The Magical, Mystical Tooth Fairy

For many years, children around the world have celebrated the loss of their baby teeth with a nighttime visit by the tooth fairy.  According to Wikipedia, “The folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, if he or she places it beneath the bed pillow, the tooth fairy will visit while the child sleeps, replacing the lost tooth with a small monetary payment.”

Tooth Fairy

Tooth Fairy, as drawn by a five-year-old girl. Source:

The origin and history of the tooth fairy are about as elusive as the fairy herself.  Over the years, many stories and legends have surfaced about the ‘power’ of baby teeth.  According to, “in some cultures, children’s teeth were buried in order to hide them from witches and evil spirits who would use the tooth’s powers for voodoo. The Vikings believed that children’s teeth had a magical power in them that would help them fight in battle. They would even pay their children for their lost baby teeth so that they could be used to string onto battle necklaces and other jewelry.”

Children are naturally curious about everything, and when it comes to topics of mythical creatures, monsters, fairies, and especially the tooth fairy, children have many questions. Here’s a sampling (with answers provided by the Tooth Fairy’s helpers):

How does the tooth fairy enter the house, and why does the tooth fairy only come at night?

The tooth fairy is magical, and can enter any house or apartment with a wave of her magic wand. However, the tooth fairy won’t enter until everyone is fast asleep!

What does the tooth fairy do with all the baby teeth after they are collected?

According to the tooth fairy’s official website,, the tooth fairy and her helpers use the teeth to create and build everything in Tooth Fairy Land. Here’s a photo of a pair of shoes created by the tooth fairy using baby teeth.

Where does the tooth fairy live?

The tooth fairy lives in a magical world called Tooth Fairy Land — hidden far away, up in the sky.

How much money does the tooth fairy leave children for teeth?

An unscientific poll among parents in the Capital Region indicates that their children generally receive a fairly wide range of compensation for their baby teeth from the tooth fairy – usually between $1 to $5.

Generally, the first tooth a child loses earns a slightly higher value.

A more official study conducted in 2011, found that American children receive $2.60 per tooth on average. (Source: Wikipedia)

Some parents report that the tooth fairy leaves more money for healthy, shiny teeth than for decayed teeth, to encourage youngsters to develop positive dental habits. Sometimes, the tooth fairy even leaves notes for children to praise their efforts to take good care of their teeth!

For curious kids & parents who’d like to learn more about the tooth fairy, here are a few handy links: