It just never occurred to me to ask this question. You lose a tooth, it gets wrapped in a handkerchief and put under your pillow and in the morning there’s a sixpence. Simples!
I waggled any loose teeth surreptitiously and vigorously in order to get my sticky little mitts on the sixpence, but wouldn’t have gone to the lengths our handyman went to, at the solicitors’ office. He had a loose tooth and in order to rid himself of it drank the larger part of a bottle of spirits and pulled it out with a pair of pliers. I doubt if he sterilised the pliers. It was one of his front teeth, and he was not a pretty sight next day.
I suppose I just trusted my mother. She said there was a fairy that collected children’s teeth, so there was. End of. I was more interested in the sixpence. Now, of course, with my mother in no fit state to answer questions about the tooth-fairy, questions about tooth fairies come flooding in on me.
Question 1: If a tooth fairy is teensy-tiny how does she lift the tooth? A baby tooth must be the size of a planet to a tooth-fairy. Is she equipped with a special tooth-lifting winch, maybe? Possibly tooth-fairies work in teams, carrying between them some kind of sling. Or maybe she/they has/have a specialised tooth-truck or motorised tooth-sled.
Question 2: Tooth-fairies inevitably seem to be female. If there are no male tooth-fairies how are further tooth-fairies engendered? Maybe a tooth-fairy lives forever.
Question 3: Having collected a tooth where does the tooth-fairy/fairy tooth-removal team take it?
Question 4: Are removed teeth stored, at their destination? I mean, is there a mountain of baby-teeth somewhere in fairyland similar to the slag-heaps next to coal-mines in Wales?
Question 5: Above all, why? Why collect teeth at all?
I thought I would look on the internet for this one, since the internet has a million contradictory answers to everything, apart from the Meaning of Life. Even the internet is clueless when it comes to that.
According to the internet, these are just a few of the things a tooth-fairy does with teeth. She:
- makes furniture with them;
- builds castles using the teeth as bricks and toothpaste as mortar;
- gives them to little babies who don’t have any, ie recycles them;
- gives Mummy and Daddy the first tooth to keep, then grinds the rest of them into sand on the beach;
- grinds them down to make fairy dust;
- puts them in a high box out of reach, as she hasn’t decided what to do with them yet;
- puts them in a museum in fairyland;
- makes necklaces from them to give to other fairies;
- ‘disperses the teeth back into the grasses that milk cows eat so that hydroxyapatite gets reused’ (methinks Daddy is a biochemist, lacking a sense of humour).
Straying into darker territory now, she:
- uses them to make her maracas;
- donates them to medical research;
- extracts stem cells from them;
- barters them away with the Finger Fairy.
The Finger Fairy! So, does that mean…
What exactly does that mean?