You grew up putting your lost teeth under your pillow, waiting in eager anticipation for the tooth fairy to arrive. It may seem like an odd tradition, but the tooth fairy has been around for centuries. No one is really sure when the tooth fairy first made its appearance, but here are some fun facts on lost teeth traditions.
Hiding Teeth from Witches
Many years ago in Europe, it was common to bury baby teeth in the ground to symbolize the new tooth growing up in the old tooth’s place. Also, back then people believed if witches found your children’s teeth, they could perform curses on your child. Parents buried their children’s teeth so that witches could never find the teeth. Then as people began to move into cities, they started to bury the teeth in flower pots, in boxes, and eventually under the pillow.
The Tooth Mouse Fairy
Some think the tooth fairy showed up from the 17th century story, La Bonne Petite Souris. In the story a fairy changes into a mouse to defeat an evil king. The fairy mouse hid under a pillow, and knocked out all the evil king’s teeth while he slept. In many Spanish and French speaking countries, children still believe in the tooth mouse who purchases your teeth from you with coins. But in many European countries, the tooth fairy is the one who flits into your room at night to leave a special gift in exchange for your tooth.
There are many unique lost tooth traditions around the world, but whether you teach your child about the tooth mouse or the tooth fairy, it’s most important to teach them to take good care of their baby teeth, so they will continue that care with their permanent teeth.
To learn more about dental hygiene, or to get your child a dental check-up, contact the Lakeway Center for Cosmetic and Family Dentistry today and set-up your appointment.