Like many New Zealand parents, when your child's baby teeth fall out, you may call upon the tooth fairy to take them away. However, parents in different countries use other methods.
Discover various tooth fairy traditions from around the world that may inspire you to do things a little differently when the next one drops out!
The Spanish tooth mouse
In Spanish-speaking countries, the role of the tooth fairy has been given to a friendly little mouse who goes by the name El Ratoncito Perez.
Similarly to New Zealand's tooth fairy, El Ratoncito Perez comes into a sleeping child's room at night to exchange the fallen tooth for a small gift or money.
This folklore is believed to date back to 1877, where El Ratoncito first appeared in 'Cuentos, oraciones, adivinanzas y refranes populares' – a popular Spanish book.
El Ratoncito Perez would later go on to inspire Spanish author Luis Coloma to adapt the mouse into a tooth fairy-type figure.
Another rodent in France
France has also adopted a little mouse as their version of the tooth fairy – La Petite Souris. The origin of Petite Souris is believed to stem from the 17th century tale, 'La Bonne Petite Souris.' Here, the little mouse helps to defeat an evil king by taking all of his teeth while he sleeps! However, for children in France, Petite Souris takes the fallen teeth and leaves a gold coin or sweets instead.
Throw your teeth in Botswana
In Botswana, instead of placing their fallen baby tooth under a pillow, children throw it onto the roof while singing to the moon. In this song, the children ask for a new tooth.
In Botswana, children throw their baby teeth onto the roof while singing to the moon.
Career-influential teeth in Turkey
Parents in Turkey aren't so willing to give their child's baby teeth away to fairies, mice or the moon. Instead, they use these teeth for a much more influential purpose.
Baby teeth are thought to determine the child's future. Therefore, they bury these teeth in a place that gives connotations of a strong and prosperous career, such as a football field, hospital or bank.
The most expensive tooth fairy in the world
Like our English counterparts, New Zealand has adopted the traditional tooth fairy story. Although Kiwi children expect a small amount of money to be left, a survey from Jack N' Jill Kids found that some parents are leaving a lot more than you'd imagine. In some cases, parents were leaving in excess of $40 – a huge increase from the 91 cents they received as kids when they were little.
Unfortunately, as adults, we can't rely on fairies or mice if a tooth needs to come out. Luckily for you, City Dentists's tooth extraction service can help remove damaged teeth easily and effectively. Contact the team today to book your appointment.