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

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