The Tooth Bird

Dimples lost one of her front baby teeth last night. She tucked it into the special Tooth-Fairy pillow. As we talked about the Tooth Fairy coming, Honeybee told us about the tradition in Ethiopia. After losing a tooth, a child throws it onto the roof of the house and recites a poem about a bird coming to take it away. If I understood her correctly, the bird takes the tooth and makes it into a new permanent tooth which then grows in.

How interesting is that?

As I was searching information trying to confirm this Ethiopian tradition, I came upon this book:

Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World

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I think I may have to check it out.

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. june
    September 19, 2009

    We have this book! It doesn't mention Ethiopia specifically but there are lots of similar traditions in it.

    Does Honeybee know the poem/song? My son sang it right after he arrived home but once he lost his Amharic it was gone. I would love to find it again.

  2. shell
    September 19, 2009

    yup! we have that book and it is true! 🙂

  3. Andrea H.
    September 19, 2009

    See this is the awesome thing about older child adoptions also. They can always tell you great stories about their country.

  4. Hannah
    September 19, 2009

    I like that idea! Why didn't I get to throw my teeth on the roof?

  5. Donna
    September 19, 2009

    My son told me something similar when he lost his first tooth shortly after arriving from Liberia. He did not mention a song though. I think he was afraid that the tooth would not grow in because we did not throw it on the roof. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will have to look for it.

    Delighting in Him

  6. Laura
    September 20, 2009

    What a hoot…I can just see Dimples outside for hours trying to throw the tooth onto your high roof. Good thing you use a pillow here!

  7. Sarah
    September 21, 2009

    The kids and I read that book this summer – so fun! We changed our tradition. We incorporated China and Ethiopia into our new tradition. It was fun to find an easy fun way to celebrate the different cultures that make up our family! We have had 4 lost teeth here in the past 2 weeks and have had a blast with the roof!


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