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July 17, 2024

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The Tooth Fairy’s Getting Stingy

The tooth fairy debate and the declining payout rate left behind.

It’s a rite of passage for some. To lose a tooth, stuff it under your pillow that same night and wake to find money under it. But, there’s a shift happening.

A while back, we learned some parents were giving as much as $20 for a tooth! The rate was going at about an average of $4 – $5, too. However, a new study reveals the going rate for that pearly white tooth is declining. According to a recent poll by Delta Dental, after a sharp spike upward around 2014, the average Tooth Fairy payout in 2018 came down to $3.70 per tooth. That’s down from $4.13 in 2017 and $4.66 in 2016. You can also see the going rate from the Tooth Fairy for a tooth from around the world on this report, too.

Going Rate

However you may feel about the Tooth Fairy, the belief is still going strong. And many parents show a sigh of relief that the average going rate is on a decline as well.

“My kids get $1 just like we always did,” says local mom Kelsey Brooke Vinson. And, Paige McConnell agrees saying her son also gets $1 per tooth! No more and no less.

But, what if your child expects more and you’ve not got anything on hand? Take it from a mom that set the bar too high from the get-go.

Local mom Susan Brotherton says, “Our tooth fairy started bringing ‘Golden dollars’ (Sacajawea coins) to our oldest about five years ago. Big mistake. Tooth fairy had to stock up and recycle, because now they’re almost impossible to find! Four kids times 20 baby teeth = tooth fairy should’ve thought this out better!”

To Believe or Not to Believe

Elaine Rose Glickman of Mind Body Green ( says you shouldn’t allow your kids to believe in the tooth fairy.

“I’m not a fan of the Tooth Fairy mostly because I don’t like lying to kids,” says Glickman. “And, at heart, that’s exactly what you’re doing when you teach your kid to believe in the Tooth Fairy.” Her three reasons for this belief: 1) It sets your kid up to look like a fool. 2) Saying that these gifts are from some pretend creature takes away from your relationship. 3) It teaches your kid not to trust you.

“You don’t need to lie to your kid in order to bring magic and light and happiness to her life,” says Glickman. “This world is already full of magic and light and happiness.”

So, what do you say. Would you not start this tradition in your home? If so, what do you think the going rate for a tooth should be?

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