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

By helaineo |

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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About helaineo

helaineo

helaineo

Helaine Olen's writing has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Salon.com, AlterNet.org and LiteraryMama.com, where she is an associate editor. Her first book, Office Mate: The Guide to Finding True Love on the Job will be published this fall. She lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

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4 thoughts on “How Much Money Does the Tooth Fairy Leave at Your House?

  1. sarah says:

    wow. I had planned on giving my kids a $1 coin for each tooth. Maybe I’m out of touch?

  2. Maureen says:

    My kids get between $1 and $2. Never more than $2. It’s usually in quarters because my kids like the jingle sound. I figure it’s a good amount — I was getting 20 – 25 cents when I was a kid.

  3. Snarky Mama says:

    I think we did $5 for the first and we do $1 for each thereafter. Although, $1 is the “goal” (it really depends on how much $$ I have on-hand).

    Then there was the notable second-lost tooth, which the tooth fairy lost when he (Dad) was switching the tooth for the cash. The quarters ended up getting left on the kid’s desk while Dad was looking for the lost tooth. Never found the tooth, and he forgot to put the $ under the pillow. A lot of quick talking the next morning when kiddo was all, “Hmm. I found my tooth on my rug and all the money was on my desk?”

  4. Lizzie says:

    A dollar here too, and we’re on the East coast. And tooth #1 came out at a friend’s and was sent home in a little shiny jewelry bag so the tooth gets put out in it and the folded up dollar goes in. (Less searching under the pillow.)

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