In Wilmington North Carolina, and across the United States the tradition of Tooth Fairies actually being real is a simple one. A lost tooth brings the Tooth Fairy, who takes the tooth and leaves behind a small gift or money. England, Denmark, and Australia share this custom. In France, the tooth fairy is actually a mouse! In some countries, leaving behind money or a small gift is not the custom. In Greece, the child throws his tooth on the roof for good luck and the hope for a strong tooth. In India, the tooth is also thrown on the roof in hopes that a sparrow will come and bring a new tooth. In Russia, the children place their lost tooth in a mouse hole in hopes the mouse will bring a strong new tooth.
The tradition of the tooth mouse is the same in Spain, Mexico, Peru, Chili and other countries such as Argentina and Columbia. The tooth mouse arrives and leaves a small gift. In China, children throw their lower teeth on the roof, and the upper teeth on the floor. They believe that this will bring them strong, straight teeth.
The tooth fairy tradition has its roots in European Folklore. In the middle ages, people believed that if a witch stole a child’s tooth, the witch would have power over the child for life. For this reason, the tooth was often buried in a field or garden to prevent any witch from taking it. As towns and villages grew larger and more populated, this became difficult. The tooth was then often “buried” in a flower pot. Over time, this became the tradition of “burying” the tooth under pillows. It was also the custom for the child to throw the lost tooth into the fire. This would prevent the child from experiencing hardship in the after-life. They believed that if the tooth was not thrown to the fire, they would spend eternity searching for the lost tooth.
In ancient times, some cultures believed that children’s teeth brought good luck on the battlefield. Warriors would wear strings of baby teeth around their necks.
Tooth Fairy traditions across the world are wide and varied. In Wilmington North Carolina tonight, child will leave his tooth under his pillow. The Tooth Fairy will come.