Tooth fairy-how ‘rich’ are you?

  • How much should you give a child for losing a tooth?
  • Is there a difference in price from the 1st tooth lost to the last milk tooth?
  • Should there be a consensus amongst friends that they each give their children the same amount?

These are but some of the many questions that I aim to seek out. My thought process regarding this matter was awakened when I watched a very recent Modern Family episode in which Cameron and Mitchel mistook a $100 for a $10. When Lily wakes-up in the morning to find the $100, she is beyond ecstatic. This puts Cameron and Mitchel in a state of panic as they run-through the repercussions of their error. They are not only concerned about what the other parents might say, but what impact it may have on Lily and her undeveloped relationship with money.

It is researched that early grade-schoolers are preoccupied with fairness. It cannot go without saying that no child wants to think the Tooth Fairy likes the child next door better. I thought it would be best to consult with a few parents on the exchange rate for lost teeth.

  • “R20 is fair; however, if we don’t have the right amount a R50 is the exchange for a tooth.”
  • “R50, we think this is a good amount.”
  • “R100- too much? I know we have a wealthy Tooth Fairy in our house.”
  • “R200! Her mom promised her R200 and she was with me for the weekend when she lost her tooth. What was I supposed to do? Disappoint her? She did give half of it to the church that Sunday.”
  • “No real figure has been decided upon. It is sometimes R5, sometimes R20 and if I can recall the one time we gave him R100 – I felt generous and it was the end of the month.”

 An article written in the Yahoo Finance (  nears-4-124738743–finance.html) states that children this year are getting an average of $3.70 per lost tooth, a 23% jump over last year’s rate of $3. And that’s a 42% spike from the $2.60 per tooth that the Tooth Fairy gave in 2011.

As part of Visa’s personal finance education program, it offers a downloadable Tooth Fairy Calculator app that will give you an idea of how much parents in your age group, income bracket and education level are giving their children. The newly updated app is available for iPhones and iPads on iTunes, and the calculator is available on the Facebook apps page (Tooth Fairy Calculator:

The debate as to how much in exchange for a tooth is on-going. The message that we need to convey to our child is that losing a baby tooth really isn’t just about getting money. It is about the magic she shares with her family and friends. It is about the magic moment when she realises she is getting just a little bit older. It is also an ideal opportunity to teach your child about oral healthcare and the importance of brushing your teeth twice a day.

So, next time your child loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy is alerted to come and visit rest assured that there are many parents who are grappling with the decision of how much to give? There is, however, research and with the introduction of modern technology, some tools to guide you with this decision. Have fun and enjoy this memorable moment with your child – it is a blessing to be a parent.



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