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The Going Rate of Baby Teeth

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After my daughter lost her first tooth, she thought she'd hit the jackpot.

young girl thinking and writing

Meanest Mom Jana Mathews: Thanks to a face-plant in our cul-de-sac last week (bike accident) and near constant wiggling, my six-year-old daughter recently lost her first tooth.

Her gums were still bleeding when she started fantasizing about all of the toys she was going to purchase with her tooth fairy money.

"I'm going to be RICH!" she sang as she danced around the house. "I'm going to need a truck to haul all of my stuff home!" Moments later, she was making a shopping list out of the Toys 'R Us circular.

"I want this and this and this and this," she chirped, as she circled objects with a black sharpie.

My husband interrupted her imaginary shopping spree with the news that the tooth fairy was on a budget.

"But Melissa got a bike and Danielle got a Wii and Lucy got 18 horseback riding lessons and Olivia got an iPod that you can watch movies on!"

Our daughter's precise accounting of the tooth fairy's generosity to her classmates at school clued us in to the fact that the going rate for a baby tooth was slightly more than the single dollar bill we were planning to place under her pillow. In the end, we took inflation and the current market value of enamel into account and gave her five dollars.

Still, we wonder: are we CHEAP or has the going rate of baby teeth gone through the roof?

What/how much does the tooth fairy leave at your house?

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19 comments so far | Post a comment now
mercaties June 28, 2009, 3:38 AM

In our house the “tooth fairy” gives five dollars a tooth. Allthough, there was one day no joke my daughter lost three teeth in one day (I think she was pulling them out to save up for a car LOL!) and we gave her ten for all three. Several of my other friends give two or three dollars.

mercaties June 28, 2009, 3:43 AM

The “Tooth Fairy” gives 5.00 a tooth in our house except for the time when my daughter lost three teeth in one day (I think she was pulling them out on purpose to see how mutch money she would get LOL!) then we gave her 10.00 for all three. 5.00 seems pretty resonable considering most kids loosing their teeth are fairly young.

Jenny June 28, 2009, 7:33 AM

We got 50 cents max with the exception of the one time the tooth fairy forgot and my mom gave me a dollar and told me the tooth fairy would pay her back.

C June 28, 2009, 9:43 AM

My 6-year old hasn’t lost any yet, but he’s in “the know” from his friends at school. He says the tooth fairy gives $5 per tooth.

Anonymous June 28, 2009, 10:52 AM

The tooth fairy gives anywhere between $3 and $5, depending on what is in her wallet!

Stephanie June 28, 2009, 12:35 PM

Holy Cow. You have to be kidding me. If this in inflation, no wonder the economy is in the toilet.

merry June 28, 2009, 2:14 PM

We give out a Silver Dollar for each tooth that they lose, and those are to be kept and saved, not to be spent. Each child has a bag of Silver Dollars and they like to count them, look at them, etc. It’s a keepsake for each of them.

Jodi June 28, 2009, 4:03 PM

We give a silver dollar, too. It seems more special than a regular greenback — and our kids save theirs in little velvet pouches. The tooth fairy does sometimes leave a letter under the pillow — “I thought it was so funny your tooth fell out in music class!” and “Don’t forget to keep brushing, you have such a beautiful smile.”

Giving significant money for losing teeth? Big gifts?? … c’mon. No wonder these kids are so mercenary and jaded.

Jenny June 28, 2009, 9:00 PM

Merry and Jodi

I love your thinking! I think it is ridiculous that there is a “going rate” for teeth. Come on! It’s a cute little tradition but it seems it is now adding to a childs feeling of entitlement which is a huge problem in our society.


Amanda June 29, 2009, 12:15 PM

Recently, my son lost his 1st tooth. After hearing what the other children in school recieved for each tooth I was shocked! My husband and I agreed $5.00 for the first tooth and $1 there after. With Birthday’s, Christmas and grandparents, why do these young children need so much money from a tooth?!?! After spending his money and some of mine to cover tax…less than a week later he couldn’t he remember what toy he spent his money on!

Anonymous June 29, 2009, 3:00 PM

I used to get $1.00 per tooth. Plus a little note. I think with my child I will be more creative than just money.

Suzanne B (Crunchy green Mom) June 30, 2009, 9:20 AM

My kids get a toy. We hang their tooth on the tree in the front yard, and the tooth fairy leaves a toy in it’s place! It is MUCH easier :)

Beth  June 30, 2009, 5:30 PM

When my daughter lost her first tooth, I actually posted on my FB, “what’s the going rate for a first tooth” and I was shocked at some of the answers. Way too indulgent. So, I asked my daughter what her favorite coin was (dime) and I said she can have as many as the number she could count to. While her tooth was still loose, I started saving dimes. It worked out fine and she loved receiving all the dimes.

chris July 1, 2009, 6:58 AM

We also give our kids either silver or gold one dollar coins. My kids esp. loves the gold ones. And just like Jodi and Mary said, my kids love to save them instead of spending them.

Virginia Dentists July 4, 2009, 4:10 PM

We all remember the tooth fairy story. Don’t know how it worked out for you guys but my mom got me tricked into believing it by actually slipping money under my pillow for every tooth.

Amber July 7, 2009, 8:50 AM

We give out $1 in the form of a $1 gold coin. I had to plan ahead to stop at the bank and pick up some, but my son is thrilled each time he gets one.

Monica July 8, 2009, 10:07 PM

Wow! I’m amazed to see some to the “gifts” from the Tooth Fairy! We have 4 children and have always kept with the same theme. We stock up on $2 bills and keep them handy for a lost tooth! The Tooth Fairy is crafty and folds them into bow ties!

Nicki August 31, 2009, 2:52 PM

I always got a dollar from my parents and that’s what my husband and I paid our daughter for hers.

WOW, I can’t believe how much other parents are paying for teeth! :o

dusty May 13, 2010, 1:31 PM

The tooth fairy left $15 for the first 2 teeth lost my son just lost his 3 rd and the tooth fairy left $20 cause it was a top tooth .

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