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Baby Teeth Traditions Around the World

Happy young boyMost American kids get excited for a visit from the Tooth Fairy when they lose their teeth! The tradition goes that, when a baby tooth is placed under the pillow at night, the Tooth Fairy will come and exchange it for a treat! This treat may be money, candy, or a small toy.

However, the Tooth Fairy is only one of many cultural traditions regarding the loss of baby teeth all around the world. It’s a milestone for children everywhere and it’s celebrated in all sorts of different ways.

Other Baby Teeth Traditions

Below are a few of the other traditions used worldwide to celebrate the loss of a baby tooth:

Throw the Tooth – Many cultures believe in throwing the tooth. Brazilian children throw their baby teeth on the roof or give them to birds. Egyptian children wrap their teeth in tissue paper and offer them to the sun as a gift. Japan believes that upper and lower teeth should be thrown differently. Upper teeth are thrown onto dirt and lower teeth onto the roof.

Bury the Tooth – American Indian tribes believed in burying baby teeth in special locations. They would cover the tooth over with different kinds of herbs or branches. In Turkey, it’s believed that burying the tooth in different locations can bless the child with different traits. For example, if the parents want the child to be a scholar, they can bury the tooth in the garden of a school or a library.

Hide the Tooth – Many other cultures believe in the Tooth Fairy, but don’t put the tooth underneath the child’s pillow. For example, in Russia, the tooth is hidden in a mouse hole and in the Philippines, the tooth is hidden in a secret location. If someone is able to find the tooth within a year, they get to make a wish!

The Tooth Fairy can be a great way to motivate your child to take care of his or her teeth. Let your child know that the Tooth Fairy only leaves treats for healthy teeth.

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