Congratulations! Your child’s milk tooth has been wiggling here and there for days on end, been tugged at by your child with a bit of dental floss tied ’round it, and at last, it’s come loose! Hurrah!
Most families will encourage the child to put the loose tooth beneath his or her pillow for the tooth fairy to swap with a bit of money. However, have you ever wondered about the milk tooth traditions of other countries?
In many countries all over the world, the humble mouse is a character as popular as the tooth fair herself. The French and Belgians call him petite souris, the Italians call him topino, while the Spanish have conjured him to become a full-fledged character called Ratoncito Perez. Lowland Scotland paints a dainty picture of the mouse – they see him as a white fairy mouse, paying for the teeth with coins.
In Asian countries like Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, the fallen tooth is meant to be thrown above the roof of the house while imploring the mouse for a new tooth as strong as his. This perhaps comes from the thought that mice’s teeth are so strong that they last them for the rest of their lives.