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Tooth fairy payouts reflect economy

April 17, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

County parents bite into tooth fairy economics

By Amy H. Peterson

Staff Writer

Article Photos

Does the largess of the tooth fairy reflect the state of the greater ecoomy? Delta Dental seems to think so. They're at the root of The Original Tooth Fairy Survey Poll, interviewing parents about their tooth fairy spending habits. It's the 20th year for the survey and it breaks down average payouts by location.

Midwestern kids on the survey have the least to chew on of all the regions in the U.S. with an average of $3.44 per tooth.

The makers of the survey claim the poll generally serves as a barometer of the greater economy. The payout fell over $0.50 from last year, which in the past has predicted a recession. The last time the Tooth Fairy Index came in below Standard & Poor's 500 was 2007, just before the Great Recession hit.

2017, however, was the first time the payout went down even though the larger indicators were up.

Shannon Schiltz of Estherville said her children, including daughter Ella, 5, who is currently on the dole for lost baby teeth, said the going rate at their home is $5 for the front teeth and $1 for the bottom teeth, though sometimes, "it's what the tooth fairy can find in her purse that night!"

Andrea Nelson said, "My daughter is missing three and has lost a total of five, and we do $1 per tooth."

Brittney Funston said her household receives $2 for each tooth. Son Zeke, 8, and daughter Jocelyn, 6, are both sporting "holey" smiles.

Brandi Rae Fredericksen Cellan of Estherville said, "[My daughter, Taylor] has two missing teeth, but doesn't want a picture taken. We do $1 per tooth. It's neither an organ nor a chore."

Sherry Pankey Grussing of Armstrong is past the tooth fairy stage with her sons, but said, "Our tooth fairy left 25 cents per year of age. The first tooth got a silver dollar and the book, Throw your tooth on the roof."

Another popular book for first time tooth-losers is Little Rabbit's Loose Tooth.

The poll found the tooth fairy still enjoys great popularity with 84 percent of American households with kids aged 6 to 12 still getting visits, and 73 percent of children still believing.

Fourteen percent of households in which the tooth fairy didn't visit said affordability was a factor, or that it put financial strain on the family budget.

Forty-six percent reported that how much a child received was determined by how much cash was on hand.

Eleven percent of parents felt guilty that the tooth fairy couldn't leave more.



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