Worldwide Traditions Of Discarding Baby Teeth

discarding baby teethJust as there are traditions around the world which involve the tooth fairy or tooth mouse, there are traditions worldwide for discarding baby teeth as well. Here are some examples of these traditions:

Throwing teeth

The tradition of throwing away the lost teeth is followed in many nations. This is considered as a symbolic way of encouraging the growth of healthy teeth. Here again, different forms of this tradition can be seen in various countries. In Japan, the upper tooth is thrown straight down to the ground and the lower tooth is thrown up in the air. How the children want their new teeth to grow is represented by the trajectory.

The practice of throwing the lost tooth straight towards the sun is followed in Middle Eastern countries such as Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. The children request the sun to send them healthy new teeth in place of the lost ones.

In some countries like Ethiopia, Botswana and Dominican Republic, regardless of whether the lost tooth is from the upper or lower jaw, children throw the tooth on the roof top. According to this custom, people believe that a mouse will collect the tooth from the roof top and send the new strong healthy teeth of a rodent.

Making a ring out of the lost tooth or throwing the teeth over or under the house are some of the traditions followed by children in Austria. Children of Nigeria have a special poem too. While throwing the lost tooth over the attic they recite this poem wherein they request the mice not to eat their lost tooth. People here believe that the new tooth will not grow properly if the mice eat the lost ones.

Special locations for lost teeth

In many parts of Europe, parents ask small children to bury the lost tooth under the ground. According to their customs, this practice will help in the growth of new healthy teeth. Children from Ukraine, recite “Take my old tooth and leave me a new one!” while wrapping the lost tooth in a piece of tissue paper and tucking it away in a dark corner away from sunlight.

In Korea, Vietnam and India, people believe that mice have some role in the growth of the lost tooth. If the lost tooth is from the upper side, then it is placed under the floorboards and if it is from the lower side then it is thrown over the roof top. Similar practice is followed in China. Here small children are asked to place the lost upper tooth at the foot of the bed and lower tooth over the roof top.

Make the event exciting by adapting worldwide traditions

Though you might have your own traditions and practices that you grew up with, adding new traditions could indeed be exciting as well as entertaining for your family. The ordinary Tooth Fairy routine could be made more exciting by adding some cultural practices followed in other nations. Let your children know the various customs followed in other nations.

You could even purchase a copy of the children’s book on Spanish Raton Perez and gift it to your child. Sharing stories about customs and traditions followed in other nations will certainly help alleviate the worries of your small child to a considerable extent.

Time for Some Mystery: Tooth Fairy & Tooth Mouse

tooth fairyIt can be exciting or very traumatic for small children when they start losing their baby teeth. Sometimes the tooth is loose enough that it will fall off very easily, but in some cases it could cause some pain and slight bleeding too. To help ease the worries of their small children and to make the event more exciting for them, parents have associated certain traditions and customs with losing teeth. In English speaking countries, the mystical character of the Tooth Fairy is widely known. But in other nations, across the world, people have their own version of tales and traditions associated with this event so that parents can make the event less dreadful for their children.

Note – The customs and traditions vary widely in different countries. If you could share some additional information about the ones followed in your country, you are most welcome.

Mystical Character – The Tooth Fairy

Placing the lost tooth underneath the pillow is a tradition which is followed in countries like Canada, United States and England. According to the fairy tale, the tooth fairies visit the children at night, purchase the tooth for some coins and use the teeth to build all kinds of things in their fairy land.

The British people are very much familiar with this mythological character, The Tooth Fairy. The concept of this bedtime visitor or tooth collecting mythological character has been around for several centuries. It was in the year 1949, Lee Rogow published the story version as “The Tooth Fairy”.  The tooth collecting fairy is very popular among small children in various other countries such as Australia, Norway, Germany, Ireland, America, Demark and Canada.

It is not that that tooth fairy buys the tooth in exchange for money alone. Sometimes children can also expect to find small toys or other gift items.

Mystical Character – Tooth Mouse

In some countries like Mexico, Guatemala and other Spanish speaking cultures, the fairy that collects teeth is actually a mouse.  A fairy mouse to be precise. Raton Perez, the mystical mouse fairy which Mexican people believe in, actually leaves a few coins in exchange for the tooth which the small children leave under their pillow. In Spain, the mystical mouse fairy is called by the name Ratoncito Perez or Raton de los Dientes.

La Petite Souris, or the little mouse is the fairy tale character which small children of France are familiar with. This tooth mouse leaves small toys and gifts in exchange for the tooth. The White Fairy Mouse which the Scottish people believe in leaves coins in exchange for tooth.

