Friday, October 20, 2006

Milk Tooth Custom

On the other day, I pulled my 3rd wisdom teeth at a hospital. Wisdom teeth is “Oyashirazu (親知らず)” in Japanese. The operation was successful with a great dentist, but it was no less than fear, especially when he tried hard to pull my Oyashirazu strongly, I was just frozen. I was asked by a dental hygienist if I want the teeth. However, I refused immediately so that I don’t recall the thrilling moment.

By the way, I remember I used to throw my milk teeth, Nyu-shi(乳歯) in Japanese when it came off. If milk teeth above come off, children throw the teeth from 2nd floor. If the teeth below come off, they throw it toward a roof. These are a sort of charm for little kids to pray for having good permanent teeth, Eikyu-shi(永久歯) in Japanese.

I have heard coin things in the U.S when milk teeth come off. Do you have special custom in your country?


soursop said...

!! your story reminded my own hard experience 2 years ago, having my wisdom teeth extracted in a small surgery...^^;

hey I think Japanese and Chinese customs about the milk teeth are exactly the same!! i used to did that too... in addition, instead of being extracted by doctor, my front teeth were extracted out by my parents using thread when the teeth were loose and can be shaken off easily. after that, for our own entertainment to forget the pain, we (the kid) will throw up/down the milk teeth accordingly, haha...

Anonymous said...

This post is really cute! I've not heard about customs for throwing teeth. But i heard about the tooth fairy story from the american culture (i think).

My milk teeth were extracted by myself! lol.. I must have a high threshold for pain, i guess.. ^^"

Anonymous said...

"refused immediately"のあたりが笑えたw


Pierre-Yann said...

Here in France, the custom is totally different. When a child loose one of the milk tooth, we say that the little mouse will come during the night and put a small gift near the bed in exchange of the tooth.

For me, I always waited to lost naturally the tooth. Just one time it was painfull during one or two days, so my father say that he will extract it with one big grip pliers (about 50 cm long), if the tooth don't loose the next day

kayanon said...


This was my 3rd surgery, and 2nd one was dreadful experience...2 dentists had operation. They cut gums and digged hidden withdom teeth...

Chinese and Japanese have lots of similarities! Yeah, my parents or I extracted milk teeth with thread too. Oh, what a painful memory..

kayanon said...


Thank you, piccola. Yeah, I also have heard of fairy story and coin in the U.S.

By the way, thanks for giving new word, "threshold". (I didn't know the meaning of this word.)

kayanon said...



kayanon said...


Interesting. So did you get several small gift from the little mouse? and what was it?

I sometimes touched my milk teeth by tongue, and it came off naturall which was easy and less painful way to loose it.

Pierre-Yann said...

The only gift I remember was a yellow plastic hedgehog for putting pen in pencil in the spines and with a pencil sharpener as a mouth in the head.

kayanon said...


cute gift you had. and pulled milk teeth was dissapiar somewhere, right?

Anonymous said...

Hey! I always had to put my milk tooth in a glas of water. The next day when I woke up it was replaced with 10 Kroners :-) The tooth fairy had been visiting :-D
(I think it might have been my parents though :-p)
Have a nice weekend!

kayanon said...


You pulled milk teeth sink into a glass of water?! How do you pull it?(sorry im too curious)

I really envy tooth fairy culture. If fairy thing excit in Japanese custom, I didn't have to worry too much!

Pierre-Yann said...

I think that in the normal custom, the tooth disappear.
In my case, my mother put all my tooth in a glass contenair. I think she still have it somewhere.

Anonymous said...

You pulled milk teeth sink into a glass of water?! How do you pull it?(sorry im too curious)

Hmm.. not sure if I understand you correctly; but I usually pulled them out using dental floss around them :-) Or I would just push them back and forth until they got really really loose, then I just pulled them out with my fingers. I knew I would get money for it if I put it in a glas of water over night, so I alway got them out quick when they start to loosen :-D

What do you worry about when not having the fairy culture? I think it would be more worrying to think of a fairy entering my room by night while sleeping ;-) (Maybe it's an idea to not have the glas of water with a tooth in the bedroom, but maybe in the kitchen..)
Have god night!

Anonymous said...

Looks like some of your comment came along there :-) just ignore the first paragraph.

ShennongShi said...

It is amazing to see so many responds about pulling teeth!
I had one of my teeth (big one, at the back of your gum) pull out by a "Dentist student" at the hospital in UK. He was a practising dentist but the job was very bad! It was free of charge. He couldn't pull it out the first attempt, then he used all his force then the teeth came out. He was so relief and I stopped worrying. Anyway, I would never recommend anyone try this and I just don't know why I did it!

ross said...

i still have all my wisdom teeth, the dentist wanted to pull them long ago but i was afraid of the pain. but then as i got older, they became very painful anyway with many toothaches.

i have not heard of the custom of milk teeth you have over there. i am in united states and can tell you what we do here. when a child loses a tooth, they save it for that night, and then put it under the pillow when they go to bed. in the morning, they wake to find the tooth is gone, and there are some coins there instead. this is supposed to be done by the "tooth fairy" which of course is really the parent. i still have these memories as a child.

also it is interesting, i have never heard them called milk teeth before. over here we call them baby teeth.

kayanon said...


Wow, other people in France do the same thing, collecting tooth?


Yup, I understand your explanation. "I knew I would get money for it if I put it in a glas of water over night, so I alway got them out quick when they start to loosen" That's I meant at privious comment. I would maybe not so afraid to pull milk teeth when I think about being given something gift from tooth fairy. haha.

kayanon said...


I didn't know there is free of charge for dentist students pratising. It sounds really scary. When I pulled 2nd withdom teeth, young dentist had operation, but his skill was not enough to carry it out. Therefore, old dentist explained the dentist and he seemed to practice surgery.


mmm, sounds really painful with toothaches. You still have 4 wisdom teeth?

Thanks for your explanation about tooth fairy situation in the U.S! That's what I have heard somewhere about there custom. What a cute custom tooth fairy is. I feel parents kindness to children by giving these stories.

About milk teeth, I looked it up in the dictionary and I used it. It is interesting that Nyu-shi(乳歯) is exactly the same with milk teeth. 乳=milk and 歯=teeth.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pierre-Yann said...

I don't know if other people collect teeth.

Kuntry Konfession said...

hmmmm? what does the fairy do with all those teeth!?!?!?!
hahahahah! once i had a loose tooth, and i was laughing hard, me ma yanked it out for me...

kanyanon, they usually knock the people out during tooth surgery-they did for my roommates when they got their wisdoms out.
why do they call it wisdom teeth?!?!?!
anyway....the japanese kids' concept is funny and somewhat logical!

kayanon said...


I don't know, but tooth fairy is super mania of tooth, I bet...

Anonymous said...

Hello Kayanon, I have started reading your blog and I am enjoying it. You do a good job. I am learning a lot.

My children (in the US) think that the tooth fairy takes the baby teeth and gives them to a newborn baby with no teeth. Recycling.

They usually get money or a small gift under their pillows. We wrap the teeth up in oragami paper pouch. Makes it easier to find under a pillow in the dark.

I have all their baby teeth in a drawer in my bedroom. I just can't get rid of them.

Kik said...

This post is old. I found it without looking for that.
But it is great. I want to collect informations about loosing milk teeth.

thanks for this blog. I did'nt know about japanese customs.

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