How Much Money Does the Tooth Fairy Leave at Your House?


Apparently, the Olen family tooth fairy is a cheapskate. My children receive $5 for the first lost tooth, and $2 thereafter.

Our tooth fairy is, alas, behind the financial curve. Survey data from Visa reveals that the average United States child receives $3 per lost baby tooth, with more than 20% netting a stunning $5 for each lost bit of mouth enamel.

What’s going on?

Visa’s data seems to indicate that tooth prices vary based on geographic region, with tooth collectors east of the Mississippi more generous than their Midwestern and west coast counterparts. Moreover, the amount your child might find under his or her pillow also appears to vary with which parent tips the tooth fairy off to the new gap in the their little one’s mouth. Tooth fairies who coordinate with dad leave significantly more money behind when they visit than do those who chat with mom.

As for my kids, if they complain about our resident tooth fairy, I will inform them it can much worse: six percent of children receive no visit from the tooth fairy at all.  Unfortunately, Visa didn’t think to ask those parents the question that came to my mind immediately: What on earth are you thinking?

So what about you? How much does the tooth fairy leave under pillows at your house when she collects your children’s lost teeth?

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