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Why Is The Tooth Fairy Paying Out The Nose To Get Into Your Kid’s Mouth?

The latest Original Tooth Fairy Poll — an annual survey of 1,000 families on the going price for baby teeth — was just releasedand suggests two things: It pays to have a gap-toothed smile and a diversified portfolio. Delta Dental, which conducts the poll, hastracked the results along with the S&P 500 index since 1998, and over the last 3 years both have posted double digit gains.

At $4.36, the average price per tooth reached a new high in 2014 and increased 24.6 percent from the previous high of $3.50 in 2013; the S&P was up 11.4 percent over that time. So, parents are getting crushed at the pillow and (hopefully) making up some of the difference on their investments, but how have other common household goods fared during the life of the Poll?

The only thing weirder than paying kids to lose their teeth is the amount of research that’s produced around the phenomenon. Delta Dental is one of 3 studies and, when comparing its data with results from Sunstar GUM and Visa, it’s possible draw some (slightly fuzzy) conclusions about the national picture:

  • According to Sunstar GUM, the rent isn’t the only thing that’s too damn high in New York City, where the going rate is $13.25 per tooth. LA is the runner up at $9.69, followed by Chicago ($5.85), Dallas/Houston ($5.28) and Boston ($5.02)
  • Delta and Visa both average regions, with significant discrepancies: Delta declared the South the most generous at $5.16 while Visa claims it’s the West at only $3.60 per tooth.

Of course, there’s plenty of evidence that these numbers are as real as a tiny winged creature that flies around trading greenbacks for molars — Visa actually finds the national average has gone down since 2013. But this is about celebrating your kid’s transition from terrorizing toddler to precocious preschooler, so don’t be a killjoy: participate in the Original Tooth Fairy Poll here and download Visa’s Tooth Fairy Calculator app here.