Tooth Disposing Traditions From Around The World

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In America, Britain, and Canada, kids believe that the tooth fairy is the one who takes their baby teeth from beneath pillows and puts a quarter in its place. This myth is actually a very young one, originating in America at the turn of the 20th century. Learn about the traditions for teeth disposing we had before then, some of which are still performed all over the world.

Who Needs A Tooth Fairy When You Could Have A Rat Instead

It seems impossible that the tooth fairy could originate from a rat, but it is true. This rodent even has a name in some places; Ratocinto Perez in many Hispanic cultures and La Bonne Petite Souris in France. Rodents such as mice and rats were thought of as ideal tooth disposers because their teeth are constantly growing. It was believed that when you gave them a baby tooth, they would encourage your permanent teeth to grow.

Don’t Give Your Teeth To A Witch

One of the earliest forms of tooth disposing traditions in medieval Europe involved tossing a baby tooth into the fire immediately after it was lost. This practice was done to prevent a witch from snatching away the tooth. Those in Europe believed that a witch could control you if they had your tooth.

Tooth Scraps For The Dog

Do you have the habit of feeding your dog table scraps? Well, imagine feeding him your teeth. Mongolia and other central Asian counties would put their lost baby tooth in some fat and feed it to the dog. This was done in the hopes that new teeth would grow in as strong as a dog’s. If you didn’t have a dog, then the tooth was buried near a tree to encourage the growth of strong roots.

Toothy Necklace

Scandinavian Vikings collected their teeth. When they had lost all of their baby teeth, they would make a necklace out of them. It was believed that this necklace would give a Viking good luck in battle.

Just Toss It On The Roof

Children in India, Japan, China, Korea, and Vietnam would toss their lower teeth up onto the roof of their house (to encourage the permanent teeth to grow upward). Their upper teeth would be tossed onto or underneath the floor (to encourage downward growth). Often these children would yell a wish that a mouse would replace their missing teeth.