Sep 08 2022

Children’s Dentist in Overland Park, KS, Explains Tooth Loss Traditions around the World

Child's finger on a globe

Losing a tooth can be so exciting! What could be more thrilling than waiting for a little fairy to sneak into your bedroom while you are asleep? Children around the world celebrate this milestone – but the tooth fairy doesn’t visit every country. Instead, a diverse range of traditions exist surrounding the loss of a baby tooth. Here, your children’s dentist in Overland Park, KS, takes a look at some of these fun international rituals. 

If your child has begun losing his or her baby teeth, be sure to check in with Dr. Matt. It is important to verify that the permanent teeth are coming in correctly and that your little one is not at risk for dental decay. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we offer complete pediatric dental services for children of ages.

Contact our office today to book an appointment.

The Tooth Fairy

The tooth fairy is a busy lady. In addition to visiting children in the US, she also collects teeth in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Denmark.

And not only does she have to gather all those teeth – she also needs to keep up with economic trends! In a 2018 poll, the average tooth was worth $3.70, up from $1.30 in 1998. 

The Tooth Mouse?

It seems that tiny creatures have a penchant for lost teeth. In Spanish-speaking countries, including Spain, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, a little mouse collects baby teeth. He goes by different names depending on the country, including El Raton de Los Dientes, Raton Perez, and Ratoncito Perez. 

In most of these countries, the tiny rodents sneak under kids’ pillows to gather teeth. But in Argentina, children leave their teeth in a glass of water. Ratoncito Perez drains the glass and leaves money in the bottom. 

Raton Perez is so popular that there is even a museum dedicated to him in Madrid.

Tossing Those Teeth Around

In many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, children throw their bottom teeth up onto the roof. Lost top teeth get tossed on the floor or under the bed. The hope is that the new incoming teeth will grow towards the old baby teeth.

Some countries are very particular about the way in which teeth are thrown. Children in Indonesia toss their teeth over their shoulders. They’d better have good aim! Tradition states that if they throw straight, the new tooth will come in correctly. But if their aim is off, the new tooth will be crooked.  

In other countries, as children toss their teeth onto the roof, they ask a particular animal to bring them a new one. For instance, children in Sri Lanka hope a squirrel will help them out. In India and Korea, they ask a bird for a new tooth. And in Botswana, they wish upon the moon!

Other Fun Traditions

While certain rituals are widespread, other countries have tooth-related traditions all their own. In Pakistan, children toss their teeth in the river. In Kyrgyzstan, they stuff the teeth in bread to be eaten by a mouse. And in Turkey, they bury teeth in a place that represents a parent’s hopes for the child’s future.

Contact Your Children’s Dentist in Overland Park

We know that your hopes for your child include a lifelong healthy smile. Make sure your little one receives outstanding dental care from a young age!

Contact Dr. Matt and his team online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

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