Does your child get a visit from the tooth fairy when they lose a baby tooth? And does that visit involve a little fairy visiting your child’s room at night and removing a baby tooth from beneath their pillow in exchange for some money? If you said yes, then your child had a visit from we what we associate as being the tooth fairy here in the UK. But, did you know that this tooth fairy and tradition is wildly different depending on where you are in the world?
Find out about the tooth fairy traditions in other cultures, and how they celebrate this milestone.
In Spain, the tooth fairy is a mouse called Ratón Pérez, and he collects baby teeth from under pillows and leaves a small gift in their place.
France also have a mouse called La Bonne Petite Souris (The Good Little Mouse), and she crawls under the pillow to remove the baby tooth and leaves money or sweets in its place.
The Swedish tooth fairy likes to pick up the teeth nice and clean, so the baby tooth is put in a glass of water before going to bed. In the morning money will be in the water!
Rest of the world
In the Philippines they hide baby teeth and make a wish. If they find it after one year they can go on to make another wish.
In Pakistan they wrap the baby tooth in cotton, and they then throw it in the river at sunset for good luck.
In Turkey they don’t have a tooth fairy as such, but more of a tooth tradition as it’s believed that a child’s baby tooth can predict their future. So, if they want their child to be a football player, they bury the tooth in a football field.
Children in Nepal are very protective over their lost tooth. They believe that if a bird eats the tooth then another tooth will not grow to replace it, so they bury the tooth so the birds can never find it.
In Japan a child who looses an upper tooth throws it in the dirt – if it is a lower tooth then it is thrown onto the the roof. The reason being that if the new tooth grows towards the new one it will grow straight.
In Egypt children are encouraged to throw their teeth up toward the sun saying the words, “Shiny sun, shiny sun, take this buffalo’s tooth and bring me a bride’s tooth,” so that Ra, the sun god, will give them a new one in exchange.