What happens to the tooth of a child when it falls down? There are many traditions and beliefs out there that are worth being mentioned. People have developed literally dozens of practices concerning the teeth of children and while some of them are well known, others are equally interesting and intriguing. And one thing is sure: tooth fairy is not alone in the universe.
Every single child born in an English-speaking country knows that when he loses his tooth, he has to place it under the pillow. At night, if he’s lucky and he has been good, tooth fairy comes and places right in the same place a gift of some sort. Tooth fairy is not to be regarded as a scary figure (yet, nor to be seen) and she takes the time to cover the gifts for all the children in the world.
In some countries in the Northern parts of Europe, there is still the habit that, when a boy or a girl loses his or her first tooth, he or she needs to be rewarded, either in the form of a gift or in money.
Hammaspeikkos (literally: tooth trolls) are small beings that are attracted by the habit of eating sweets. If a child eats too many sweets, he involuntarily draws in hammaspeikkos, which will start drilling cavities in the teeth. There are procedures to make them leave (such as brushing or rinsing), but, just to be on the safe side, better not eat candies in the first place…
La Petite Souris
Tooth fairy doesn’t live in France, where a mouse (a good and small one) enters the room at night and replaces the tooth found under the pillow with either goodies or real coins. He’s actually a cousin of Ratoncino Peréz, in Spain.
It is customary in many countries on the Asian continent to throw the tooth in the air (in the sun, over the house, to the clouds). In Japan and Korea, you need to throw the upper tooth downwards or the lower tooth upwards, so that the new tooth will come up in the right position in the mouth. Expand the tradition in the whole world, and you can bury the tooth under the house (Austria) or throw it in the attic (Nigeria).
Teeth and dogs
However, the best way to do it right is to follow the Mongolian tradition and feed the lost tooth to a dog. They offer protection and they also ensure that the next tooth will grow as it should.