The Tooth Fairy must have a lock on its purse.
For the second consecutive year, payouts from the Tooth Fairy have plunged with moms and dads giving out just $3.70 per tooth, leaving kids with less in their pockets as rates are down 43 cents from the previous year, according to data compiled by Delta Dental.
Although the national average dropped, not all parents follow the same guidelines. Thirty-seven percent of parents said they are pretty generous, giving their kids at least $5 or more for Tooth Fairy visits, with the first lost tooth usually being the priciest with a national average for $4.96, according to the poll.
Regionally, it pays to leave your tooth under pillows in Western American households. The West pays the most per tooth — $4.19 — with the South ($3.91) and the North East ($3.75) following above the national average. However, children in the Midwest are being stiffed by the Tooth Fairy as parents pony up just $2.97-a-tooth, 73 cents less than the national average, according to the survey.
The price of teeth
While nearly half of all kids use their Tooth Fairy visits’ earnings as a way to save money, parents also get something out of it. More than half of parents said it’s the joy of giving their children something to be excited that make Tooth Fairy visits enjoyable. Those visits also provide some partial relief, as well, with 30% of parents saying a Tooth Fairy visit enables for some personal quiet time with their kids going to bed earlier, hoping that the Tooth Fairy will visit.
“While our Original Tooth Fairy Poll is rooted in fun, it is also interesting to see how parents are using visits from the Tooth Fairy as a learning tool in their home,” said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association, in a press release. “Parents share that the Tooth Fairy is delivering so much more than a tangible gift for a lost tooth, such as teaching our next generation about proper oral health habits and personal financial responsibility in a memorable way.”
In separate research by askthedentist.com, a national poll of 1,700 US parents found that children in Delaware collect the most at $4.4 per Tooth Fairy visit. Montana, North Dakota, Rhode Island, and Wyoming parents also gave more than $4, according to the poll.
New York parents pay $3.50 per tooth, according to the poll.