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Around the world


The tooth fairies' jurisdiction is extensive. However, they do have some colleagues and tricks to share the load of primary teeth collection around the world:

In France 'la petite souris' (or little mouse) has responsibility for taking baby teeth left under the pillows of sleeping children.

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The tradition in Bhutan is to have the child throw their lost tooth onto the roof of their house as an offering to the moon goddess. She is supposed to grant them strong, healthy, new teeth.

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In Egypt the milk tooth is wrapped in a cloth and thrown as high as possible to Ra (the sun god) while reciting, 'Shiny sun, shiny sun, take this buffalo's tooth and bring me a bride's tooth'.

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In Mongolia children roll their lost primary teeth in meat fat and feed them to their dogs. They do this in the hope that their adult teeth will be as strong as those of the bone-eating dog. When children don't have dogs, they bury their baby teeth in the ground near a big tree so that their new teeth will have strong roots just like the tree.

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In Swaziland children put the teeth in their shoes overnight in the hope that they will find some sweets there in the morning.

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In Spain, a rat called Ratoncito Pérez comes to visit children at night when they lose their primary teeth. Pérez, from Madrid, is said to live in a box of sugar cookies with his wife, La Ratita Presumida (vain little mouse), and his children. When he hears the sound of a child's falling tooth, he kisses his beautiful wife goodbye and scurries through the maze of pipes underneath Madrid to the child's bedroom. In exchange for the tooth, it is customary that he will also leave a gift, usually one of the cookies from his own home.

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Around the world. Br Dent J 216, 104 (2014).

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