Wiggle a loose tooth and maybe the tooth fairy will collect it on August 22nd during National Tooth Fairy Day. Since the day is celebrated twice a year, recognize the tooth fairy again on February 28th.
This childhood favorite evolved with a group of healthcare fairies during the mid-1920s. From bath fairies to Fairy Wand Tooth Whitener, they encouraged kids through a wave of advertisements and health classes. These ads and classes spoke to children about eating their veggies, brushing their teeth, and getting fresh air.
In 1927, Esther Watkins Arnold brought the tooth fairy to life in an eight-page playlet. She named the playlet The Tooth Fairy. At the same time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published photographs of two girls surrounded by “verified” fairies. He claimed that fairies and gnomes existed and the pictures supplied the photographic evidence.
The following year, Arnold’s play began performing. Childen, primed with vivid imaginations, placed their freshly lost teeth under their pillows at night. The anticipation of a visit from the tooth fairy lives on today.
Over the years, the tooth fairy theme varied. In 1942, columnist Bob Balfe wrote in the Palm Beach Post about the tooth fairy. He gave his children War Stamps to put in their books when the lost a tooth. This alternative became popular during a time when giving to the war effort was a motivating factor.
Today, the tooth fairy jingles much less than ever. The average payout for a lost tooth ranges from $3 to $4. However, if Dad is on duty or if the tooth disappears during the night with no time break a large bill, the amounts climb higher.
While our research did not unearth the source of either the February 28 or the August 22 observance, it is interesting to note the American Dental Association’s recommendation to have cleanings twice annually.