Children will start to lose their baby teeth between the ages of five and seven. By this age they’re already in school, where friends and classmates will talk about how much money the Tooth Fairy left under their pillow for a lost tooth. So how much does the Tooth Fairy leave? Let’s find out!
A phone survey of 3,000 people conducted in 2013 determined that, on average, a child receives $3.70 for each lost tooth. Now this may seem like a significant increase from the one or two quarters that we used to find under our pillows as kids. Today’s parents are genuinely unaware of what other “Tooth Fairies” are paying out and in an effort to be fair the going rate seems to have jumped significantly. They want to be fair yet at the same time don’t want to be cheap.
As a guide, Facebook has added an application which shows the going rates for the Tooth Fairy in the United States based on various factors such as location and income.
Getting Creative with the Payout
Elaborate storage boxes and certificates for these lost teeth have become the norm. The tradition of the tooth fairy gives parents the chance to think outside the box and get creative. One mom put $100.00 bill under her daughter’s pillow along with a new toothbrush and a note. The note said she had to use the money towards an education fund, but if she brushed her teeth every day for the next 30 days, she would get $20.00 to spend wherever she wanted. This mom was trying to teach her child the importance of saving for the future as well as taking care of her teeth. This is an interesting concept and can be adapted by other parents and adjusted to fit any budget. Teaching kids about good oral health at a young age is a great way to implement healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Tooth Fairy Tip from Your Dentist
As a Dentist, I would definitely place emphasis on the importance of brushing and flossing. Leaving a reward, monetary or otherwise, under your child’s pillow for a lost tooth is a wonderful idea. Including a certificate for your child’s tooth is also a great way to make a dental experience a fun one. Click here for a Tooth Fairy Certificate you can fill out and leave under your child’s pillow.
What if You’re Asked about Whether the Tooth Fairy is Real?
Childhood belief in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are a right of passage, we all believed. As children get older, questions of the authenticity of these characters will arise. I once had a child ask where the tooth fairy got her money, and wondered if she had a special bank machine. It is quite normal for kids to question and wonder about these traditions and how they work as they grow older.
Every parent dreads the day their child asks whether the Tooth Fairy is real. How do you answer their question without breaking their spirit? Here is an example on how one mom handled this very question:
“Mommy, are you the Tooth Fairy?” asked my 7 year old daughter this morning after finding $1.00 under her pillow for her baby tooth she lost the day before; that was the last thing I was expecting to hear! I was not prepared nor did I know what to say to her so I stammered out “What do you mean?” with a goofy look on my face. She asked me again, “Did you put the money under my pillow? Are you the Tooth Fairy?”
With a goofier look on my face I said “I’m not sure what you want me to say…” She only stared at me and almost demanded: “Yes or no?” I pulled her into my bedroom, closed the door and sat her on my bed. “Ok, listen carefully,” I said almost in a whisper. “I am- but you can’t tell anyone, not your friends, and absolutely not Billy.” My 5 year old would be devastated.
Her eyes sparkled and were as big as saucers. Giggling she squeaked, “You are?! I knew it! I knew you were!” and before I could say anything she gasped. “Wait! Are you everybody’s Tooth Fairy or just mine and Billy’s?” “Oh honey” I said, “I don’t have time to be everybody’s Tooth Fairy, just yours and Billy’s.”
“So Suzy’s mom is her Tooth Fairy and Mikey’s dad is his Tooth Fairy?” she asked looking for clarification. “Yes” I said “And remember that it’s fun to believe so don’t tell anyone our secret, I winked at her. We shook hands and made our deal, the pact was made and a bond forged.
What a great way to come clean about the Tooth Fairy while maintaining the spirit and keeping it fun.
Dr. Kate Bazydlo, Heritage House Dental