The Maybe Muggle Tooth Fairy

Updated: Jun 8, 2021

Wisdom Tooth Painting by Emily W. Martin

Sometimes topics come up when Shelby and I are together and as we volley back and forth it becomes something bigger. This is one of those topics.

Rewind: Adam bought me a bookshelf for Christmas and I unearthed my boxes of books (from 3 years ago, when we moved into our house) and inside one of the boxes was a rock. The tooth fairy (my sweet mom, Niki) left me this rock under my pillow in exchange for a tooth when I was young and it left me utterly heartbroken. It felt like getting coal from Santa; she had no idea I would be so upset by it she thought it was a "cool rock" and I would love it en lieu of a crisp $5.00 bill. So naturally, I've held on to it all these years because it's hilarious.

Just a few days after building my bookcase and posting about the tooth rock on my instagram story I drove down to Maryland to spend the weekend with Shelby. While we were driving to a photo location the rock came up and spiraled into other weird things muggle born families do and the endless possibilities of wizarding world traditions.

We questioned who the first parent was that thought "yeah, I'm gonna tell my kid to leave their dead tooth under their pillow and replace it with a few dollars when they go to sleep and tell them a fairy came and took it" and then were other parents pissed, as if now they had to participate too or their children would feel left out?

According to wikipedia the exchange of money for teeth started in northern Europe, with a tradition of "tand-fé" translated tooth fee, which was paid when a child lost its first tooth. Rosemary Wells goes into a bit more detail about why the tooth fairy appeared in the twentieth century which is a curiosity I never thought I needed sated until now: "Wells and others have argued that the tooth fairy serves as a much-needed source of comfort during an experience that can otherwise be scary, even traumatic. While there are many rites of passage in a person’s life, the loss of a baby tooth is arguably the first — and, thus, the most frightening."

Is that even true? If we didn't believe the tooth fairy was coming to trade our tooth for some coin would we be terrified about our teeth falling out? I have more dreams about my teeth falling out now as an adult than I ever did as a kid, so I don't know that the idea of the tooth fairy really comforted me the way Wells thinks she should have.

I expressed to Shelby how easily the author could have intwined this nugget into our beloved wizarding world with Hermione's parents being dentists. Couldn't Hermione have mentioned the tooth fairy in passing to Harry and we could have witnessed Ron's reaction? I just need to know if it's a muggle thing or an everyone thing. Slughorn asked Hermione if being a dentist was a "dangerous profession" which leads me to believe wizards don't even have dentists... do they take a plaque potion or cast a fluoride charm?

If I ever get to sip tea with the the author what small nothing are you dying to know about the wizarding world? I'll be sure to ask... after I find out about the tooth fairy.


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