Pearly White Practices

All I want for Christmas is for my new tooth to come in already! 

     As a kid in the US, I think one of the things we all looked forward to was when we lost a tooth and hid it under our pillows, waiting for that little bit of cash that would appear in the morning. Did you know since twenty thirteen, the average amount of money given and received per tooth is between four and five dollars? I’ve even heard of some parents giving their kids twenty dollars! For a tooth! Not to sound like my grandparents, but back when I was a kid, man, I got one whole quarter for my teeth. When I lost my front teeth or one of my molars, I would receive a one-dollar bill because those teeth had more surface area than the others, and thus, were worth more. Let me tell you, when I saw that sweet bill, tiny me thought she had it made. I could buy my own pack of gum if I wanted! I’d still have to ask to buy it, but I could purchase it myself like a grown up! 

     It turns out though, that in some French and Spanish speaking countries, the tooth fairy is actually a tooth mouse, and sometimes it doesn’t always leave you money, but little treats instead. I wonder if the tooth mouse would appear directly in the room of the tooth in question, or if it would have to run through the house, because I know I can’t speak for everyone else’s parents, but my mom’s afraid of mice. Also, if the mouse were to leave a treat under a pillow, is there a specific kind the mouse would prefer to leave? Would they leave a treat they knew the child would like, say a chocolate bar, or would they leave something similar to taffy or a jolly rancher that’s small and compact? 

     Now not every country has a tooth fairy or tooth mouse that collects teeth. In fact, in some Middle East countries, when a child loses a tooth, they throw it to the sky in hopes of having their next tooth be stronger and comes in faster than the one lost. The Middle East isn’t the only place where this happens either. In Japan, Korea, China, India, Greece, and Brazil, to name a few, the kids throw the tooth in the direction they want it to grow in hopes of straight teeth. Bottom teeth are taken outside and thrown to high positions, while top teeth aren’t thrown, but set down instead. Usually, under floorboards or furniture inside the house. In a lot of these countries, it’s suggested that the next tooth would grow in swiftly if something akin to a squirrel or an avifauna was to take the discarded one. 

     Countries like Nepal, Malaysia, and Turkey all bury their baby teeth to keep them away from birds and to return it to nature. There’s also a belief that the location of a buried tooth could impact the child’s future. For example, if a kid lost their tooth and they buried it near a sporting field, it’s thought that they’ll grow up with an aptitude for sports. 

     In all these countries around the world, losing teeth is a custom for kids transitioning into maturity. Though losing a tooth can be scary sometimes, particularly when it won’t wiggle out and someone offers to take it out for you, it is something everyone goes through in their life. We all have lost our teeth from infancy and have adult ones that took their place. Telling stories of how we lost a tooth can be a great way to socialize and start friendships! It’s one of the few things everybody goes through, and shows us that in some ways, we’re all the same. Now don’t forget to brush and floss every day! Good dental hygiene is be best way to keep your pearly whites healthy and strong for a lifetime ahead. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog! If you’d like to know where I got some of my information, I’ve included the links below! 

Information obtained and used in this blog were from the following sites:

A special thank you to my husband for proof reading my work! Thank you hun!

2 thoughts on “Pearly White Practices

  1. Stories about losing teeth are a good way to socialize. It’s like “small talk” but more personal. My story is that the very first tooth I lost was replaced by a permanent tooth I immediately chipped.:-) I still have a little chip all these years later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry your first new tooth chipped, but that’s a pretty cool memory to have! I hope it didn’t hurt when it happened. Though it wasn’t the first tooth I lost, shortly after I grew in my adult front teeth, I was pounced on by a Great Dane/ Mastiff puppy. He was maybe eleven months or so, not quite a year, but he was big enough to knock me over and one of his claws put a permanent dent in the top of my left front tooth. Many people have wonderful stories and experiences from childhood regarding their teeth, and like you said, it’s a good way to socialize and also make the conversation friendlier with a personal touch! Thank you for sharing your experience with me! I hope you have a lovely upcoming week!


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