Cost of tooth fairy on the rise
17 December 2012
Losing milk teeth has also proven to be a profitable business for children. A recent study in the UK found that 70 per cent of parents pay at least £1 per milk tooth for tooth fairy visits. The value of milk teeth has steadily increased in the last 50 years, from an average of 15p in the 1960s to £1.50 today. 
The study revealed that parents in Yorkshire are the biggest tooth fairy advocates, with over 76 per cent paying at least £1 per tooth. In comparison, parents in the West Midlands are the most unwilling teeth traders, with about 1 in 20 (6 per cent) refusing to pay their children anything. 
In the United States, the average tooth fairy payout was $2.60 in 2011. Not only is the tooth fairy boundlessly generous, she is also inconsistent. Children of divorced parents report getting $10 at Mom’s house and a Star Wars action figure at Dad’s. 
In fact the tooth fairy is one of the hardest working employees in the country as they clock on for their night time shift. An estimated 15 million milk teeth fall out each year, making an average of 42,000 ‘money drops’ a night, totalling well over £16 million a year. 
In all seriousness, there is a message here. You can enhance lost tooth safety by placing the precious enamel in a small container or envelope before slipping it under your child’s pillow. That way the tooth cannot get into any orifice.
That’s the whole tooth, and nothing but the tooth!
1 Dental Tribune International. As much as £10+ a day: British parents pay kids to brush their teeth. 6 December 2012. www.dental-tribune.com/articles/content/scope/news/region/uk/id/11067
2 August DA. The tooth fairy: a cautionary tale. Anesthesiology 2012;117:1386-8.
3 British Dental Health Foundation. Tooth fairy business tops £16 million. 3 June 2011. www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/481
Competing interests: None declared
NHS Lanarkshire, Kirklands, Fallside Road, Bothwell G71 8BB
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