The Flutter Blog is Full of Tooth Fairy Tales

Want to learn more about the Tooth Fairy? Did you know that the Tooth Fairy collects over 300,000 teeth per night! Wow! That’s a lot of teeth! Did you ever wonder where all those teeth go? You can find that out and more when you read our Tooth Fairy tales on the FlutterBlog.

The Tooth Fairy Around the World

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Doesn’t Everyone Believe in the Tooth Fairy?

If you live in an English-speaking country, you probably can’t even remember learning about the tooth fairy. It’s just one of those things everyone knows. As it turns out, we actually have a pretty young tooth fairy! The tooth fairy that kids in the U.S., England, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand know and love first came on the scene in the 1920s and gained her spritely image during the rise of animated movies mid-century.

While most parents and kids in these countries today just take it for granted that we’ve always put our teeth under a pillow to be exchanged in the night for rewards, we’ve really only been following this fun tradition for about 100 years. That doesn’t seem like a very long time, but we Americans have embraced the tooth fairy so completely, that her rewards are actually an indicator of how our economy is doing!

Even though English is the tooth fairy’s most common language, she speaks every language in the world quite well. This way, she can visit any kid who wants her to collect a lost tooth. Since losing teeth is something that every kid in the world has in common, what do kids in other countries believe, if they don’t have the tooth fairy?

A Mouse with Strong Teeth Makes a Great Tooth Fairy

Believe it or not, kids all over the world for at least 300 years have been inviting a little mouse to come and collect their teeth! In fact, so many kids in so many countries believe in this special mouse, that he has different names in different languages.

Rodents are known for their strong teeth, so who better than a mouse to help kids through this important part of growing up? The long-standing tradition is that when children leave their teeth in a special place for the mouse to collect, he will leave them small coins and bless them with strong permanent teeth.

In Spanish-speaking countries like Spain, Mexico, and several South American nations, he goes by Ratocinto Perez, El Raton de Los Dientes, Raton Perez, or Perez Mouse. French speakers in France, Belgium, and Switzerland like to call him La Petite Souris. Kids in South Africa place teeth in a slipper for their mouse. Kids in El Salvador believe in a different cute and furry animal with strong teeth – a rabbit comes to take their teeth!

Teeth Tossing Traditions

There are a lot of kids who don’t believe in either a fairy or a mouse to take their teeth away. Throwing teeth somewhere outside is actually a pretty common tradition around the world.

Kids in Greece and the Dominican Republic throw their teeth onto a roof, while Japanese kids throw bottom teeth up to a roof and top teeth down to the ground. In Brazil, kids throw their teeth outside for a bird to collect. If the kids have kept their teeth clean and sparkly, the bird leaves gifts for them.

In Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq, teeth get thrown at the sun as a gift in exchange for strong permanent teeth. In Turkey, people believe lost teeth are connected to a child’s future, so they bury teeth near places that give them  favorable options. Children in Pakistan throw teeth into a river for good luck.

Keeping a Bit of Childhood Safe

Finally, some traditions are based not on giving teeth away, but rather on keeping lost teeth in a special box or case. In Lithuania, some children even make jewelry from their baby teeth. We here at FlutterPop happen to know that a lot of parents have a deal with their tooth fairy or tooth mouse to have the teeth returned for safekeeping in a memory box like those in our shop.

No matter the tradition in your family, FlutterPop is committed to helping parents and children get through this part of growing up with bright and healthy smiles.  

To join us as we continue learning all about childhood tooth loss and the mythical creatures who help us through this special time, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

The Tooth Fairy Throughout the Ages

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The Tooth Fairy, a Magical Side Hustle

After allowances and lemonade stand profits have rolled in, the cash stuffed into pockets and piggy banks, kids have always had one more way to earn an extra buck, one magical side hustle: the tooth fairy. Leave a tooth underneath your pillow, go to sleep and – poof – in the morning, money! That front tooth that was tied to a doorknob the night before is now a tiny treasure.

But who is this mysterious fairy who flutters into bedrooms, taking molars and leaving gifts? Believe it or not, she hasn’t always been the spritely, Tinkerbell look-alike we know and love. Our modern American tooth fairy, the one with glittery wings and pockets full of money, is just the latest in a long line of tooth-centric traditions. Let’s see how she’s evolved over the years.

Teeth on the High Seas

Vikings, the hearty Norse sailors dressed in furs and horned helmets, braving ocean waves and battling seaside villages, actually had a soft spot for (what else?) teeth! These brawny brawlers believed that children’s teeth brought good luck. So, when Norse children lost teeth, Vikings paid for them (money for teeth, sound familiar?). They would then wear these teeth into battle for protection and good fortune. According to this Mental Floss article, a 13th-century book of Norse poems and mythology called the Edda makes reference to a tand-fé, or “tooth fee,” a child’s reward for their first tooth coming in. So, you could say Vikings were the very first tooth fairies. Instead of the friendly sprite we have today, imagine a bearded Nordic man coming to buy your teeth. ( We’ll take the fairy!) 

Medieval Superstitions

Elsewhere in Medieval Europe, superstitions about teeth abounded. Parents took great care with how they disposed of lost baby teeth because, they believed, witches could use teeth to curse or control a person. In defense, they often hid, buried, or burned lost teeth in order to protect the children. Sometimes, they would leave teeth out as an offering for rodents. Since rodents have strong teeth, they reasoned, they could exchange baby teeth not for money, but for strong adult ones. Fortunately, our modern fairy takes good care of baby teeth, and regular brushing and flossing habits provide healthy adult ones, so we don’t need to rely on mice anymore. 

Magical French Mice

The rodent-tooth partnership persisted into the 17th century, most significantly in a prominent French fairytale. It’s here that we see the first inklings of our modern tooth-collecting friend. Titled La Bonne Petite Souris (The Good Little Mouse), this story follows a fairy who transforms into a mouse to defeat an evil king by hiding under his pillow and biting his ears. It’s not tooth-related, but over the years, it transformed into a popular bedtime story in which children are instructed to leave their baby teeth (and sometimes cheese) for a small, benevolent mouse. 

American Fairytale Influence

Not until recent American history does our familiar fairy appear. She’d gained qualities from previous iterations – the Vikings’ tooth fee and the French under-the-pillow offering – combined with distinctly American economics and fascination with the “good fairy” character. Watch any number of early Disney movies – Cinderella, Peter Pan, Pinnochio, etc. – and you’ll find a caring, magical fairy character who, quite often, bestows gifts. Just like the Fairy Godmother comforted Cinderella in a difficult time, the tooth fairy helps children through the otherwise nerve-wracking experience of losing teeth. We see her pop up in early 19th century media too, like the 1927 playlet called “The Tooth Fairy,” and a 1908 “Household Hints” column in the Chicago Tribune. 

Today’s Dental Traditions

Today, children go to bed, hide teeth under their pillows, and stay up as long as they can, just to get a glimpse of the generous fairy who brings them gifts, and the next thing they know, the sun is rising and they’re tossing pillows aside to reveal their reward. She’s a staple of growing up, a fun and generous figure, and you can even write her a letter. Our modern fairy takes centuries of traditions, myths, and bedtime stories and weaves them together, encouraging not just courage when that tooth starts to wiggle, but good oral hygiene year-round. 

As you and your children become part of the tooth fairy’s story, follow us on Facebook and Instagram. Join a community that’s collectively writing the next chapter in the tooth fairy’s history.