December 3rd, 2021
What is the most exciting thing to happen to a child’s tooth? No, it’s not getting braces (although everyone at Barden Orthodontics thinks that getting braces is very exciting!). It’s losing your first (and second, and third) baby tooth!
In the United States, children usually put their lost tooth under their pillow and a tooth fairy takes the tooth and leaves money or coins. However, did you know these tooth fairy traditions vary around the world?
Here are some of Dr. Barden's favorite traditions from around the world:
- Botswana - Children throw their lost tooth on the roof and say “Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon, please bring me a new tooth.”
- Chili - Children give the tooth to their mother who makes it into a gold or silver charm that can be worn as a necklace or earing.
- France - Children put their lost tooth under their pillow. A mouse, La Petite Souris, comes to take it and leaves a gift.
- Guatemala – Raton Miguelito takes the tooth and leaves a coin.
- Ireland – Leprechauns take the tooth and leave a gold coin.
- Pakistan - Children wrap their lost tooth in cotton. At sunset they throw it in the water for good luck.
- Sweden - Children put their lost tooth in a glass of water. In the morning, the tooth will be replaced with a coin.
- Taiwan - Children throw their lost tooth on the roof.
According to a 2018 U.S. poll the average “Tooth Fairy Rate” for a lost tooth was $3.70. Although cash may be the most popular gift, gold dollar coins, dollar bills sprayed with glitter, and even small toys are fun things to exchange for the lost tooth.
Whatever tradition you follow, the loss of a child’s first tooth is a fun dental milestone to celebrate.