According to Delta Dental, the tooth fairy left an estimated $290-million for teeth last year. If that doesn’t shock you, numbers also show the going-rate for a tooth placed under the pillow is rising, in fact, the nationwide average is now $4.66.
Katie Miness is a mom of three, her oldest is 5, and so a visit from the tooth fairy is soon approaching.
“I think the first tooth is a big deal, so I would give a dollar and then I’d go to change.”
Stephanie White also has three kids, but they’re older, so no more under the pillow payments are provided. She remembers there was no set tariff for teeth.
“It varied, depending on what was available and what our tooth fairy had on hand”
A great system and one I may need to follow because when telling both about my daughters recent tooth loss and her $5-dollar gift I got a “whoa” from White and a “you do you” from Miness. It was clear I needed some guidance, so I brought in mom and financial expert Denise Keiser.
“I think the most important thing is to remember to leave something. There were several occasions where mom forgot to show the tooth fairy where my sons room was and he woke up to nothing and was not happy.”
Keiser isn’t the only one, in fact, the most recent Delta Dental survey shows 56% of parents report the tooth fairy forgot to pick up the tooth on the first night.
The survey also showed the average price paid for each tooth is now almost $5. Multiply that by the 20 baby teeth that’ll fall out and that equals to 100 bucks. A mountain of money for kids aged 5 to 8 and maybe the perfect time to establish financial awareness according to Keiser.
“The younger you can introduce them to good money habits the more likely they will acquire good money habits so they can save and win with money, which is what we want for every, right?
What’s also right is catering to what your child loves, and so coins seem correct for Miness’ kids.
“She likes the piggybank, you know, stick change in the piggy bank – I think that’s a big deal.”
Maybe more valuable than the money you leave is the lesson of understanding you can teach according to White, when you’re faced with a late-night tooth loss with no cash in the house.
“Every family’s tooth fairy is different and some families get, you know, a tooth fairy that’s on time and sometimes their tooth fairy is a day or two late, ha ha…”
The vast majority of parents leave between $1 and $5 and that’s about right when adjusting for inflation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, when you factor in the average inflation rate since 1980 and the cost of living for 2017, $1 is equivalent to $2.97 today.