Baby Teeth Folklore Around The World
WE’VE ALL HEARD OF the Tooth Fairy, even if the details are a little different from one family to the next. But did you know that the Tooth Fairy is only common in certain countries? Across the world, there are many different ways families celebrate a child losing a tooth!
El Ratoncito Perez And La Petite Souris
In many countries, instead of a tooth fairy, they have a tooth mouse! Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain, Guatemala, and Mexico have their teeth swapped for coins by El Ratoncito Perez (also known as Raton Miguelito). La Petit Souris (Little Mouse) collects the baby teeth of children in France and Switzerland.
Some countries like Argentina also have a tooth mouse, but instead of putting the tooth under a pillow, children place it in a glass of water and wait for a coin to take its place by morning!
Children of other countries that celebrate this mythical mouse believe if they put their tooth under their pillow, the mouse won’t trade it for money or candy, but it will guarantee that the new tooth grows in strong and healthy.
Tooth To The Roof
In countries like Greece, China, Singapore, and Vietnam, children throw their teeth on the roof. Some of these countries believe if the tooth lands straight, the new tooth will grow in straight, but if it lands crooked, the new tooth will grow in crooked! Do you have good enough aim for that tradition?
Native American Traditions
There are many different ways American Indian tribes celebrate losing a tooth. The Cherokee Indian children would run around the house with the tooth and throw it on the roof while saying, “Beaver, put a new tooth in my jaw!” four times.
The children of the Dene Yellowknives, on the other hand, give the lost tooth to their mother or grandmother, who in turn puts the tooth in a tree. Then the family dances around the tree to encourage the tooth to grow in as straight as the trunk!
The Tooth Fairy And Money
The tradition we’re most familiar with, of course, is the Tooth Fairy. In the United States, Denmark, England, and Australia, when a child loses their tooth, they put it under their pillow at night in hopes that the Tooth Fairy will come and replace it with money (or sometimes candy).
If your or your children are bored with the Tooth Fairy and are looking for ways to spice up your family traditions, here are a few neat alternatives you could try instead of just replacing the tooth with money! If you’re really good at video editing and special effects, you might even do something like this:
Have Fun With Loose Teeth Traditions!
Whether it’s a Tooth Fairy, a mouse, or dancing around a tree, losing a tooth is a special occasion anywhere in the world, with many different ways to make it exciting and fun. Does your family have a cool tradition for loose teeth? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below or when your child comes in for their next visit!
Good luck with those baby teeth, and remember: we’re rooting for you!
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
Top image by Flickr user SharonaGott used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.