This article contains some spoiler alerts, and if you are under the age of 8-years-old… stop reading this immediately!
While the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, the money that we have to put under our kid’s pillows is very real. Still, it’s a fun tradition that can lead to lessons on budgeting and saving for kids (and the first time we learn to sell ourselves short), but how much money should parents be leaving under the pillow for baby teeth?
It seems parents are seeking professional advice regarding the traditions of the Tooth Fairy. According to dentist Dr. Leny Sferlazza, it is a common concern among moms who visit his dental office, Dentistry by Dr. Sferlazza in Mississauga, Ont. He says that “How much should I be leaving under the pillow?” is a regular question he gets from parents when their children start to have wiggly teeth.
“I recommend leaving $20 for their first tooth because they’re really excited, and then $5 for every tooth after that.” Dr. Sferlazza says that his patients have even left movie passes and gift cards under their kids’ pillows.
Dr. Sferlazza uses the Tooth Fairy as a teaching opportunity to show his young patients how important it is to maintain good oral health throughout their life. He has a dental chart to document the Tooth Fairy’s frequent visits and even uses the Tooth Fairy as a method to reduce anxiety in his dental chair!
“If I have to extract a tooth from a child, I tell them the Tooth Fairy will give them more money for it because I’ll tell her how brave they were at my office. It eases their anxiety for sure!”
So does the Tooth Fairy just serve as an incentive for children? Is it the same way Santa helps with bribing kids to behave well during the holidays? According to Vox, parents have used the Tooth Fairy as an incentive for their children to clean their room (telling their kids that the Tooth Fairy can’t find them in a messy room).
Delta Dental, the largest dental insurer in the US, has their own version of the Tooth Fairy that encourages kids to take good care of their teeth. Why? Well, because the Tooth Fairy only uses cavity-free teeth for her “pearly white palace.”
Delta Dental conducted a survey that determined just how much money kids were making off of their teeth and it seems that even the Tooth Fairy is no stranger to tough economic times. The results of the survey showed that the Tooth Fairy leaves an average of $3.70 per tooth in the US, which is a 80-cent drop after peaking at an average of $4.50 in 2017.
That’s not exactly the case for celebrity clients, however. Kourtney Kardashian once admitted in an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians that she put $100 under 6-year-old Mason Disick’s pillow for his first baby tooth. She defended this large payout for her son’s tooth, saying it was the only cash in her purse — duh!
Though as things change for the future generation and in our ever-growing cashless society, what will be the next step? Can we expect that kids will start accepting e-transfers from the Tooth Fairy to get their fair payout?