Tooth Fairy Reels From Recession

lost toothBad news kids, the Tooth Fairy has been hit hard by the recession. So just because your big brother scored big for his old little teeth, you may get screwed. That's right, times are tough, and the Tooth Fairy is getting cheap.

According to a recent study, the national average rate for a tooth has gone down from $3 to $2.60 this year alone. That's a 40 percent decline. Even more depressing for the wiggling set, many of them are getting stiffed altogether. When 10 percent of children awoke and reached under their pillow in wild anticipation, they found nothing, nada. Not really worth tying your tooth to a door and slamming it, now is it?


The tooth fairies that stiff kids need to lose their wings; that's just not okay. No matter how dire your situation, you could at least find a few pennies to put under there, or a sticker, or something. Losing teeth is a huge deal, and it's sad to think of kids missing out on that magic.

As for the decline in dollars left, that's good news as far as I'm concerned. In polling parents fairies informally over the years, I've been shocked at how much some kids rake in. Some even get gifts, sprinkled with magic fairy dust, and all sorts of magical surprises. What happened to a nice shiny quarter?

I admit our tooth fairy was a bit overzealous as she left my son $7 for his first tooth -- one dollar for each year he was when he lost it. In her defense, however, my son had his heart set on a gift from her like his best friend had received; he was the last child in his class to finally lose a tooth and had been waiting FOREVER; and she just wasn't quite prepared when the tooth came out by surprise late one night after stores the fairy factory was closed. She was hoping the dollars would ease the blow a bit.

She did rein it in for the second with just a couple bucks -- quarters she scrounged for under couch cushions late at night. Those surprise teeth make a fairy's job pretty tough.

Other findings from the survey show that where a kid lives largely determines how generous his tooth fairy is. According to CNN:

In the eastern United States kids received $2.10, a major 38 percent drop from $3.40 last year.

Out West kids didn't feel the pinch, and they received an average of $2.80, up from $2.70 last year.

Most kids -- 36 percent -- receive $1 or less, while 18 percent receive $5 or less, and 18 percent get $2 to $4. Let's hope the tooth losers of the world never form any sort of union, because if so, we the fairies are all screwed. 

How much does the Tooth Fairy leave your children? Has the amount changed due to the recession?

Image via Bernt Sonvinson/Flickr

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