The tooth fairy is a fantasy figure of early childhood. The folklore states that when a child loses a baby tooth, if he or she places it beneath the bed pillow, the tooth fairy will visit while the child sleeps, replacing the lost tooth with a small payment. The tradition of leaving a tooth under a pillow for the tooth fairy to collect is practised in various countries in the Anglosphere. In early Europe, it was a tradition to bury baby teeth that fell out. When a child’s sixth tooth falls out, it is a custom for parents to slip a gift or money from the tooth fairy under the child’s pillow, but to leave the tooth as a reward. Some parents also leave trails of glitter on the floor, representing fairy dust. In northern Europe, there was also a tradition of tann-fé or tooth fee, which was paid when a child lost their first tooth. This tradition is recorded in writings as early as the Eddas, which are the earliest written record of Norse and Northern European traditions. The reward left varies by country, the family’s economic status, amounts the child’s peers report receiving and other factors. A 2011 study found that American children receive $2.60 per tooth on average.
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