Hudson Valley Parent

HVP Feb 2015

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30 Hudson Valley Parent ■ February 2015 Enter the Tooth Fairy That first loose tooth can cause anxiety for some children. But anxiety often turns to excitement as children listen to tooth-loss stories exchanged among classmates and anticipate the reward the Tooth Fairy leaves behind. While the exact origin of the enigmatic Tooth Fairy is steeped in mystery, historically the loss of baby teeth is an important rite of passage. The earliest known written records regarding baby teeth date from northern Europe and describe a tann-fe, or tooth fee, in which mon- ey was paid for a baby tooth. In the Middle Ages, Europeans, fearing witches could curse their children if they acquired their baby teeth, buried the teeth in the ground. The Vikings wore baby teeth as jewelry considering them good luck talismans in battle. Other cultures fed the teeth to animals believing the adult tooth would resemble the animal's powerful, strong teeth. Today, countries all over the world continue to mark the loss of baby teeth with various customs. In Spain, France, Italy and Mex- ico, for example, the Tooth Fairy appears as a small white mouse or rat, symbolic because rodents have strong teeth that never stop growing. In Sweden, the baby tooth is placed in a glass of water where it is mysteriously replaced overnight with coins. And, it is customary in much of the Middle East for baby teeth to be thrown towards the sun and in Asia, onto the roof. The Tooth Fairy as we know her appeared in the early 1900s. Evan Hershkowitz, DDS, MPH 1001 Route 376 • Wappingers Falls, NY 12590 We'll make your child's dental visit playful, fun, & stress-free! • Specialize in infants through adolescents and children with special needs • General anesthesia available in our fully-equipped suites • State-of-the-art facility offering the latest technology Come Sail the Seven Seas with a Smile! cial needs 3206 Rt. 9W New Windsor, NY 12553 (845) 561-5227 301 Main Street Beacon, NY 12508 (845) 831-5995 ORANGEPEDIATRICCARE.COM ORANGE PEDIATRIC CARE, P.C. Looking for Quality, Compassionate, Personalized Pediatric Care? Call us today for care you and your child will know and trust! Maria Bernardez, MD - Board Certifi cate, FAAP Pediatrician • Evelyn Santiago, FNP We still have Flu shots available! TOOTH FAIRY (Continued from Page 28) Cups, pillows, pockets and doors The Tooth Fairy isn't picky about how she collects baby teeth. Lori Poland grew up placing her baby teeth in a clear glass of water on her nightstand. She says she loved fishing a wet $2 bill out of the cup the next morning, setting it out to dry and storing it in her memory box. Although a tooth placed in a plas- tic ziplock bag or envelope tucked under the pillow should do the trick, many parents opt for a Tooth Fairy pillow or pouch for their youngster. Retailers offer an assortment of pil- lows or try making your own. Cathy Green, mom of three, says the Tooth Fairy enters their home through a small ceramic door that Green's step-mother designed. The door is outside the kids' bedrooms. After collecting the tooth from a small box under the child's pillow, the Tooth Fairy replaces the tooth with her reward and leaves the box next to the tiny door. What's the going rate? According to a 2014 survey conducted by Visa, the tooth fairy is tightening her belt. Kids are receiv- ing an average of $3.40 per tooth. That's down from $3.70 per tooth in 2013. What does the Tooth Fairy do with those teeth? Legend says that the Tooth Fairy tosses the teeth up to the sky and they become stars. Naturally many theories exist. Whatever she does with them, with each tooth lost, adulthood gains another foothold on our kids. No wonder through the ages we've found ways to mark this stage in our kids' lives, which seems as fleeting as the Tooth Fairy herself. Freelance journalist, Christa Melnyk Hines, and her husband are the parents of two boys.

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