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August 22nd is National Tooth Fairy Day. Celebrated twice a year (August 22nd and February 28th), National Tooth Fairy Day allows us to delve into the origins of this popular childhood favorite. As dentists, we appreciate the Tooth Fairy’s central role in helping our children better understand the importance of dental hygiene.

Rising to fame in the mid 1920s, the Tooth Fairy has become a well-loved part of children’s lives, and a visit is often a thing of great excitement. To pay homage to this important figure in the lives of children all over the world, Advanced Indiana decided to take a closer look at the history of the Tooth Fairy. Let’s learn more about the origins of the Tooth Fairy together!

The 1920s: The Origin of the Tooth Fairy

In the 1920s, fairies were a popular part of many types of health education for children. A few famous fairies include the bath fairies and fresh air fairies, all responsible for helping children to remember to eat healthy foods, wash behind their ears, and get plenty of rest at night. While today’s toothpaste features fruity flavors and colorful tubes to get children excited to brush their teeth, this was a bit more difficult in the 1920s. In the 1920s, toothpaste mainly consisted of baking soda and peroxide, offering little excitement for children.

To get around this problem and explain to children the importance of good dental hygiene, one popular advertisement centered around the Fairy Wand Tooth Whitener. This product claimed to make it easier to brush away cigarette stains and coffee stains alike. As you may guess, it was advertised to children and adults alike. Soon, the product became a smashing success.

In 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold printed an eight-page playlet created for children known as The Tooth Fairy. The excitement around this play was only heightened when, in the same year, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “proved” his claim that fairies were more than a work of fiction by “verifying” his claims with pictures of two little girls surrounded by fairies. Soon, the Tooth Fairy was on the minds of all children.

The following year, Arnold’s play began being performed at schools around the country. The Tooth Fairy has elicited great excitement from children of all ages ever since. Around this time, the Tooth Fairy started leaving nickels and even dimes under the pillows of sleeping children in exchange for a tooth. There have, however, been variations on this theme over the years.

1942: Supporting the War Effort

In 1942, in an article written by columnist Bill Balfe, the writer detailed how his children would receive War Stamps to put in their books each time they lost a tooth. This became a popular alternative to nickels and dimes during war times. To give to the war effort, War Stamps became the norm for children who had recently lost a tooth.

The History of National Tooth Fairy Day

Katie Davis, a children’s book author, created the first observance of National Tooth Fairy Day on February 28th. There are two observances of National Tooth Fairy Day, with August 22nd being the second. This is because the American Dental Association recommends having two dental cleanings annually. National Tooth Fairy Day is the perfect time to schedule cleanings to keep up with these recommendations.

How to Observe National Tooth Fairy Day This Year

There are many great ways to celebrate National Tooth Fairy Day this year and every year! Here are just a few of the ways you and your family can enjoy National Tooth Fairy Day:

  • Make an appointment for you and your family to get their next dental cleaning.
  • Volunteer for or donate to dental organizations. Many dental organizations provide either free or low-cost dental care to those who couldn’t otherwise afford it. You may want to consider a few organizations: America’s Dentists Care Foundation, Missions of Mercy, National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, or IgniteDDS.
  • Use the hashtag #NationalToothFairyDay when posting on social media to spread the word.

Don’t Let the Tooth Fairy Down: Schedule a Dental Cleaning Today!

For decades, the Tooth Fairy has proven pivotal in helping children practice better dental hygiene. To help your children get the most out of oral health (and to make the Tooth Fairy proud), schedule a dental cleaning today!

Our dental staff here at Advanced Indiana believe in the power of regular dental appointments. Our practice offers everything from general dentistry to comfort dentistry. You and your family will be supported by our staff every step of the way. We’ve made it easy to schedule an appointment – contact us today at our Fortville or Anderson offices or request an appointment online.

We look forward to helping you and your children on the journey to better dental health!