Tooth Fairy payouts down from last year, survey says

08/21/2014 8:15 AM

08/21/2014 8:17 AM

American children are receiving an average of $3.40 per lost tooth from the Tooth Fairy this year, a decline of 8 percent from a year ago, according to a survey by Visa Inc. released Thursday.

Based on the current rate, the average child still would net a hefty $68 for a full set of baby teeth.

The annual survey, based on about 3,000 telephone interviews of adults and about 1,000 households with children under 13, found that the Tooth Fairy was particularly generous to kids in western states, leaving an average of $3.60 per tooth. Midwestern children found the least under their pillows, with an average of $3.10 per tooth.

The Tooth Fairy may just be giving whatever happens to be in her pocket: More than half of kids get either $1 or $5, according to a news release from Visa Inc.

Only 3.6 percent of respondents said the Tooth Fairy left $20 or more, down from 6 percent in 2013.

Fathers reported a more indulgent Tooth Fairy, saying she left 45 percent more than moms said she did: $4.20 per tooth vs. $2.90.

As part of last year’s survey, Visa launched a free Tooth Fairy app and Facebook calculator to help parents find the going rate for lost teeth in their part of the country. The calculator uses survey data and factors such as gender, age, family size, income and education levels to calculate how much money the Tooth Fairy is leaving in comparable households.

According to the calculator, a 35-year-old Kansas mother with a family of four, a college degree and an income of $40,000 to $50,000 a year reports that her family’s Tooth Fairy leaves $1 per tooth.

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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