Something magical is happening all over the US as our children sleep. It seems many parents have reported that a very generous and benevolent tooth fairy visited their children last year. A poll conducted by the nonprofit Delta Dental Plans Association found that the average reward for losing a baby tooth rose to $2.42 in 2012, up .32 cents from the previous year. Many people view this generosity as a sign of a recovering economy, while others view it just a bit differently.
Just ask Monica Bielanko, a freelance writer and blogger with the parenting website Babble.com , who claims that many parents overvalue teeth when it comes tooth fairy compensation. Just like Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy seems to be quite generous of late, as a shocked Sheri Shepherd, co-host of the ABC’s “The View” found out recently. It seems some of her 6-year-old son’s friends find as much as $20 per tooth under their pillows!
It’s our belief that using statistical analysis and poll data is just one way to look at the economics of the tooth fairy, but perhaps it’s best to look beyond the numbers and view this mystical, magical creature through the eyes of our dear children. Just take a quick peek at a sample of a few creative letters from this Huffington Post article. While a few get high marks for creativity, as the article’s author suggests we seem to be raising a generation of negotiators. Evidently the era of just leaving a tooth under the pillow hoping for a few coins has evolved into “let’s make a deal.”
As the budget debate over tooth “expenditures” continues, some parents have found a way through photography and the Internet to hold onto that magic a little longer by uploading their precious moments at Capture the Magic . At any rate, as a dentist and a father, I think that the tooth fairy and her enchanting charm presents a great opportunity to teach our kids about good dental and oral health and to begin to develop lifelong habits that will enable them to keep their mouths disease free as adults.
According to a few unofficial and unverified reports, some parents have revealed that the tooth fairy leaves more money for healthy teeth than for decayed teeth. In those situations it appears that it’s not uncommon to find a note from the tooth fairy praising a child’s efforts on the meticulous care of their teeth and even a word or two of congratulations on a job well done!
For more tooth fairy history and teachable moments on the web, check out the following links with your children:
That’s all for now. So until next time,
Mark W Langberg, DDS, MAGD