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What's the Tooth Fairy's going rate these days? $10? Are you serious?

ToothFairyMy friend's kid just lost his first tooth. The Tooth Fairy cometh — tonight! But how much should the TF leave under the pillow? My friend is surveying his buddies on Facebook to get some input, so I figured I'd take the opportunity to do some spelunking in the FamZoo database to get some real statistics for him1.

Here's what I found based on credit transactions containing the word "tooth" (after eliminating a few spurious ones referring to "BlueTooth" which would have seriously skewed things!):

Min Max Average/Mean Median Mode
$1.00 $10.00 $2.63 $2.00 $1.00

$10? Whoaaa! Maybe that was for a whole mouthful. Or, maybe the parent was playing catchup for some previous missed visits.

Anyway, if we consider $10 and up to be outliers, throw them out, and re-run the stats, we get:

Min Max Average/Mean Median Mode
$1.00 $5.00 $2.31 $2.00 $1.00

Personally, I favor giving a dollar. Maybe two for a molar or even more for some sort of painful dentist extraction.

If you're looking for some additional commentary, stories, and lots of opinions, you'll enjoy the Wall Street Journal blog post "How Much Does Your Tooth Fairy Give?"

What about your family? How much (or what) does your Tooth Fairy give?

1To protect privacy, we only disclose anonymous aggregate statistics. So, those of you who gave in the high or low range, don't worry, your secret is safe with us!


Joey Lynn Resciniti aka The Blog Post Author

We've decided $5 for the first tooth and $1 for each one after. The first one was pretty scary for her. Still, I was thinking $2. It was the big spender Daddy that said $5!

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Yeah, it was "Big Spender Mommy" in our case. Only when it comes to tooth fairy bounty though. Thankfully, she's quite frugal otherwise. Something about those cute little toothless grins loosens the purse strings ;-)

Steve K aka The Blog Post Author

Geez, I gave only a quarter each time, and they were happy with it!

Steve K aka The Blog Post Author

If I gave $10/tooth, I'd have them pay for their own orthodontia!

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Steve, kudos to you for not succumbing to tooth fairy inflation!

Jenny aka The Blog Post Author

We give $.25 for each year they are when they lose the tooth. We obviously didn't think this through as my daughter is now 9 and lost her 2nd tooth this month. Fortunately we are into the molars but we still need to cap the amount.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Thanks for the comment Jenny. If my math is correct, at least you're still sneaking in under the average for now ;-)

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

Good gracious! $10...there is absolutely no way! My daughter makes approximately $10-$12 per week on allowance at 10 years old, there is no way we'd drop $10 for a tooth. We have done either $0.10 - $0.50. Absolutely ridiculous expecting a child to make 10 bucks, when many people don't even make $10/hour in wages. We are teaching our kids to work hard for what they get and not take money for granted or as an expectation. No handouts! Maybe that makes my husband and I cheap but we have to be responsible with our money too.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Yeah, pretty ridiculous on the surface, but sometimes the outlying numbers - like $10 - have a reasonable explanation when we drill deeper into the "Memo" field - like "the painful extraction of multiple molars" or some such. Thanks for leaving your thoughts. I like your frugal tooth fairy price range.

sphericalfrictionlesscow aka The Blog Post Author

We gave our son the choice between money he can spend and something that's a momento of the event, and he's gone with the moment every time. We have a lot of old coins, so the value of what the tooth fairy leaves him is probably higher than face value, but it's always been an old coin in the value range of 25 cents to a dollar. Our only gaffe was the walking liberty dollar that turns out to be a little more valuable than we thought.

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

I like your approach - and I love the name of your blog. Your last post back in 2009 indicates your son was sporting "two slightly every so slightly wiggly lower front teeth." Sounds like he has long since traded those for collectible coins!

Anonymous aka The Blog Post Author

how much will tooth fairy give for a siver tooth

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Not sure what the going rate is for a Silver tooth - maybe that's what that $10 outlying data point was all about!

Bill Dwight aka The Blog Post Author

Just learned about this site today:
Looks like we our data was right on the money for 2010!

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