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Tooth Fairy more generous this year, survey says

Although more than a third of children receive a dollar per tooth, a Visa survey found that the average is up to $3.70 per tooth, up 23% from last year.

By Mitch Lipka Aug 30, 2013 10:48AM

Loose tooth © Blend Images, SuperStockHow much does the Tooth Fairy leave under the pillow at your house? Do you ever wonder if your kid gets less than others or if, perhaps, the fairy is overly generous when a tooth falls out under your roof?

For the 36% of Americans whose kids get a dollar per tooth, there are a lot of kids out there who are getting a whole lot more -- pushing the national average to $3.70 a tooth, an increase of 23% over the $3 average recorded last year, according to a survey conducted on behalf of Visa.

Visa offers a free app on iTunes and Facebook that lets parents put in some demographic information to see what other people's children receive, on average, when a tooth falls out. It turns out there are some variables, including geography and the age of the parents.

If you're a kid living in the Northeast, chances are the Tooth Fairy is going to be more generous to you than to kids living elsewhere in the country, according to the survey.

Here are the regional breakdowns per tooth:

  • Northeast average: $4.10
  • West: $3.70
  • South: $3.60
  • Midwest: $3.30

The survey found that 10% of kids are getting $5 per tooth. Visa said that's triple the number reported in 2011, indicating significant inflation in teeth rewards. A lot of kids get even more. About 6% reported tooth fairy payouts of $20 a tooth and an additional 2% reported $50 a tooth. 

A far larger number of kids have encountered a more frugal fairy. More than one-third of kids get $1 per tooth (or less), the survey found.

For some reason, the younger the parent, the more generous the Tooth Fairy. In the 18-to-24-year-old group of parents, the average was $5, Visa found.

Visa puts out the Tooth Fairy information annually as part of its "Money Skills for Life" financial education program.

"The Tooth Fairy is throwing money around like pixie dust," Nat Sillin, Visa’s head of U.S. Financial Education, said. "While more money is exciting news for children, parents should take this opportunity to talk saving and smart money habits with their kids and have the same talk with a perhaps overgenerous Tooth Fairy."


Visa's survey results came from telephone interviews conducted in July with about 3,000 people nationwide. About 10% reported the Tooth Fairy does not stop by after a tooth falls out.

More from MSN Money:

Sep 6, 2013 8:35AM
Yo.  The tooth fairy must be prejudice.  I am 65 years old, losing my teeth and the tooth fairy has not been seen at my house.
Aug 30, 2013 2:41PM
Holy Moley! My children are now ages 23, 21 and 18. They never got that much !  We gave them 25 cents per tooth. Shhhh, don't tell them!
Aug 30, 2013 4:11PM
As a kid back in the late 70's, Grandma gave me a ziplock sandwich bag full of change. While it was likely no more than $2-3.00, I thought it was awesome!! :) 

I was always grateful for the tooth fairy's generosity; I saved and spent the windfall wisely. I am now financially successful. It all goes back to my teeth under the pillow! ;)
Sep 1, 2013 12:50PM
I remember getting special coins like the Kennedy 1/2 dollars or a silver dollars. Boy have times changed:)
Sep 5, 2013 6:16PM
Lighten up this isn't breaking news about war and famine. Relax and enjoy the lighter side of life. :)
Sep 6, 2013 1:07PM
When I was a kid I was lucky to get a quarter. I'm now 50. My son was granted a dollar per tooth. I figured with inflation the tooth fairy would get hit as hard as anyone else.
Sep 6, 2013 7:54AM

As a dental assistant I made sure the tooth fairy stopped by.I think I gave $50 cents per tooth. I would take glue and write my sons name on an envelope and add glitter to the glue and let it dry. I lead a trail of glitter from the window to his bed.Each time I made his name on the envelope different such as his name  in small sticker stars. My mom was cheap, I only got a dime.


Sep 1, 2013 9:23AM
I used to get money from the tooth fairy too, until I took maturity to the childhood.
Sep 6, 2013 7:12PM
Pretty soon  parents will just leave the Visa card under the pillow
Sep 6, 2013 12:27PM
When I started to lose my teeth I remember I only got a nickel.
Sep 6, 2013 2:16PM

"For some reason, the younger the parent, the more generous the Tooth Fairy. In the 18-to-24-year-old group of parents, the average was $5, Visa found."

I just want to know how many 18 year old parents out their have kids that are losing teeth! I mean for real? Most kids don't lose a tooth until about 5 years old... Well I guess this is 2013
Sep 6, 2013 10:35PM
The tooth fairy pays my kids 25 cents a tooth for clean, recyclable teeth, and nothing for a tooth with a cavity.  It's a lost tooth, not friggin' Christmas!
Sep 6, 2013 6:01PM
And all I got was a quarter???!!!!!
Sep 6, 2013 4:00PM
I got $5 a tooth, I'm 22 now. I always save it  until I lost another tooth. I feel like it taught me how to manage my money.
Sep 7, 2013 12:37AM
I lost a canine the other day, im 11! I got 1.25 for the tooth!
Sep 6, 2013 7:19AM
from parents who pinch pennies and throw away the dollars, right to the little prince or princess who don't have a clue to the value of money!

These parents should be horse whipped. 

Sep 6, 2013 8:41AM

My son received 10.00 bucks for his very first tooth lost - So did my daughter ..  the second tooth was

was 5.00 for for both of them after that -- for every tooth they lost is was 3.00 ..  they were able to save their money and buy themselves what they wanted.. 


Sep 1, 2013 9:07AM
where do people come up with these numbers ... no parent is going to give their kid $3.70 ... they are either going to give $3, $4 or round up to $5 ...
Sep 1, 2013 10:38AM
Its called inflation, but apparently that doesn't apply to minimum wage jobs, just worthless kids loosing teeth.
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