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Does Inflation Affect the Tooth Fairy?

young girl without front teeth

When the Chicago Dental Society surveyed its members in 2003, more than half thought the tooth fairy should pay $1 for a child’s tooth. The members were surveyed again in 2009 and this time almost a quarter thought the children should get $2 and another quarter thought they should receive a whopping $5.

Not to be outdone by dentists, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has weighed in on the matter and said that the tooth fairy should give $1.15 per tooth, instead of the $1 it suggested in 2003. The tooth fairy’s website claims that the going rate is now at least $2. Dr. Marissa Miller can give you a better idea of what the going rate is in your area for the tooth fairy trade

The tale of the tooth fairy most likely has its origins in early Europe, where it was a tradition to bury baby teeth that had fallen out of a child’s mouth. This custom is still practiced in Ireland and Great Britain, but children tend to only receive money after their sixth tooth falls out, as a reward for growing big and strong. In America, the tooth fairy became more popular in the past century, as people made more money and focused more on the lives of their children.

Children generally lose 20 teeth between the ages of 6 and 12, which means the tooth fairy will spend anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on who you listen to. In these hard economic times, Dr. Miller also suggests that a small toy or gift may be substituted for cash.

When your child has loose teeth remember that wiggling is okay, but forcing a tooth out can cause bleeding and infection. It’s better to just let it happen naturally. If you have any concerns or questions about what is going on with your child’s mouth, Dr. Miller will be able to help explain and solve any problems. Just don’t forget to put them under a pillow at night!