What are your Tooth Fairy Traditions?
The tooth fairy is one of many childhood fantasy figures we remember fondly. We lost our baby teeth, stuck them under our pillow, and the mysterious tooth fairy would swap our teeth out for money or maybe
a special toy! What could be better than that?
The tooth fairy isn’t quite the same for everyone though!
The legend of the tooth fairy has changed over the years and even varies widely around the world. Let’s learn a little bit more about other tooth fairy traditions!
The Tooth Fairy Legend Began with Ancient Superstitions
Before the tooth fairy went looking under our pillow for baby teeth; she used to look in the ground! In early Europe, burying or burning baby teeth was a precaution taken against witches. It was believed that if a witch got a hold of one of your teeth, they could have complete power over you!
Along with a fear of witches, children were instructed to burn their teeth so that they could have a peaceful afterlife. It was believed that if a tooth wasn’t incinerated, the person would be doomed to spend eternity searching for them. As you can imagine burning their teeth was very important!
The Vikings didn’t want to destroy baby teeth, however. They even paid for them! In Norse culture, children’s teeth were believed to bring good luck in battle, so many warriors had necklaces made of children’s fallen out teeth!
The Tooth Mouse Might Be More Popular that the Fairy
In many Spanish speaking and French speaking countries like France, little children place their tooth under their pillow. Instead of the tooth fairy, they wait for the “Tooth Mouse” to come and take their tooth away and replace it with money.
What is the Tooth Mouse Called?
In French speaking countries, the tooth mouse is called La petite Souri
In Spanish speaking countries it is called
el Ratoncito Perez=Perez the mouse (Argentina, Spain)
el Raton=Little mouse= (Venezuela, Mexico and Guatemala)
Instead of a tooth fairy or tooth mouse, El Salvador has a small bunny that comes for their baby teeth.
In Middle Eastern Countries like Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. It is customary for the children to throw their lost teeth towards the sun, asking they send them a new, stronger tooth.
The Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and Botswana throw their teeth onto a roof in hopes that a mouse will take the teeth from the roof and replace them with teeth that are strong like a rodent’s.
In some Asian countries, when a child loses a tooth, they give it a toss. In India, they toss it onto the roof. In Japan, they throw it straight up into the air if it came from their upper jaw, and straight down if it came from their lower jaw. Why? To ensure their new adult teeth grow in as straight as possible.
How Our Modern Tooth Fairy Came to Be
As with many American traditions, the tooth fairy has roots in European folklore. Instead of burying our teeth in the ground, we “bury” our teeth under our pillow! It is said that our modern conception of the tooth fairy came about in the early 1900s. With the help of Walt Disney’s beloved fairy characters, the idea of a tooth fairy gained popularity and became what it is today! Today’s going rate for a tooth is $3.19.
The Tooth Fairy Plays an Important Role for Children
The legend of the tooth fairy is likely still so prevalent because it helps comfort children when they lose their teeth, an experience that can be traumatic for some. When a child losses his/her teeth it can be a scary moment. Parents can comfort their children by congratulating them on losing a tooth. Bed time will be lots of fun preparing the tooth for pickup! The tooth fairy helps them see this big step as a positive experience and a sign that they are growing up!
From time to time you may be in one of our Signature offices and may spot a Tooth Fairy. Keep your eyes open.
If you have any questions regarding your children’s teeth, please call one of our offices and we will be glad to help you.
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