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Tooth Fairy Tales From Around the World

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April 4, 2024

tooth Fairy - Little Penguin Pediatric Dentistry | Prosper, TX

When a child is preparing to lose their first tooth, it can be an exciting time. Although some children are more eager than others, it’s no surprise that the one thing most little ones have in common is the enjoyment that comes with a visit from the Tooth Fairy. As you help them get ready for her arrival, consider sharing these myths from around the globe.

Where Did the Tooth Fairy Originate?

While there are different traditions practiced throughout the world as it pertains to the Tooth Fairy, her story is believed to have originated in the early 20th century in the United States.

However, the sweet, gentle, and beautiful fairy that is conveyed today is vastly different than those portrayed in earlier times, and as you will see, you and your child will be very happy about the more modern depiction of the Tooth Fairy.

According to written records found as part of Norse tradition, children received money for their lost teeth. In other parts of the world, teeth were worn by Vikings for good luck, buried to safeguard against witches in medieval Europe, and even burned by parents of English children.

Fortunately, children in the United States have a more pleasant story that requires them to put their tooth under their pillow until the Tooth Fairy arrives to retrieve it and offers money in its place.

How Does the Rest of the World View the Tooth Fairy?

In many Spanish-speaking countries, the Tooth Fairy is a mouse. Whether the pearly white is left under a pillow or in a glass of water, the mouse takes it and replaces it with a small gift or money.

A mouse is also deemed the keeper of teeth in countries like France, Belgium, Morocco, and Switzerland. Le Petite Souris (Little Mouse) removes a tooth from underneath a pillow and leaves behind money for children to find when they wake up.

In Korea and Brazil, the tradition is that a bird will come and carry away the tooth before bringing a child a new one. Children in Egypt, Jordan, and other countries throughout the Middle East cast their teeth up toward the sun so that it will eventually send healthier adult teeth to take their place.

Throughout Turkey, parents will bury their children’s baby teeth near a specific location (i.e., a doctor’s office) in the hopes that they will grow up and choose that particular profession. Another interesting tradition is carried out in Ukraine, where a child wraps their baby tooth in cloth and places it in a dark area of the home until a new one grows in its place.

With so many different myths and traditions circulating throughout the globe, it can be a fun way to talk to your child about the Tooth Fairy and the process of losing baby teeth.

About the Author
Dr. Julia Peng is a board-certified pediatric dentist who enjoys working with children to help them experience healthy, stronger smiles. As one of two dentists at Little Penguin Pediatric Dentistry, she thrives on working alongside parents to establish good oral hygiene habits at home and positive, comfortable experiences in the dentist’s office. If you have a child who is preparing to lose their first baby tooth, visit our website or call (469) 361-1600and let us know if you need any assistance.