Lake Forest Dentist Shares Tooth Fairy History

She doesn’t come down the chimney, bringing presents to all the good girls and boys. She doesn’t creep around in your garden, hiding eggs filled with tooth-rotting candy. However, the Tooth Fairy is equally as ubiquitous as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. In one form or another, she rewards children for their lost teeth throughout the world. Today, our Lake Forest cosmetic dentists, Dr. James Fondriest, shares a little bit of history about the Tooth Fairy.

Tooth Fairy Origins

In ancient Europe, a child’s missing tooth was buried in the ground—usually in the garden or a field near the child’s house. This was done with the belief that it would grow a new, stronger tooth in the child’s mouth. This was also done to prevent a witch from acquiring the child’s tooth, because if she did that, she could curse the child.

United States

In the U.S. a child leaves his or her lost tooth under the pillow before going to sleep. The Tooth Fairy comes in the night and replaces the tooth with money.


In Mongolia, a child feeds the lost baby tooth to a dog, who is respected and considered to be a guardian angel. The tooth is hidden in meat fat and fed to the animal. In return, a strong tooth is expected to grow to replace the lost tooth.

Viking Culture

In Viking culture, items from children were considered to bring luck and power in battle. Therefore, a fee was paid to a child for the use of his or her lost tooth. It was then used to make jewelry.


In France, a child leaves the tooth under his or her pillow and the fairy replaces it with a small gift instead of money. The gift is usually something like a toy car.


In Italy, they don’t feed the tooth to a dog, bury it, or leave it for money or presents. They just keep it as a keepsake.

Schedule an Appointment

Losing baby teeth is part of life. Losing permanent teeth can cause lasting problems. Dr. Fondriest offers a variety of cosmetic and restorative services to bring back your smile. To schedule a consultation, call our Lake Forest dental office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago, Illinois area.