The Tooth Fairy may not be paying kids as much as parents think

It’s been more than six years since my first child lost a tooth, but I still remember frantically texting my neighbor asking, “How much money does the Tooth Fairy leave in your house?”

My neighbor’s amount became the precedent in our house as well, but through the years — and an additional kid — the Tooth Fairy evolved into a glorious being who brings not only cash, but also small treats like glitter nail polish or Pokemon cards.

Mercifully, we’ve only got a few baby teeth left to lose around here. But as my kids get older, I find myself both giving Tooth-Fairy advice and getting shamed by grandmothers and older family friends who say “I wish I had a Tooth Fairy as generous as your kids’ when I was little.”

changing teeth
Did Grandma get more from the Tooth Fairy than kids today? A new survey says maybe. Getty Images

According to a new survey from personal finance website LendEDU, however, Grandma may have had a more endowing Tooth Fairy than she realized.

The survey revealed that while Baby Boomers — adults ages 54 and up — received about 69 cents per tooth on average as children, their earnings today would be a whopping $5.77 per tooth when adjusted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics rate of inflation.

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“The team at LendEDU thought it would be interesting to see how monetary Tooth Fairy gifts have changed over time, just as the price of a candy bar has gone from 10 cents to $2.50,” Mike Brown, a research analyst at LendEDU, told TODAY Parents. “The Tooth Fairy is a personal finance topic that has really been around for over 100 years — beginning around 1908 — so it’s a lot of fun to put hard data behind casual topics like this.”

The Inflation of the Tooth Fairy
The Inflation of the Tooth FairyLendEDU

LendEDU’s data also shows Millennials — those between ages 24 and 38 — received an average of $2.13 per tooth as kids. Many Millennials are now parents themselves, and admitted, on average, to giving their own kids around $3.25 per tooth.

Still, according to inflation adjustments, today’s moms and dads received close to 50 cents more per tooth as kids than their own children.

With data like this, I’ll sleep soundly the next time I stick a five dollar bill and a Littlest Pet toy under my daughter’s pillow.