THE STEW Magazine
March 2016 | PAGE 25

Beyond the Tooth Fairy


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



Our team at Williams Lake Smiles is excited to have the opportunity to welcome you back soon! Dr. Wassenaar, Dr. Dahia and the whole Williams Lake Smiles team appreciate your continued support and understanding as we continue to move through this difficult time

We are gradually reopening in the safest way to ensure that we take all precautions to keep both our patients and our staff healthy.

At this time, we are focusing on addressing emergency needs for our patients. Full dental services, including hygiene care, will be introduced gradually with priority booking to the patients that were delayed treatment during our time of closure. We will be contacting our patients to reschedule these procedures in the coming weeks.

Our office has always utilized personal protective equipment (PPE) that has exceeded all the recommended guidelines. We consciously designed our office with well-spaced, separate treatment rooms that allow minimization of aerosol transfer throughout the office. We have also added a brand new HEPA air management system to allow continuous air filtration in all treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air. This puts us in a good position moving forward. However, in consideration of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have instituted additional guidelines and protocols to ensure your safety and that of our team.

Upon returning to Williams Lake Smiles you will notice our new enhanced precautions:

-When you are scheduling an appointment, our staff will ask you a set of health-related questions.

-You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via email and asked a set of pre-appointment instructions and health-related questions. It is required that you complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step. Please also give our administrative staff all the necessary personal contact information to expedite our communications with you and your family.

-We have implemented new protocol for scheduling your appointments and managing your insurance and financial transactions virtually to allow for a contactless exit from your appointment.

-There will be new arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces and other patients.

-You will be asked the above screening questions again on your arrival to your appointment.

-Your temperature will be taken on arrival. Again, we will have to reschedule your appointment if your temperature is elevated.

-You will be asked to put on the provided shoe covers and disinfect your hands upon arrival.

-All non-essential companions will be asked to remain outside of the clinic during the appointment. This includes friends, spouses, drivers, parents, and other children.

-We will maintain social distancing in the reception area for essential caregivers and parents of minors if they absolutely cannot wait in a vehicle or outside the clinic.

-We have removed magazines and other items that can harbor or transfer germs of any kind

-Glass barriers have been added in our reception area

-We have enhanced clinic disinfection procedures before and after all appointments.

-You will see new personal protection equipment like visors, gowns, and different masks for our doctors and team to provide barriers against the smallest of germs.

-We have protocols to reduce or eliminate airborne aerosols during all dental procedures.

-We have enhanced continuous disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

-We will be disinfecting all outside mail and packages that enter the building.

-We will have longer appointment times for you to prepare and complete all appointment tasks and duties in the safest and most comprehensive manner.

-Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean fewer options will be available for scheduling your appointment.

We ask that, as we have so many patients to see, you treat your reserved dental appointment with the highest level of respect. Answer the screening questions honestly. Please arrive on time for your appointment. We may not be able to see you if you are late. If you miss your appointment it may be quite some time before we can get you back in.

We are committed to maintaining our high standard of dental health and safety under these new circumstances and appreciate your confidence in us.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice.

We are all excited to get back to work. Thank you for being our patients. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbours, and friends.


Dr. Rudy Wassenaar

Dr. Sophia Dahia

And the entire Williams Lake Smiles Team

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