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    English Tooth Fairy

    One tradition in England held that if a child's tooth fell out, that child must drop it into a fire, to avoid having to look for it after death, and this may be the origin of the importance of a lost tooth. This tale was handed down during the Middle Ages to smaller children during the teething stage.

    The addition of fire into the story may have conjured up images of witchcraft. Suspected witches were often burned, because people believed money appeared after they threw articles into fire. From this myth comes the importance of keeping a tooth. When a witch burned a piece of hair, clothing or teeth from a person, she supposedly obtained power over them. Parents may have prompted children into keeping teeth or burning the teeth themselves in order to keep themselves free of demon possession.

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