Losing your first tooth is a rite-of-passage longed for by young children. They wiggle their teeth looking for one even slightly loose. Joy erupts when they finally find one. A variety of folk practices accompany this important event. Some children have stubborn teeth that seem to wiggle forever or even hang on stubbornly by a thread. One method of helping the tooth out involves tying a string around the tooth with the other end of the string around a doorknob. Then the door is swiftly shut. Voila the tooth is no longer in the mouth! (FA 14 126.96.36.199.1.1) A less dramatic way of extracting a tooth involves a parent taking a hanking, firmly gripping the tooth and then yanking. (FA 14 188.8.131.52.2.1) Personally I know that neither of these are foolproof.
The fun comes once the tooth is pulled and the tooth fairy comes. It is most common to put the tooth under the child’s pillow and then when they are asleep, the tooth fairy comes and leaves a small amount of money. (FA 14 184.108.40.206.3.1) However, one variant involves putting the tooth in a glass of water. Then, if the child has been good, the tooth fairy will leave money. (FA 14 220.127.116.11.4.1) This conditional leaving of the reward is similar to Santa leaving coal in Christmas stockings for bad children. Let us know if you have any other traditions surrounding the loosing of teeth.