Tooth Fairy Economics

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


There was a little article in Saturday's paper, Tooth Fairy Inflation: Price of a tooth nears $4, which attracted a lot of attention among my friends. The inevitable question, "How much do you give?"

The tooth fairy leaves a $1.00 golden coin at our house. No $100 for the first tooth (whaaaaaat?), no college fund deal, no "I'll be back with $20" antics. The tooth goes in a cup on top of the dresser, and a coin takes its place.
Ries, a 39-year-old lawyer and owner of Ries Law Group in Santa Monica, Calif., says that $120 is a lot to give, but she believes that she is teaching her daughter that education and taking care of your teeth is important. 
Okay.

Our boys have learned to take care of their teeth because we make them brush them every day. Gross out tactics work, too. Dentists have visited their schools and explained the essence of cavities. Ewwww. That's motivation to brush even for little boys who love to get dirty. No one wants a rotting mouth. Also, brushing their teeth is on their daily checklist of "Four Things" they must do before they leave the house. So, I suppose I am paying them to brush, but the "Four Things" are only worth a quarter, and I often forget to give them their allowance. I know, bad mom.  

The bigger question remains, "What if my child finds out that the tooth fairy left $5 for his friend?" I can't help but shrug. This hasn't been an issue for us yet, but I'm sure I'll come up with some explanation. What comes to mind is, "You know, there are times when other kids get more, and there are times when you get more. The Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny . . . they make sure it all evens out in the end. Don't worry too much about it."

I think that in economics - tooth fairies included - peer-pressuring each other into spending more is never a good thing. 
::
What's the price of a tooth at your house?
Ever felt pressure to pay more?


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One Response to “Tooth Fairy Economics”

  1. We have a 9 year old son (and a 5 yo son), so we've been down the, "He got more from the Tooth Fairy than I did" road. We give $1 for each tooth (I got a quarter!), but some of his friends get $5. REALLY?! I think that's way too much. After all, they are just losing teeth, not creating them. When my son complains, I just tell him that I'm not sure who his friend's Tooth Fairy is, but our Tooth Fairy only gives $1 for a tooth. :)

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