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Toothy Myths

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dentist gamesNow that colder weather is here, do you tell ghost stories around a fire? There are lots of stories and myths about teeth from all over the world. You’re already familiar with the tooth fairy. You probably also know about vampires, and what vampire would be scary without their sharp, pointy canines?

Speaking of canines, have you heard the Norse myths about the wolf Fenrir? This vicious beast was a son of the trickster god Loki. Legend said he would kill Odin, king of the gods. In order to prevent this from happening, the gods forged a powerful chain to hold Fenrir down so he couldn’t bite anybody. Unfortunately (and wisely), the massive wolf refused to put the chain on. Only when the god Tyr put his hand in the wolf’s mouth would the wolf allow himself to be chained. Of course the gods refused to take the chains off once they were on him. And of course Fenrir bit off Tyr’s hand with his sharp teeth!

The Greeks had their own myths about the teeth of wolves. Pliny the Elder recommended rubbing a wolf’s tooth on the gums of babies to prevent pain from teething. Luckily, your parents don’t have to hunt vicious wolves and can just consult a pediatric dentist when your infant brothers and sisters are crying from teething pain.

The most famous teeth from Greek myth are probably the dragon’s teeth sown by Jason. In his quest to win the golden fleece, Jason had to plant dragon’s teeth into the ground. Each tooth sprouted into a fully armored warrior ready to kill Jason. Luckily, the clever Medea convinced Jason to toss a stone among the warriors. One warrior was struck, and thinking another of the dragon-tooth warriors had done it, the two began fighting. The fighting spread, and soon all the dragon-tooth warriors are had slain one another, leaving Jason free and alive to continue his quest for the golden fleece.

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