The mystical character, the Tooth Mouse, was known to have existed even before the Tooth Fairy. There has been a mention of this mythological character in the 17th century French story book “La Bonne Petite Souris”. This fairy tale is all about a fairy mouse that takes on an evil king and defeats him. According to this Good Little Mouse story, the mouse knocks down the teeth of the evil king while he is sleeping at night time.

As decades passed by, a new version of the sweet, money bearing mouse developed. Here the mouse would creep in at night time and leave a coin in exchange for the tooth placed under the pillow. France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland, Mexico, Morocco, Argentina, Algeria and Venezuela are some of the nations where tooth mouse is very popular.

Planning Ahead Is Planning Smart

planning aheadPlanning ahead is something that actually takes a little bit of practice if you’re not used to it.  It sometimes seems really overwhelming to get everything done in your busy day. But if you really think about it, if you get 7-9 hours of sleep, you’ve still got 15 hours in your day!

Planning ahead helps you to be more productive.  There are different strategies that you can use to plan ahead and make a schedule.  One way is by blocking your schedule.  This is like what you see on Google Calendar.  There are visual blocks for each activity with different colors to help you keep things organized. When you are making a schedule, don’t forget to block out time for everything.  Even eating.  Sometimes when we get busy, we forget to eat.  By planning ahead, you can be sure to get three balanced meals a day that will help your mind and body stay healthy.

There are many websites that can help you plan and schedule your day. Check out this article from Emily Clark on the ASDA blog:  Planning ahead is planning smart | Mouthing Off | Blog of the American Student Dental Association.

How To Motivate Your Children To Floss

motivate your children to flossGetting your children to do anything you want them to do is not always easy. Oral hygiene is no different. Many kids run kicking and screaming when their parents ask them to brush and floss their teeth. While convincing your child to brush their teeth is hard enough, sometimes parents overlook flossing.  Below are some tips on how you can motivate your children to floss.

Make A Flossing Chart – Making a chart where your child can use stickers or check marks to mark of when they floss is a good motivation, especially for small children.  Hang it in the bathroom and offer a reward after a week or month of them keeping on track. Non-monetary rewards often work the best.  Things such as staying up a half hour longer or reading an extra story with mom or dad!

Make Flossing Fun – Some parents have found that if they make a song or game out of flossing their children respond better. You may even have them count their teeth as they floss.  This is exciting for young children.

Get Them Oral Care Products – There are many oral care products that made just for kids.  You can find toothpaste, mouthwash and floss in certain colors and flavors.  You can also find dental picks and flossing sticks in different colors or designs on the handles.

Praise – Always praise them for good habits.  Tell your children you are proud of them for taking good care of their teeth.

Practice What You Preach – Kids learn best by imitating things that their parents and others do.  If they see you flossing daily, they will be more likely to floss as well.

Tips To Motivate Your Children To Start Flossing|Your Dental Health Resource

How You Can Help Your Autistic Child Learn To Brush

It is a grand job to take care of an autistic child and help them learn health related habits. They are quite sensitive and therefore they should be dealt with extreme caution. As parents you may have to work really hard to see to it that they develop properly.  Often, your autistic child may refuse to do the things that you have taught. Just like any other thing, teaching an autistic child to brush his teeth is a tough job.

autistic childAutism is a genetic defect that has been found to affect males more than females. Parents have always found it difficult to teach brushing to their autistic children. A few experienced parents have come up with some tips that were helpful for them and might be of use to you as well. Some of them are listed below.

  1. This is not a one day affair. You cannot expect your autistic child to learn things at the same rate as any normal child. You have to be extra-patient and extra-compassionate regarding your child. Just try to focus on the fact that your child will learn things for sure but at a slower pace.
  2. While you brush your child’s teeth speak out and brush. Simple directions like “brush left then right” will help the child learn brushing gradually. You may have to repeat it over and over until your child grasps it totally and accepts it as a normal routine.
  3. Another trick to try is to have a specific count of strokes. The child will have a small target in his mind or he will be able to realize the fact that after say about ten strokes on the right he will have to go for ten strokes on the left side.
  4. Never try to be a control freak, which most modern parents tend to be. Remember our kids are born to us but we are not their owners. We are just their caretakers. Try to keep them in mind while deciding things like the color of the toothbrush, the flavor of the toothpaste or the stool on which they have to stand to brush. This gives them a special feeling of importance as they understand that their likes and dislikes do matter in your life.

These are just few of the methods that you can try. What matters the most is the love that you have for your child. Your child is an individual with a unique personality. All you have to do is to respect them and love them infinitely.