The Australian Financial Report has released its latest rankings of the world’s best-known tooth fairy, and it has a winner.
The tooth fairy was founded in 1848 by a woman named Sarah Jane, a dentist who had an interest in the healing powers of gold teeth.
She decided to put up a plaque, which she called a tooth, in her home to mark the spot where her tooth had gone missing.
The plaque was an immediate success, with a small group of patients and a few of their friends visiting the site each year.
The dentist’s granddaughter, Mary Alice, was born with a broken tooth, which was covered with gold foil and later restored by Sarah Jane.
Mary Alice said she had no idea the plaque would go on to become a national symbol of beauty.
“I was so shocked, and I said to myself ‘What is this, a national treasure?'”
Ms Alice said.
“When I was a little girl I would come home and I would go up to the top of the steps and I’d see a gold tooth in a white plaque.”
Ms Alice’s granddaughter was one of the first Australians to be awarded the plaque, in 1948, when she received the medal for her efforts.
She said she didn’t realise how big the prize was until she was a senior schoolteacher.
“There were only two other children in my class, and my daughter was a very tall girl, and they both got their first gold tooth,” Ms Alice said of the plaque.
“And I just thought that was a pretty big thing.”
Ms Jane’s plaque is still standing today.
But Ms Alice has since moved on to the Gold Coast, and said she would like to have the plaque removed from the main floor of her home.
“It’s been around for so long, it’s just become a part of the community,” she said.
The dental school’s director, Sarah McBride, said the plaque was a symbol of the success of dental education, and that its removal would “reduce the stigma of dentistry”.
“The plaque is a testament to the fact that the dental profession in Australia continues to deliver excellence to the public and is a reflection of the commitment of the profession to its profession,” she wrote in an email to the ABC.
“We also feel the plaque should be retained as a tribute to Sarah Jane and her work.”