The Tooth Fairy Does Not Serve All Countries

Not All Kids Get Money Under Their Pillow

It turns out that the Tooth Fairy we all know and love is not an international celebrity. Around the world, baby teeth are honored with various customs, and our Tooth Fairy is but one of the many options.

by Stephen CoveyThe children’s book Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World describes some of this folklore. Here are a few highlights:

  • The tooth is tossed onto the roof in Greece, and in Korea and Taiwan as well.
  • In Spain and Latin America, a mouse known as Ratoncito Perez will take the tooth from under the pillow and replace it with sweets or other treats.The same is true in France, where the mouse is known as La Petite Souris.
  • In many places, the child or parents will bury the tooth. Filipino children get to make a wish as the tooth is planted.
  • In Brazil, teeth are tossed into the garden. However, legend has it that the birds will only take the clean teeth away.
  • Others wrap the tooth, sometimes in bread.
  • The Tooth Fairy leaving cold hard cash appears to be an American tradition.

It’s interesting to note that many of these customs involve mice, rats, or other rodents. Though the author does not explore the reasons for this, it is most likely because rodents are known for having strong teeth.

Learn more by buying the book

Dental Drills May Soon Be Outdated

Will Dental Drills Soon Be a Thing of the Past?

Most patients agree that the drill is one of the most dreaded parts of any dental visit. New technology could help ease dental anxiety by eliminating the need for a drill in the first place.

Optics underlie the cutting-edge technology. Based on Raman spectroscopy, the device would allow practitioners to spot bacteria on teeth, as bacteria scatter light rays in a different way from healthy teeth

Seeing “trouble spots” on patients’ teeth would help dentists treat problems before they become so serious as to require drilling. (Remember what they say about prevention being the best medicine?)

A preliminary study (at London’s King College) has shown significant promise, and the results were presented at Microscience 2008. Though human trials have not yet begun, the doctors behind the project hope to have the technology ready for use by dental practices within five years.

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How Brushing Your Teeth Can Be Bad for Your Dental Health

British Survey Finds Acid Erosion on Children’s Teeth

A recent survey of British dentists indicates children may be damaging their teeth by over-brushing.

Fully 79% of dentists reported seeing more acid erosion on kids’ teeth. The survey also found that just over half of fiver-year-olds suffer from acid erosion. (Conducted by toothpaste manufacturer Sensodyne, the data included British dentists and parents.)

So what’s to blame? Soft drinks and fruit juice are major culprits. Acidic foods and sauces only make the problem worse. And tooth-brushing often compounds the issue.

Though it’s no surprise to dentists, most kids and parents don’t know that over-brushing damages teeth. Since acidic food and drink soften tooth enamel, the worst time to brush is directly after eating or drinking something acidic.

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Dentistry Goes Punk with Tooth Tattoos

Dental Crowns For the Alternative Crowd

Unlike traditional tattoos, tooth tattoos can be removed in two minutes. The personalized design is baked into the crown’s enamel, and can even be placed on the tooth’s inside surface for a particularly private tattoo. Designs range from patriotic to floral to tribal and beyond.

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