their teeth, so it was important to dispose of baby teeth correctly. Teeth were swallowed, buried, or burned. Sometimes baby teeth were even left for rodents to eat. Despite being pests, rodents were valued for their strong teeth; it was generally believed a tooth fed to a rodent would lead to the development of a healthy and strong adult tooth.

Eighteenth Century France

The tooth fairy myth began to show more characteristics of a conventional fairytale in 18th century France. La Bonne Petite Souris, a bedtime story, tells the strange tale of a fairy that changes into a mouse to help a good queen defeat an evil king. The mouse secretly hides under the evil king’s pillow and defeats him by knocking out his teeth.

Scandinavian Lore

So, why does the tooth fairy leave money under the pillow? The idea of exchanging a tooth for coins originated in Scandinavia. Vikings paid children for a lost tooth. Teeth were worn on necklaces as good luck charms in battle. While the idea of exchanging a tooth for coins quickly spread throughout the rest of Europe, a fierce, horn-helmeted Viking is far cry from the image of a fairy collecting teeth.

While the tooth fairy as children know her today didn’t make an appearance until the 1900s, tooth myths and rites of passage have existed in numerous cultures since the dawn of time.

Celebrating Father’s Day

June 8th, 2021

(Dr. Bunch with his oldest son when he was 6 months old)

The month of June has arrived, which means that summer is here! Before we jump too far into summer, it’s important that we recognize the amazing dads in our lives this Father’s Day.

Fathers, mothers, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles are all an important part of a child’s life. This month we celebrate the fathers in our lives that helped raise us to be who we are today. Each father is unique and provides a special bond with their child.

(Dr. Marshall's Dad performing at her sister's wedding)

Dr. Marshall has fond memories of growing up when her dad was in charge of game nights. Their family favorites included Yahtzee, Sorry, and anything trivia. She also remembers her father teaching them how to program at a young age. Does anyone else remember programming on the Commodore 64?

(Dr. Bunch with his Dad and brother)

As for Dr. Bunch, his father shares his love for the outdoors with his children. Dr. Bunch grew up hiking, fishing, camping, and exploring all parts of Arizona.

Both doctors agree that the best trait they picked up from their father is the value of self and value towards others. Their fathers taught this not only by telling them how to do so, but by showing them. On June 20th, be sure to tell the father figure in your life the reasons you are thankful for him and give him a little extra love.

We hope you have a happy Father’s Day and a safe summer! We look forward to seeing you at your next visit.

Tips to Help You Beat the Heat This Summer

June 2nd, 2021

The dog days of summer are upon us, and with the temperatures soaring, our team at Northwest Children's Dentistry wants you to be extra careful about sun safety when you’re out and about. Check out this incredibly helpful article on the Ten Summer Safety Tips for Kids, courtesy of Discovery.

Dr. Bunch and Dr. Marshall and our team also encourage you to always have a bottle of water handy when heading out into the sun.

We hope you’re having a great summer! Let us know what you're up to below or on our Facebook page!