Pack your toothbrush! Let’s travel around the world and learn about tooth culture in other countries! While the goal of oral health is the same across the globe, other cultures have different values and practices surrounding teeth. At FDA, we love an opportunity to learn…come join us in this dental exploration!
Tooth Fairy or Magic Mouse?
What do your kids do when they lose a tooth? Throw it up on the roof? If you lived in Vietnam, that is exactly what they would do! There are oodles of interesting teeth traditions beyond the tooth fairy. For example, in Mexico, kids put their teeth in a little box for El Raton, a magic mouse, kids in South Africa put their lost teeth in their slipper for another magic mouse, and Yupik children in Alaska feed their teeth to the family dog with the hope it will help a new healthy tooth replace it. You and your kids can learn about more traditions from around the world with the book Throw Your Tooth on the Roof!
Straight Teeth or Crooked Teeth?
Americans are known for their love of straight teeth and can spend a lot of time with a dentist or orthodontist to achieve that perfectly aligned smile. In Japan, however, you might ask your dentist to give you a more crooked, pointy grin with Yaeba. Yaeba, or “double tooth” is a cosmetic procedure to make a cap for the canine teeth that is longer and pointier. It is associated with youthfulness and natural beauty and a popular trend for young women.
Toothbrush or Chewing Stick?
The toothbrush is an integral part of our oral health regimen and key to keeping plaque at bay, but have you ever tried Miswak? Miswak is an Arabic word meaning “tooth-cleaning stick” and is considered to be the first documented form of dental hygiene. Made from the Salvadora persica tree, it is popular throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, and is gaining popularity in other parts of the world as well. In fact, there are some studies that show that using a Miswak is as effective or greater than a toothbrush. Given that it’s 100% natural and biodegradable, more and more people are turning to Miswak as a natural oral health care option.
We hope you enjoyed these fascinating facts from around the world! If you know about any other fun tooth culture trivia, share it on our Facebook page! We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!