The losing of baby teeth marks a child’s growing up and can cause excitement (or sometimes concern) for many children. To celebrate this event many cultures have a “tooth fairy” figure who collects a child’s lost teeth in exchange for gifts or money. In many parts of the world, including France, Spain and South America, the tooth fairy comes in the form of a mouse or rat who often leaves a small gift behind. Many Asian or African cultures throw, bury or hide baby teeth in various baby tooth rituals. In fact, the Tooth Fairy as we know her – a good fairy who leaves money under your pillow – only appeared in popular folklore around the turn of the century.
For more information about baby tooth traditions, see the free printable below sponsored by Delta Dental: Baby Tooth Traditions Around the World.
What form does the Tooth Fairy take?
It depends where you go — she can be a fairy, mouse, rat, sparrow, crow, rabbit or even a squirrel!
Baby Tooth Traditions Around the World
What happens when you lose a baby tooth? From the Tooth Fairy to the Tooth Mouse, different cultures celebrate a variety of traditions. Find out what children do with their baby teeth all across the globe.
THROW YOUR TOOTH! |
In Parts of North Africa arid the Middle East, kids throw their tooth at the sun.
In many parts of the world, kids throw their tooth on the root and ask for a new one.
In some countries, only lower teeth go the roof and umber teeth qet buried in the ground or placed on or under the bed. In other countries, it’s the other way around!
Sometimes children throw their tooth on the roof as an erreriiiq to IIIOUSS or rut. who will take the tooth and make sure a strong, healthy tooth grows in its place.
SQUEAK FOR BABY TEETH
In many countries, the Tooth Fairy is a mouse or rat! Known as Ratorlcito Pérel or Ratérl Miguelito in the Spanish-speaking world, the tooth mouse takes lost baby teeth and leaves a gift or money in exchange.
In parts of Eurasia. children leave their baby teeth in mouse holes.
A Some kids put their tooth in a glass of water before they go to sleep. As they sleep, a mouse comes, drinks the water. takes the tooth and leaves coins or candy.
BACK TO THE EARTH
In ltalian cultures, Children tie their teeth. In Turkey. the Dlace you bury your teeth will determine your future: To be a successful soccer player, you might bury your tooth in a soccer ﬁeld.
Some kids throw their tooth into a ﬁeld or river. In some cultures, children wrap their tooth in meat or bread and teed It to an animal, like a mouse or dog.
FAIRIES, CHARMS & CHICKENS
ln most of the English-speaking world, kids leave their tooth under their billow. The Tooth Fairy comes while they sleep and replaces the tooth with some money. In Denmark, she’s called Tandfeen .
Parents make unique iewelry out of baby teeth, like gold-plated earrings or charms for a necklace.
In West Africa, children get a chicken or rooster in exchange for a baby tooth.