In These Tough Times, Even The Tooth Fairy Is Cutting Back

Current economic turmoil is so severe that it’s even reaching the magical realm. A survey of parents found that, on average, they were slipping a bit less money under the pillows of their gap-toothed munchkins.

LiveScience, citing the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, reports that kiddies’ rate of return for lost teeth dipped to $2.10 last year, down from $2.52 in 2010. The story cites figures that say 90 percent of parents give their kids money for their teeth, with the most common gift being $1.

Perhaps the Tooth Fairy is feeling stingier because she’s had some investments go wrong, or maybe she’s worried the wicked queen will unilaterally cease collective bargaining negotiations with her union. In any case, kids are walking around with less change in their pockets, no doubt putting the pinch on the front-of-the-grocery-store bubble gum machine market.

Tooth Fairy Cost Cutting Points to Still Struggling Economy [LiveScience via The Awl]


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  1. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    Nothing like lying to your children.

    Just admit there is no tooth fairy and no easter bunny

    • pop top says:

      Yeah I mean, fuck fun family traditions, right?

      • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

        I don’t know why people like you can’t understand that you should never, ever lie to your kids no matter what. When your five-year-old asks if their drawing looks good, you are obligated to tell them that it looks like someone barfed on their paper. We wouldn’t want them to think lying was okay. When your seven-year-old son tells bad knock knock jokes, you should absolutely tell him that those jokes are stupid and that he should stop telling them. Screw him trying to develop a sense of humor. Lying or pretending you like his jokes would be wrong. When your ten-year-old comes home and says that kids at school call him dumb, you are morally obligated to tell him that he is, in fact, a little dumb. When your greasy-haired, zit/brace faced, teenage daughter asks if she is pretty while she is going through the most awkward phase in her life, you should definitely tell her that she looks pretty bad. 100% honesty with your kids people. Lying is never okay. Ever.


    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Not sure if this was sarcastic or not.

      Kids eat that crap up. They love it. It creates something really exciting and special for them. So, why not let them have it? It hurts nothing. I don’t know one person who feels like they were harmed in some way by their parents taking part in these myths. As a matter of fact, most parents I know enjoyed it so much, that they take part in it themselves now that they are grown. I’ve heard a few parents who pull the old, “It teaches them that it’s okay to lie” line out of their butt. Again, I don’t know anyone who thinks it’s okay to lie b/c their parents lied about this stuff. I certainly never felt that way. I’ m pretty sure there is no research or real evidence that would back up that claim either.

      My nine-year old told me that we should have an understanding that if they aren’t real, I’m not allowed to tell her until she tells me that it’s okay to do so. She just does not want to know for sure. I think she suspects (or possibly knows for sure), but wants to hang on a bit longer. She asked some girls at school why they wanted to ruin other people’s fun by saying all that wasn’t real.

      • MutantMonkey says:

        HowardRoarksTSquare was probably “that kid” in school who went around bursting everyone’s bubble.

      • Misha says:

        “She just does not want to know for sure. I think she suspects (or possibly knows for sure), but wants to hang on a bit longer. “

        That’s how I was with Santa as a kid. I was about 7 or 8, and I knew, but I felt like it would hurt my parents’ feelings if they knew I knew.

    • Marlin says:

      WHAT THEY ARE NOT REAL?!?!?!?!?!

      I’m going to pray to god tonight to tell him what you said.

    • Misha says:

      That’s easy, but Santa’s the difficult one to weasel out of.

      • raitch says:

        We don’t do any of them. No tooth fairy Santa Easter Bunny Elf On A Shelf leprechaun etc etc. It’s not as hard as you’d think. The worst part of it is explaining to your kids why they need to lie to their friends if asked about Santa.

        • MutantMonkey says:

          No doubt. The resentment they will have over seeing their friend’s go crazy happy with their imaginations is bound to make any small kid want to burst a bubble.

  2. Jevia says:

    I was shocked when my daughter told me her friends got $5 for the first tooth and $2 thereafter. My kids always got $1 for the first and $.50 thereafter. Guess there are some rich tooth fairies in our neighborhood.

    • Marlin says:

      At $5 I bet theres plenty of people that pull their teeth out for that. Blood… teeth… how much money you got again; cause I got a extra kidney.

  3. DrPizza says:

    Cheap parents! $5 to $20 per tooth here when my kids were little, depending on what I had laying around.

    • Kuchen says:

      $20?! That’s insane. I think I will probably give my daughter more than the quarter or 50 cents that I got, but certainly not $20.

      • DrPizza says:

        Wow, I’ll bet your kid is doing a great job of saving up money toward something like a college education! All they’d have to do is lose about 100,000 teeth and they’ll have enough money for a full year’s tuition! 25 cents? When I give my dog a dog treat it has a value of more than 25 cents. How low can you possibly go?!

      • Not Given says:

        Yeah 25¬¢ per tooth. We’d seal the tooth in an envelope and put it under the pillow. Then I’d switch it with an envelope that had a quarter sealed in it.

  4. Mike says:

    Maybe there’s a supply glut.

  5. May contain snark says:

    When I was little, I always got a quarter. My friends all got a dollar. I used to cry because I thought the tooth fairy hated me.

  6. caradrake says:

    My son is five and will probably start losing his teeth within the next year or so. I had honestly not given it much though – I know I want to do the tooth fairy routine, since it is fun and promotes an imagination (for him and for us!), but I’m not entirely sure how much to leave.

    How quickly do teeth start falling out when it begins? Is it once a week? A month?

    I was thinking $1-$5 a tooth, enough that he could save it up and get a couple of nice toys.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      We were always happy with the $1.00 we got. It was enough to get candy or play the “play ’till you win” candy claw machine… More than $2.00 seems a little excessive to me, especially for a natural bodily function…

      • Coleoptera Girl says:

        An afterthought: A dollar coin or two would be a fun thing to give for lost teeth! I think I would have been very excited, especially when little, to get something so neat. That or a $2 bill.

        • caradrake says:

          Great ideas! :)

          I know it’s a natural function, but I remember it hurting and being an aggravation. Waking up to a quarter under my pillow made it better, but I always thought the tooth fairy hated me when my friends were getting dollar and five dollar bills…

        • sherrietee says:

          I used to give my kids the weird money because it was cool. A silver dollar, a Susan B. Anthony coin … that sort of thing.

  7. milty45654 says:

    slow day?

  8. SporadicBlah says:

    I still have every Eisenhower Dollar I got from the tooth fairy as a kid. As a soon to be new parent I am hoping to be able to do the same for my child with troy ounce dollars if I can afford it. Right now they are around $35 each. Saving my “tooth fairy money” was one way my parents taught me the importance of saving.

  9. Outrun1986 says:

    I always got random amounts of change (usually around $1-3), but you can’t really get anything with a dollar or 50 cents these days so I can see why the amount has gone up. I think $3-5 is a more fair amount, but not too excessive, and its more like the $1 or 50 cents of years ago.