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I am so glad I am no longer a toothfairy...

Tooth Fairy taking bite out of parents' pocketbooks

By Katrina Bishop, Deputy News Editor, CNBC

As most Americans set about tightening their belts, the tooth fairy's magic shows no signs of waning.

Indeed, this fantasy figure's generosity is skyrocketing, according to a new survey, which revealed that some American children are pocketing up to $50 per tooth.

The amount left by the tooth fairy has shot up in recent years, and 2013 is no exception, research by Visa showed on Friday. Its annual tooth survey revealed that children found an average of $3.70 under their pillows in 2013 – a whopping 23 percent increase on 2012, when only $3.00 was left.

Based on this rate of return, a child would net an impressive $74 for a full set of 20 baby teeth.

But some youngsters are set to make even more, with 6 percent of American children receiving $20 or more from the tooth fairy – and 2 percent finding a crisp $50 bill tucked under their pillow.

The tradition, which has its origins in the 1800s, sees children place their lost baby teeth under their pillow for the "tooth fairy," who leaves some loose change in exchange for the tooth. But the days of finding a quarter are long gone, and somewhat surprisingly, only a third of those surveyed reported that the tooth fairy left a dollar per tooth.

The tooth fairy is most generous in the Northeast, according to the research, where children get an average of $4.10 per tooth. By contrast, Midwestern children found the least under their pillows, with an average of $3.30 per tooth.

Despite the recent economic downturn, the custom remains popular with the tooth fairy visiting 90 percent of households in the U.S. this year.

How much do you put under the pillow for a tooth?
Does it make a difference if it is perfect or has had a cavity?


Asked by Dardenella at 9:56 AM on Aug. 30, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 47 (265,227 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I just gave my boys whatever change I had on hand. Usually a dollar or so. One time my oldest lost a tooth at a rest area while we were onbvacation. It started bleeding and he freaked out, crying. A cute little old lady felt sorry for him and brought him a dollar, a soda and a snickers bar!!!! He always insisted she was the real tooth fairy and gave him junk food so he'd lose more teeth!!! Lol

    Answer by Nimue930 at 6:22 PM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • They got a dollar, regardless of which tooth it was. Some parents are ridiculous.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 9:58 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • $5 for the first tooth and $1 for remaining teeth. Cavities are not disqualifiers, but the tooth must be clean. No blood or gross stuff on it.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:59 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • BOTH of my kids got $5 for the first tooth, and $1 for all other teeth. Cavities have not been an issue.

    $50 fora tooth!!??!?!? And people wonder why kids today are so entitled and spoiled..........sigh

    Answer by Rosehawk at 11:28 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • They each got a $5 bill for the first lost tooth, $1 for each one after that. $50 a tooth is ridiculous.

    The tooth fairy gave something no matter the condition of the tooth.

    Answer by Ginger0104 at 10:00 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • $5 for the first and $1 for the rest. People are freaking crazy!

    Answer by kmath at 10:08 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • $1.00

    Answer by Izsarejman at 10:23 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • that's insane. no tooth fairy in this house yet but i agree with other posters. 5 for the first and dollar for the rest. and cavities wouldn't matter. my son has lots of cavity issues.. but he brushes multiple times a day and does amazing at the dentist so i cant imagine punishing him for bad teeth. i may also include a note or something fun to the mix. lol 1 dollar is plenty for a silly little toy from the dollar store! (which compared to the expensive gifts my kids have got from bdays and xmas.. the dollar store ones are always the favorite! go figure!)

    Answer by nnh_mama at 10:34 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • $50 a tooth? That's outrageous. My kids get a buck a tooth.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 11:03 AM on Aug. 30, 2013

  • Buck a tooth. Unless they luck out and loose one when a grandparent or other relative is visiting, sometimes they like to supplement the tooth fairy treasure. ;)

    Answer by tessiedawg at 10:45 AM on Aug. 30, 2013