Hey, Tooth Fairy: What Do You Pay These Days?

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We want the tooth, the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth — so help your dentist.

How much should the tooth fairy pay?

A Visa survey of 3,000 households says children across the country now find an average of $3.70 under their pillows. Last year it was $3 per tooth, and $2.60 the year before that.

As it turns out, the tooth fairy sometimes pays wildly different amounts to children. Some children find $1, others $20. Here’s how often kids get the big bucks, according to the survey:

  • $5 or more — 10 percent.
  • $20 or more — 6 percent.
  • $50 — 2 percent.

What if your kid gets a much smaller sum than her friends did? “I told [my daughter] that the tooth fairy has only so much money for every night, and that’s how she decides to split up the money,” parenting blogger Brian Klems told The Associated Press. The tooth fairy must start in the Northeast and go clockwise, because kids there find an average of $4.10, while those in the Midwest wake up to $3.30.

Visa also has a tooth fairy calculator, which sheds some light on what kids can expect based on their household’s state, education, marital status, family size and annual income. Those seem like odd things for a tooth fairy to care about, but perhaps no odder than Visa doing a survey about children’s teeth. (Is the fairy paying with plastic these days? Are there per-tooth processing fees?)

What has the tooth fairy left in your home? What about when you were a kid? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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