Are you aware of tooth fairies? The sweet creatures that leave you money when you hide a broken milk tooth under your pillow? Well, surprisingly, not everyone believes in the tooth fairy. Some countries believe in the tooth mouse! And others just throw their milk teeth into the air.
While the United States and most of northern Europe believe in tooth fairies, children in France and Spanish-speaking countries (Spain, Peru, Mexico, Chile) wait for the tooth mouse to deliver treats or money. In France, it’s called La Petite Souris and in the Spanish countries, it’s called Pérez.
Children in Greece, Brazil, India, and Korea aim for the roof, hoping a bird, mouse, or squirrel will accept the tooth offering and replace it with a new one at the earliest. We wonder though, what do tooth fairies, mice, birds, and squirrels do with all the teeth?
In Middle Eastern countries, there are no mythical creatures or mice. Children there go outside with their precious milk teeth and throw them at the sun. The idea is that the new teeth will grow faster and be much stronger.
Japanese kids do the same but they don’t aim for the sun. Teeth from the bottom jaw are thrown towards the sky while the top teeth are dropped to the ground – this mimics the direction in which the teeth grow. If they manage a straight throw, they’ll be saved from crooked teeth. No braces needed then. Yay!
Then come the secretive children who hide their teeth. In Malaysia, kids bury their broken teeth into the ground and return them to nature.
Turkish parents are one step ahead of all. They bury their children’s teeth in the location of potential careers! For example, burying a tooth near a hospital may help the child become a doctor.
What did you do with your milk teeth?