The tradition of leaving a tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy to collect is practiced in various countries. Kids the world over rejoice at the prospect of losing a tooth, knowing that when they awake the following morning – they’ll find money in place of their tooth.
But how much on average does the tooth fairy pay out? There has been considerable research into the going rate for a tooth, taking a number of factors into account such as spending and household income. While some lucky kids find a ten pound note under their pillow, the UK average is around £1. However, the price largely depends on where you live.
According to research, the tooth fairy is more generous up north, paying over £2 in Northern Island and paying the least in the South West of Britain. It has been found that 36% of children spend their tooth fairy money on sweets and a further 31% on toys.
Over in the US, the tooth fairy is much more lenient with her pay-outs. During the past year, the average amount has increased to a record-breaking high of $4.66 (that’s £3.61 to us Brits). In fact, the tooth fairy paid just over $290 million (see: just over £225 million) for lost teeth in 2016. Kids who live Western US are paid the highest, followed by the Northeast, while Midwest kids get the lowest amount.
The increasing prices is a good indication of economic health and the eagerness of parents to ensure that their children maintain their pearly teeth. It has been found that children and parents who are most enthusiastic about the tooth fairy also take dental care more seriously. Offering more money can motivate your kids to brush and floss their teeth more regularly. This may seem like a form of bribery, but parents who uphold the tooth fairy tradition will save more dentist bills in the long-run, as your children will have less problems with their teeth.
As long as you don’t go overboard with the fairy’s gift, you can help reinforce dental care routines to your children in a fun and rewarding way.