How much money should the Tooth Fairy leave?

Kids in Ontario get around $2.95 a tooth

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When I first became a parent, it never occurred to me that playing the role of Tooth Fairy would be so complicated.

I’d always thought a toonie was the going rate for teeth but, according to a new survey published by Visa Canada, I’m underpaying. In Ontario, the going rate is—on average—$2.95 while kids in Quebec get around $4.08 per tooth. Canadian kids under the age of 13 receive $3.44 per tooth, which is more than their American counterparts who receive an average of only $2.19. All in all, kids will earn around $68.80 for their set of baby teeth. Visa even created an online calculator so you can track the average rate for your kid’s demographic.

It would be great if every potential Tooth Fairy out there would commit themselves to Visa’s unbiased calculation. Nothing is worse than some parent wrecking the whole system by placing a $20 under their kid’s pillow. “But it was the their first/last front tooth/bicuspid/molar!” they might whine in defense. Too bad, I say! We parents have to stick together when it comes to this Tooth Fairy business.

We are a bare-minimum kind of family—there are no over-the-top Pinterest-worthy tooth events happening in our house. (Note to self: Never check Tooth Fairy ideas on Pinterest ever again or self-esteem will plummet.) In our family, teeth are often wrapped in a bloody tissues and shoved under pillows—or wind up in my purse for weeks until I accidentally pull it out while looking for something else. Once, my son mailed his tooth home from camp because the Tooth Fairy doesn’t visit sleepover camp. Although, this was a blatant attempt at a cash-grab since he already knew that we were the Tooth Fairy.

We’re just lucky if we have loose change in the house and remember to get the money under the pillow. But in the many instances that we’ve forgotten, we’ve used the “fairy font” (Lucida Handwriting or Papyrus) and typed notes apologizing for being too busy to make it because of some sort of tooth-apocalypse.

But I know we aren’t alone. Next year, Visa should include a line in their survey asking parents how many times they’ve forgotten to place the money under their kid’s pillow—and how much they gave the next time simply out of guilt for forgetting.

This article first appeared on Today’s Parent.

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