Last night several children across America carefully placed their tooth under their pillow with hopes of a Tooth Fairy bringing some money in exchange for their lost tooth. Not a bad deal, little teeth for cash! This fairly modern myth is the American Tooth Fairy ritual which young children deal with the loss of their baby teeth; what about other countries around the world? Is the tooth fairy global?
Spain, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Argentina and Columbia: These Hispanic cultures share a beloved tooth-centric myth that spotlights Ratocinto Perez; also known as Raton Perez, Perez Mouse, or El Raton de Los Dientes. Similar to the Tooth Fairy, this little mouse collects the teeth children have placed under their pillow; however Perez does not always leave money. South Africans have a tradition akin to our western ideology without any mythical lore; South Africans leave their lost teeth in slippers. Straight and to the point – leave teeth in a shoe and get some money.
In Indian, China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam the concept of the tooth fairy is very sweet, but not too exciting, unless you like to throw things! According to these Asian cultures if a child loose teeth from their lower jaw they will throw their teeth onto their roof. While teeth from their upper jaw is to go under or on the floor. The idea is that the new tooth will be growing in being pulled towards the lost tooth. Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt traditions for losing teeth are similar to Asian traditions as children from these Middle Eastern cultures are encouraged to throw their teeth towards the sky. It is rumored that tossing the teeth dates back to the 13th century.
At Bosworth Dental in Shorewood, we’re tooth fairy certified!