The tooth fairy just isn’t paying kids as much anymore.
When it came to reimbursing children for a lost tooth in 2018, the tooth fairy paid an average of $3.70 – a 43 cent decline from the previous year’s average of $4.13, according to Delta Dental’s Original Tooth Fairy Poll. The poll surveyed over 1,000 parents of children ages 6-12 nationwide.
2018 marks the second straight year with a dip in the cash kids received when a tooth fell out. In 2016, the average was $4.66.
Several factors can influence how much parents are giving their kids for lost teeth, says Andre Richards, assistant vice president of brand strategy and management at Delta Dental Plans Association.
“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,” Richards said.
Another reason for why parents might be giving less is due to the country’s overall economy. According to Delta Dental, the poll has tracked with the movement of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index for 14 of the past 17 years. The S&P 500 was at 2,687 on December 28, 2017, and decreased to 2,596 by January 11, 2019 – a decline of 3 percent.
Where a kid lives also affects how much they get from the tooth fairy. While kids in the West ($4.19 per tooth), the South ($3.91 per tooth) and the Northeast ($3.75 per tooth) fell above the average, the Midwest ($2.97 per tooth) was well below.
Not all lost teeth have the same value, either. According to the poll, parents pay their children an average of $4.96 for their first lost tooth.
Ben Tobin, USA TODAY
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