A Look at the Tooth Fairy in Other Cultures

June 14, 2023

The Tooth Fairy is just as popular as Santa Clause in the United States, but what do people in other countries think about this fantasy figure? Some countries celebrate similarly, while others take an entirely different approach to dealing with baby teeth.

Burying Teeth

In Tajikistan, Malaysia, Turkey, and Nepal, people bury lost baby teeth in the ground. They do this because people believe you need to bury baby teeth to avoid a bird finding and eating them. Thus, a new one will not grow in its place.

In Turkey, they are very careful about where people bury teeth. A person buries a baby tooth in a place representing what they want for the child’s future. Thus, if they want their child to grow up to be a leader, they may bury the tooth near their government center.

Roof Teeth

In Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Haiti, Botswana, India, Korea, and Greece, people throw baby teeth on the roof of their homes. Some will ask different spirits, like those of a bird or the moon, to bring them a stronger tooth.

In Japan and China, lower teeth are tossed on the ground, and upper teeth are thrown at the roof.

Teeth Thrown at the Sun or Over the Shoulder

In Middle Eastern countries and Egypt, they throw baby teeth at the sun in hopes of receiving a bright new tooth. In Indonesia, people toss the tooth over the shoulder. If they throw straight, the new tooth grows back straight. If they toss crooked, you can imagine how the new tooth grows back – crooked.

The Tooth Mouse

Another tale from Spanish-speaking areas is the tale of the Ratoncito or little mouse. This story is similar to the Tooth Fairy in that the mouse collects the teeth and leaves some money. In Argentina, it is different. They place a tooth in a glass of water, and the mouse takes a drink of the water.

The Takeaway

While everyone may have a different tradition, it is safe to say that across the globe, each culture treats the loss of baby teeth as something to be reverent over and a celebration! Regardless of your tradition, remember that the best way to ensure healthy adult teeth is to visit Dr. Sharma for dental cleanings and checkups regularly.



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