Is the Tooth Fairy feeling the inflation lately?

November 15, 2015 - Dr Christine Nguyen-Khac

Since 2009, Visa has been surveying American parents to track the average amount left by the Tooth Fairy per lost baby tooth.

Long gone are the days where the Tooth Fairy used to leave a few cents per lost tooth under a pillow. She’s become quite generous! From 2009 to 2013, the surveys show continuous inflation. In 2011, children received an average of 2.60$ per tooth. In 2012, 3.00$ per lost tooth. In 2013, 3.70$ per tooth… an inflation of 42% in only two years! The inflation was partially due to the recovering economy and to competition between parents. The survey also revealed that the average price per tooth varied depending on the city. On average, the Tooth Fairy leaves from 1.00 to 5.00$ per tooth. But in New York and Los Angeles, the average amount per tooth is 13.25$ and 9.69$ respectively. Some parents even go up to leaving 50.00$ for a lost incisor! With 20 baby teeth, a child could receive up to 1000.00$ for a full set of lost teeth. The survey also shows that the higher the level education of the parents, the smaller is the amount left by the Tooth Fairy. Many parents use the Tooth Fairy as a teaching tool to teach about the value of money, spending choices, and initiate them to saving.

However, with the fragile economy and recession in the past two years, even children are feeling repercussions under their pillows! This year, for the second consecutive year, the Tooth Fairy is leaving less money than the preceding year…an average of 3.19$ per tooth! Looks like she’s getting back on track…

This year’s survey reveals that:

  • 32% receive 1.00$ from the Tooth Fairy
  • 20% receive 5.00$ from the Tooth Fairy
  • 5% receive more than 20.00$ from the Tooth Fairy
  • Only 1% of cases where the Tooth Fairy forgot.

How about your home? Is the Tooth Fairy generous? ☺