Photo by Ashok Rodrigues/Getty Images
Baby teeth are hot commodities these days — especially for kids who live in New York City, where the tooth fairy shells out an average of $13.25 per incisor and bicuspid, according to a new survey on the little winged one’s regional practices.
The Tooth Fairy Survey, conducted by oral-healthcare company Sunstar GUM through the online questioning of 1,000 families earlier this month, focused on five cities. Besides its discovery about big-spending NYC, it found that kids’ teeth, on average, fetch $9.69 apiece in Los Angeles, $5.85 in Chicago, $5.28 in Dallas/Houston, and $5.02 in Boston.
Image courtesy of Sunstar GUM
A quick and informal Facebook survey of Yahoo Parenting readers, though, found a different story. Of the nearly 100 respondents around the country, the amount given per tooth is a solid $1 to $5 each, with many noting they give $5 for the first one lost and $1 to $2 for the ones that fall out after, sometimes mixing it up with gold or silver dollar coins. And many admitted to having NYC sticker shock. “$13??? $13!!! Not here!! We leave $5 and I cringe at that,” writes one Colorado mom. Another, in Wisconsin, notes, “$13!!?? Good Lord. I remember getting a quarter as a kid and I thought it was the best thing ever. LOL.”
Various New York City–area moms and dads reported giving the same as the rest of the country, $1 to $5 — or little gifts like chocolate or Beanie Boos — with one noting that she found the survey’s findings “insane.”
Among GUM’s other tooth-fairy discoveries: Dads report to doling out twice as much as moms, leaving $10.98 per tooth on average (as compared to the overall $5.56 average of moms). But all respondents seem to agree on the importance of the tooth fairy, voting her second only to Santa Claus in popularity, and beating out other “holiday heroes” including both the Easter bunny and Elf on a Shelf.
Still, GUM’s payout findings are high compared to those of a similar survey, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll from Delta Dental, which has tracked the numbers since 1998 and found that the trends are closely related to that of the stock market. In 2014 (the most recent findings available), the poll found that the average national sum gifted per tooth was $3.50. Something to chew on for overspending city folk.