Tooth Fairy Fiasco: Why the Avg. Cost per Tooth Is Declining Around the World

According to news reports from across the globe, the tooth fairy is becoming a cheapskate.

The average price for a child’s tooth has been on the decline over the past few years, according to recent reports. A 2018 poll of more than 1,000 parents across the U.S. found that most parents would give their child an average of $3.70 per lost tooth under their pillow to celebrate their growth and development.

Though this might seem like for some, this is actually a $.43 decline from the $4.13 average seen in 2017.

Some parents in the UK once granted their child upwards of £45 for as few as four teeth. While parents are joking that their kids now have more money than them, tooth fairy rates across the pond have also begun to decrease since 2016, where similar polls showed an all-time high for tooth fairy compensation.

For the countless children eagerly awaiting their dues from the tooth fairy, this might seem like a robbery.

But even though 87% of burglary cases go unsolved due to lack of evidence, this is not a case of tooth fairy theft. There are actually a variety of factors that go into fluctuating tooth fairy rates.

Delta Dental Plans Association has posited answers for the steady decline in milk teeth value. Andre Richards, the assistant vice president of brand strategy and management for Delta Dental Plans Association, notes that parents are influenced by a variety of factors when determining tooth prices.

“Payouts for a lost tooth can be influenced by several things, such as what parents received when they were young, a child’s age, how many teeth a child has already lost, oral health habits and whether it is the monumental first lost tooth,” he explains.

For example, if a child eats more candy, they may be more inclined to lose teeth. Children will eat about four pieces of candy for every one piece that an adult will consume.

It’s not uncommon for parents to shell out a little more to celebrate their child’s first tooth. In the United States, the national average has crested almost $5 for a first tooth.

Parents might also pay more depending on how painful the tooth loss was. While many children will lose their teeth on their own through eating candy, some will have to rely on the help of a dentist to get them out. Luckily, dentists are adept at performing more than 250,000 dental sedations each year to ensure patient comfort.

Parents are also influenced by regional factors. For example, tooth fairies in the north will often pay more than fairies residing in the midwest.

In fact, midwestern tooth fairies have experienced the sharpest decline with prices falling by more than $1 in some locations.

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