Tooth Fairy Latest Victim of the Economy

Filed under: In The News

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Cutting back on cable, new clothes and trips to the gas pump are all indicators of a bad economy, but when the Tooth Fairy starts shorting kids, you know things are serious.

The Denver Post reports U.S. kids are getting an average of $2.60 a tooth these days, compared with $3 a year ago, according to a recent survey by Visa. For those who don't like math, that's $.40 less than last year -- but still a heck of a lot more than we used to get, when a quarter was considered a score.

Thorton, Colo. fourth grader Alicya Rodriguez tells the Post she gets a $1 a tooth. She may want to have a word with the Tooth Fairy. The average amount traded for teeth in the West is $2.80, while kids in the East get $2.10, kids in the South get $2.60 and kids in the Midwest get $2.80.

"The survey gives parents the opportunity to start talking with kids - even pretty little ones - about money management," Jason Alderman, Visa's senior director of financial education, tells the newspaper.

Not sure what you, er, the Tooth Fairy, should spend per tooth? Dr. Rhea Haugseth, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, tells the Post parents should just be reasonable, and pay no more than $5.

"I tell them there are 20 baby teeth and they need to think about what that could cost," Haugseth tells the newspaper.

Best start saving now.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.