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History of the Tooth Fairy

    The tooth fairy comes when a child has lost a tooth. Commonly, she is very small, and she comes in the middle of the night. The child is to leave the tooth under his/her pillow, so that the tooth fairy can take it during her visit. Once she has taken the tooth, she leaves monetary reimbursement under the pillow, anything from ten cents to a dollar. (This action is done by a parent.) The teeth are then taken to her tower, and used for her purposes.

    Pictures of the tooth fairy have been captured in everything from storybooks to art. The painter Maxfield Parrish is said to have depicted her once in the corner of a painting. Fairies in general are generally considered to be great influences in art, and folklore and legend surround each fairy tale.

    Many folk cultures marked the loss of a child's baby or milk teeth. Some cultures placed the tooth in a tree or threw it to the sun. Other rituals involved having an adult swallow the tooth or burn it. Even the Vikings had their own ritual called "tooth fee" whereby a small gift was given to a child when its first tooth appeared.

    Although it varies, children generally lose their first baby tooth between the ages of 5 and 7 years. The lost tooth is then placed under the child's pillow, in a special Tooth Fairy pillow or container. During the night, the Tooth Fairy visits and makes an exchange -- usually monetary -- for the tooth.

    The Tooth Fairy was an established part of our American folklore by the early part of the 1900s.

    The tooth fairy comes when a child has lost a tooth, commonly in the middle of the night. The tooth is left under their pillow, so that the tooth fairy can take it. A treat or money is left under the pillow in place of the tooth.

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