All around the world, children are losing baby teeth and wishing for a small token in return. But not all Tooth Fairy customs center on a flying fairy. Check out some of the most unique Tooth Fairy customs from history and across the globe:
It all started with a mouse.
In these Tooth Fairy customs, sparkles are swapped for squeaks. For example, Spain’s magical mouse goes by the name of El Ratoncito Pérez. He collects teeth the same way our Tooth Fairy does—under your pillow. Part fairy, part rodent, France’s petite mouse is based on a character from the tale, “La Bonne Petite Souris.” In the story, the little mouse helps defeat an evil king by hiding under his pillow and using magic to make the king’s teeth fall out.
Our European friends aren’t alone. From New Zealand to Russia, many countries believe a lost tooth is a sacrifice to a mouse. The offering is made in hopes that the child’s adult teeth will grow in as strong as a mouse’s. In fact, mice are named for their powerful teeth and jaws: “Rodent” is derived from the Latin word “rodere” which means, “to gnaw”.
Under pillows, inside slippers and over roofs.
When a tooth falls out, American children place it under their pillow and wait for the Tooth Fairy to fly in and surprise them. But kids in South Africa put their pearly whites in a pair of slippers. And in Japan, children toss their teeth and make a wish. Lower jaw teeth are thrown on the roof, while teeth from the upper jaw are tossed on the floor. The hope is that the new teeth will grow in strong and as straight as possible.
Whether your little ones leave lost teeth under their pillow or throw them on the roof, make sure to use the opportunity to teach kids how to keep their smile healthy.
With so many Tooth Fairy customs around the world, why not start your own? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- DIY Tooth Fairy Box
- The Ultimate Tooth Fairy Experience
- 3 Ways the Tooth Fairy Can Help Your Child’s Smile
…And just for fun, check out the funniest Tooth Fairy fails.