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The Tooth Behind the Fairy

Dental Health Week is right around the corner, August 3-9th and in preparation for this, I’ve been doing some research on the Tooth Fairy and was curious as to whether there was anyone else out there that celebrated any weird traditions growing up when they lost a tooth?

For example, in Eastern Europe (where I grew up) we tossed our teeth on the roof of our house, and the theory was if you threw your tooth straight the new tooth would grow in straight, but if you threw it crooked then you would have crooked teeth. Obviously I didn't have any throwing skills, because I had braces all throughout my teens.

But in doing some research I found these weird and wonderful traditions from around the world.

In Spain the tooth fairy isn’t actually a fairy but a mouse called Ratoncito Perez. He collects the children’s teeth from under their pillow in return for money or even candy (probably to make the other teeth fall out faster). He also visits children in Argentina, but they leave their teeth in a glass of water and Perez (tired from all the teeth-collecting of course) drinks the water and puts the coins in the empty glass. The French have a similar tradition, but their little mouse le petite souris, leaves a gift for the child and in South Africa children leave their teeth in their slippers for the mouse to collect.

The one I found the most intriguing was from Turkey. Here parents believe that their child’s milk teeth hold some sort of prospect for their future. If they want their child to become a soccer player, for example, they bury the tooth in a soccer field. And if they wanted their child to become a teacher (what parent wouldn’t?), then they bury the tooth at a school. I wonder if Ratoncito Perez knows about this?

Gretchel from our Marketing Department is from the Philippines and she recalls hiding her teeth and making a wish. If they were able to find the tooth a year later, then they could make another wish. She once wished for some roller blades and that same year she lost a few more teeth.

That leads me to my last question what's the going rate for teeth these days? I'm curious because I'm having my wisdom teeth removed in a few weeks and I need to send the Tooth Fairy an invoice.


Dental Health Week takes place every year during the first week of August and is the Australian Dental Association’s major annual oral health promotion and education campaign. Dental Health Week aims to educate Australians about the importance of maintaining good oral health.

Written by Hristina Milenkovska

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