The Final Word

By Jeff Girod

Posted September 5, 2013 in News
JeffGirodFour bucks! That’s the going rate for a house call from the Tooth Fairy.

On average, kids get $3.70 per lost tooth, according to a new survey released last week by Visa Inc. That’s a 23 percent increase over last year’s rate of $3 per tooth and a 42 percent hike from 2011, when kids only got $2.60 a tooth.

Why such a jaw-dropping hike in inflation? Parents don’t want their kid to be the poor sap on the playground who receives the lowest amount, according to The Associated Press.

Parents should be more concerned about their little weirdo being the only kid who still believes in fairies.

More importantly what ever happened to round numbers? $3.70 for a tooth? How is anyone’s precious darling going to sleep if their tiny pillow is slipping around on stacks of useless nickels and dimes?

C’mon parents, round your payouts up to whole numbers and stop emptying your change drawer into your kid’s mattresses. It’s bad enough their teeth are falling out. They don’t need copper poisoning.

Apparently how much kids get for teeth depends on where they live, according to Visa—which, in addition to charging exorbitant late fees for credit cards is apparently now the foremost authority on how much children’s mouths are worth. Maybe they’ll threaten to take your daughter’s two front teeth if you’re late with next month’s “vig.”

Kids in the Northwest receive the most money from the Tooth Fairy at $4.10 per tooth. Midwestern kids get the least at $3.30 a tooth. Out here in the west, our kids average about $3.70 a tooth. And in the south, where teeth fall out more frequently than Kelly Clarkson putting sequins on a jean jacket, a tooth costs $3.60.

Every kids starts out with 20 teeth and they begin falling out at 5-6 years old. At $4 per tooth, 20 teeth will cost you $80. With multiple kids, that can get pricey.

Or do what I do: As soon as all their baby teeth come in, glue them together. Then all 20 teeth fall out at once in a U-shape. (The glue may cost you an extra $3.49, depending on how much you use and how much your kids struggle.)

Why are we so obsessed with paying our kids for teeth? If my son sticks his hand underneath a pillow and feels nothing but a posturepedic mattress and a laundered, fresh smelling bed sheet, shouldn’t that be enough?

I love my kids and I’m happy to provide. But there’s enough real crap in the world to be concerned about without worrying about what other parents put under a pillow.

Between TV, newspapers and magazines, parents get beat up and second-guessed enough about are we spending enough time with our kids? Are we hugging them enough? Are we hugging them too much? When we’re hugging them just the right amount, are we remembering to put on sunblock?

Most parents seem as informed and involved as they have ever been—and that goes for both moms and dads. It takes a lot of work. But we’re so caught up trying to be great parents that sometimes (most times) we forget to stop, relax and enjoy the simple moments without trying to turn everything into grand gestures.

The Tooth Fairy is about fantasy. It’s about tradition. It’s a chance for kids to be kids and, if just for a few precious moments, to imagine a connection to something bigger than themselves before the world gobbles them up with PlayStation, Miley Cyrus and twerking.

Nobody is supposed to profit off of the Tooth Fairy. It’s not your kids’ part-time job. Any time you have to take a moment to second-guess if your child has to claim “Tooth Fairy” on his or her taxes, you’re doing it wrong.

Little League. Piano recitals. Braces. College. These are all things you should happily open your wallet for. But anytime you have to ask your kid to break a $20? It’s probably teaching them the wrong lesson.

Sneak into kids’ bedrooms every night if you want. Just don’t feel like you have to pay for the privilege.

It’s also the best time to try that glue thing.

Contact Jeff Girod at


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