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Bad economy takes bite out of Tooth Fairy's offerings

Published: Thursday, Feb. 23 2012 11:25 a.m. MST

theoriginaltoothfairypoll.com

In tough economic times, many have had to pinch pennies. To the dismay of children with loose teeth, the Tooth Fairy has not been able to escape economic woes.

The average gift per tooth dropped to $2.10 in 2011, down 42 cents from $2.52 in 2010, according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll sponsored by Delta Dental. The drop in value is one of the largest declines since the index began in 1998.

“Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in 2011, but she's hopeful for a recovery this year,” said Chris Pyle, spokesperson for the Delta Dental Plans Association, in a statement.

The poll surveyed more than 1,300 parents in the U.S. and found that the most common amount left by the Tooth Fairy in place of a child’s tooth is $1. The findings also show that she visits nearly 90 percent of homes.

Visa Inc. conducted a similar survey regarding the Tooth Fairy.

The financial services company found that the East Coast saw the biggest fall in tooth offerings, with the Tooth Fairy leaving $2.10 last year, a 38 percent drop from the $3.40 she left in 2010.

Midwestern states were relatively unchanged, with an average of $2.80 under the pillow, a 3 percent drop from $2.90 in 2010.

The West rose to $2.80 from $2.70 last year.

The survey showed that 10 percent of children didn’t receive anything from the Tooth Fairy, compared with only 6 percent in last year’s survey.

Parents should use Tooth Fairy visits as an opportunity to talk to children about money, Visa said in a statement.

EMAIL: jferguson@desnews.com

TWITTER: @joeyferguson

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