August is coming up and that means it is almost National Tooth Fairy Day. Every August 22nd, the Dental Association has several activities centred around the tooth fairy. Your children can colour in door signs informing the Tooth Fairy they are ready for a visit or they can read an interview with the Tooth Fairy.
This time of the year is exciting for children all over the world because of the fun traditions that come with losing teeth. What are some Tooth Fairy traditions from around the world?
In America, children put their lost teeth under their pillow at night. When they wake up in the morning, they will find money in place of the tooth. The Tooth Fairy did its work while children were sleeping. This money is a reward for taking good care of their primary teeth and encourages them to continue the practice with the growth of their permanent teeth.
In Asia, the Tooth Fairy is more of a wish for the teeth of mice. What does this mean? Mice have continuously growing teeth and thus Asian children wish for their missing teeth to be replaced by mice’s teeth. What do some Asian children do with their lost teeth? They throw them onto the roof when they lose their lower teeth. The loss of upper teeth get thrown onto the floor or maybe even under the floorboards. Throwing teeth in a straight line means straight teeth.
Central Asia does things a little bit differently. They place their teeth inside fat and feed it to their dog in hopes of having their grown-up teeth be as strong as their dog’s teeth. While this is certainly not recommended, it is the tradition in Central Asian countries like Mongolia. What if they do not have a dog? Lost teeth can be buried near a tree so the new teeth have strong roots.
Dating back to the 13th Century, Middle Eastern Tooth Fairy traditions are to throw their teeth up in the sky, toward the sun, in hopes that their new teeth growing in faster.
Ratoncito Pérez is a beloved Tooth Mouse in Hispanic cultures. He even has his own museum in Madrid, Spain. El Raton Los Dientes comes to take children’s teeth which have been placed under their pillow. This is much like the American tradition however the mouse may leave a gift instead of money. Some children might even leave their teeth in a glass of water before bed. After a long journey of tooth collecting the mouse will be thirsty, drink the water and leave a special surprise gift in the empty glass.
What about placing teeth in a slipper rather than under your pillow? In South Africa, the slipper is the perfect traditional place to leave a lost tooth for the Tooth Fairy. In the morning, a small gift or money will be waiting to be discovered.
La Bonne Petite Souris is a tiny French mouse that replaces teeth left under pillows for cash or sweets. Yum!
When children’s teeth start coming out there could be some pain associated with this event. Wiggling a tooth once it is loose will help ease the pain. Children may sometimes need some assistance from their parents to keep their teeth clean. It’s always a good idea to have them brush twice a day and floss once a day. Reminding little ones to keep their teeth healthy if they want the Tooth Fairy to come is a great way to promote good oral hygiene.