Happy readers, thank you for checking in once again with the Brinkley Dental team of Brinkley Dental, Brampton. This blog is our chance to break out of the “chains” of our day job and have some fun “Talking Teeth” with patients and visitors. We love this part of our week. In keeping with the idea of having fun, today we offer this fourth and probably final chapter in our ongoing series about tooth fairy myths and mysteries from around the world.
A common theme we have noted throughout this series is that many countries share similar stories. As blogged about some time ago, North American and Western European countries tend to identify with the tooth fairy as a female figure, tiny and sprite – like (think Tinkerbell) and leave teeth either under their pillows or in a glass of water, to be replaced by money. Many Latin American countries believe in a mouse as being responsible for taking teeth and a gift is often left in its place. Today we notice a similar theme running through Middle Eastern and Asian countries as well as through Native Indian cultures and while there are several, two are more prevalent than others.
The idea of children throwing teeth up onto the rooftops is popular in India, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan and elsewhere. Variations of this theme include throwing the tooth backwards, over the shoulder or while the sun is setting. It is meant to bring good luck. The other theme is burying teeth. For many cultures, the idea of burying teeth represents several things including: burying it to the east side of a home since this represents childhood, burying the tooth in or near a tree so that the new tooth will grow in straight and tall or burying the tooth because we all come from nature and therefore the tooth should be returned to nature. In one example we came across in our research, Japanese children do both, throwing upper teeth into the dirt and lower teeth up onto the roof. The idea is that this will encourage the adult teeth to grow in straight and true as they literally, head towards one another. Finally, in Turkey it has been a tradition in the past for parents of children to plant lost teeth in the soil at or near something that represents what they would like the future to hold for their child. That is to say, if they are hoping to raise a soccer star, they would plant the tooth under a soccer field. I guess my parents must have planted a tooth or two underneath dental school!
There are plenty of sites available on good old “Google” so if you are interested in finding our more about teeth, tooth fairies and myths from around the world we encourage you to tap into your local internet source for more information. In the meantime, we hope you enjoyed this final installment of the Myths and Mysteries series and as always, Brinkley Dental thanks you for stopping in, reading and commenting on our blogs and reminds you, ”don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”