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‘Tooth Fairy’ Gives an Average of $3 This Year

Photo: Denise Crew/Getty ImagesKids reaching under their pillows the morning after losing a tooth are now likely to find about three bucks a pop, according to a new survey out this week by the Visa credit card company.

That average is up 15 percent from last year when the going rate was $2.60.

"The Tooth Fairy may be the canary in the economic coal mine. She's showing signs of life by leaving 40 cents more per tooth this year," said Jason Alderman, senior director of global financial education for Visa Inc. in a press release.  "This is not only good news for kids, but an ideal teachable moment for parents to engage their children in thinking about how to budget their windfall by saving a portion."

Visa has also launched an app and an online tool called the Tooth Fairy Calculator to help clueless parents everywhere decide how much to shell out. The tool takes into account state, age, gender, income and education levels to determine how much dough the kid should get without getting embarrassed on the playground.

For instance, a college-educated male parent at the age of 46 living in Hawaii and earning $39,900 a year should give just a $1 from the tooth fairy.

How about a 41-year-old mother with a high school diploma living in Alaska and making less than $25,000? The calculator urges her to give $3.

The tool also offers a look what the suggested amount is compared with what you received from the tooth fairy as a child.

The survey was conducted from July 13 to 17 through 2,000 telephone interviews.

Additional findings in the survey include:
• 3 percent of children receive less than a dollar, down from 7 percent last year.
• 30 percent of children receive exactly $1. Last year's survey showed that 29 percent of children received exactly $1.
• 13 percent of children receive between $2 and $4, down from 18 percent last year.
• 18 percent of children receive $5, the same amount as compared to last year.
• 8 percent of children receive more than $5, compared to 3 percent last year.

Photo: Denise Crew/Getty Images

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Sep 6, 2012 8:02PM

I hate to 'go there', but the Tooth Fairy calculator linked in the article above bases its output on whether you are a man or a woman.  All other things the same, I would need to shell out $3, while my husband of the same age, education, and income level would only need to give $2.  Thanks for showing me where I stand with your organization, Visa. 


I also think $5 for losing a tooth is ridiculous.  Does a child really need to receive $100 for losing their baby teeth?  It's not an accomplishment of any sorts.

Sep 6, 2012 7:21PM

Give your Kid what  you want to give them or what you can afford to give them.

I gave my children 1.00 for a tooth that  they had lost.

 My grandaughter has recently lost a tooth.

She told me that her Mom told her that the tooth fairy will no longer come to her house and asked me if the Tooth Fairy still came to my home. 


She is 10, I told her yes and would come to my home up to 12.  I gave her 5.00 for her tooth because I wanted to give it to her.


Sep 6, 2012 7:16PM
It cost my tooth fairy $5 for each one.
Sep 6, 2012 7:07PM
Dont tell Obama or he will tax it!!!
Sep 6, 2012 6:50PM

When I was growing up, it was one dime and a penny. That's it! No fancy tooth holder pillow......just those two coins.

When my kids were growing up....it was two quarters.

Can't believe I read that someone actually gives $10.00 for one and $20.00 for each of the two front teeth.

A homeless person would actually be happy to pull out their teeth for that kind of money. LOL

Sep 6, 2012 6:38PM
I thought I was doing good to get 50 cents a tooth!
Sep 6, 2012 6:34PM
I say you give money for teeth with no cavities. If there is a cavity, no "tooth fairy" payout:-p
Sep 6, 2012 6:16PM
I give my son $5 per tooth. However, when he wants something at the store, such as a new game or toy, he knows he must take his wallet out of his pocket and buy it using his own money. He is learning to scrutinize his expenditures and not buy new things on a whim. He has recently found that he can usually find what he is looking for buying used items on Craigslist rather than new toys at the store.

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