THE STEW Magazine
March 2016 | PAGE 25

Beyond the Tooth Fairy

BY DR. RUDY WASSENAAR DMD, MAGD, DICOI, DABOI

Did you know that the Tooth Fairy that Canadian kids grow up with originated in 17th century France? Or that kids in Mexico and Spain expect the Tooth Mouse to come and take their baby teeth from under their pillows? Tooth traditions around the world are pretty diverse; while we have the Tooth Fairy in common with a few other countries (like the USA, England, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark) most of the world celebrates the loss of a child’s baby tooth differently. The Tooth Mouse is common in Spanish and French speaking nations, while many other countries throw their baby teeth onto the roof, including Botswana, The Dominican Republic, India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Albania, Cyprus, Honduras and Greece. Here are a few other interesting tooth traditions from around the world:

tooth fairy dr wassenaar
  • Afghanistan: the child drops the lost tooth down a mouse hole to receive a strong new tooth like a mouse’s.
  • Argentina: children put their tooth in a glass of water for the tooth mouse.
  • Austria: the tooth is made into a key ring, or thrown under the house.
  • Bhutan: the tooth is thrown on the roof as an offering to the moon goddess.
  • Brazil: the tooth is thrown on the roof, so it can turn into gold.
  • Cambodia: the child throws the tooth into the sky so the fairies can bring them a new one.
  • China: upper teeth are placed at the foot of the child’s bed and lower teeth are thrown onto the roof to encourage the permanent teeth to grow faster.
  • Colombia: parents may dip the tooth in silver or gold to be worn as an earring.
  •  Egypt: the child wraps the tooth in tissue and throws it to the sun, saying the words “shiny sun, take this buffalo’s tooth and bring me a bride’s tooth, so that Ra, the Sun God, will give them a new one in exchange.
  • El Salvador: the tooth is put under the pillow, and a little rabbit brings the child money.
  • France: in exchange for the tooth, the tooth mouse (La Petite Souris) leaves small toys under the pillow.
  • India: the tooth is thrown onto the roof, and the child asks a sparrow to take it way and bring him a new one.
  • Iraq: the tooth is thrown into the sky, back to Allah.
  • Italy: both the Tooth Fairy and the Tooth Mouse may collect baby teeth in exchange for a present.
  • Japan: bottom teeth are thrown onto the roof, and top teeth are thrown under the house, to encourage them to grow straight, healthy and strong.
  • Lesotho: the tooth is thrown onto the roof of the home, so a lizard can bring the child a new tooth.
  • Mongolia: the tooth is covered in meat fat and fed to a young dog, so the dog can bring a strong new tooth (because dogs have strong teeth and can eat bones).
  • Netherlands: the “tanden fee” will look under the pillow and leave a couple of coins.
  • North Korea: the child throws the tooth in the air, and a black bird comes and takes it away in exchange for a new, white tooth.
  • Nigeria: one of several native traditions is that the child draws 7 circled in a straight line on the ground, and then dances in each circle. Dancing well helps the teeth grow in straight; if you dance badly, they’ll grow crooked.
  • Romania: the tooth is thrown over the roof of the house, and the child says, “Crow, crow, take away this bone tooth and bring me a steel one!”
  • Scotland: in the lowlands, a white fairy rat purchases lost teeth in exchange for coins.
  • South Korea: the child throws the tooth in the air while singing a song, asking the birds to take the old tooth in exchange for a new one.
  • Sudan: the tooth is thrown to the sun, and the child says “take this donkey’s tooth and replace it with a beautiful gazelle’s tooth!”
  • Swaziland: the child puts the tooth in a shoe, and by morning it will be replaced by candy.

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Covid-19 (Corona) Virus

Dear valued patients of Williams Lake Smiles,

Happy New Year to all our patients and friends of Williams Lake Smiles!

There’s just something about a new year! It represents a clean slate, a new beginning for many of us. As we finished up with 2020, we all want to believe that 2021 will bring a sort of relief from much of what the past year has brought us. 

Although there are still many restrictions and hurdles ahead of us, we are all doing our best to prove that we are resilient and focused on brighter and healthier days ahead.

The start of 2021 finds many of us evaluating our health and making plans and potential changes for the year ahead. So, as you are making some New Year’s resolutions, don’t forget to add dental care to that list!

Managing your dental health is a key factor of keeping your immune system strong to help protect you against any attack. Just as important as a good diet, rest and exercise, your dental health is something you should not ignore.

Often dental changes can happen with little to no discomfort or warning. Just as changes in the rest of your body happen, it is the same for your teeth and mouth. We all know that age, stress, hormones and busy schedules (just to name a few) sneak up on us and seem to cause changes to our bodies almost overnight. Where you used to be able to eat whatever you wanted, barely exercise and stay up all hours of the night, you might be noticing that you just can’t do that anymore! It is similar with our dental care routine. If you have been doing the same routine for what seems like forever, it might be time to evaluate and change things, even slightly, to be more effective in keeping your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime.

Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is here to help make your health a top priority. We look forward to continuing to work with you as life changes happen and want to make dental pain and emergency the smallest challenges possible.

This past year we have been working even harder to make our office a safe, welcoming place for you to visit. You may notice our policies and protocols have changed and will continue to do so based on recommendations from our professional colleges, provincial and local health authorities. Please respect these new policies and understand that some extra screening and time is required in order to achieve this. To keep things running smoothly, it is very important to complete all screening paperwork prior to all visits to our office. If the required paperwork is not completed, we may need to reschedule your appointment time.

Contact our team to schedule a dental appointment to help you be the healthiest you in 2021.

We look forward to seeing you soon,

Dr Rudy Wassenaar and the team at Williams Lake Smiles


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