Tooth fairy traditions from around the world
Losing baby teeth is a rite of passage we love to celebrate at CPW Pediatric Dentistry. Many American children are familiar with the tooth fairy, who exchanges teeth placed under pillows with money or gifts. The tooth fairy also visits many other countries and goes by several names: Tönn ævintýri (Iceland), Tannfe (Norway), Tandfe (Sweden), and Zahnfee (Germany, Switzerland and Austria) just to name a few! We are lucky to have patients from all over the world and thought we would share some other interesting tooth traditions.
In many Spanish speaking countries, such as Spain, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Columbia, Ratoncito Perez or El Raton de Los Dientes is a mouse who collects children’s teeth from under their pillows or from a glass of water at night. Like the tooth fairy, he replaces the tooth with a gift or money. Similarly, La Petite Souris (the little mouse) visits children in France to exchange their teeth for money or sweets. In Italy, Fatina dei denti, the tooth fairy, has a helper called Topolino dei denti – a mouse who collects the teeth for her!
In Indian, China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, children throw their teeth. More specifically, bottom teeth are tossed up toward the sky and upper teeth are tossed down to the floor. The idea is that the new, permanent tooth will grow tall and strong in the same direction that the baby tooth was thrown.
Does your family have a special tradition when a child loses their tooth? Share it with us at your next visit!
Check out these links for more teeth traditions!