C. R. Harris, Jr., D.D.S., LTD
THE TOOTH FAIRY PLACED A HIGHER VALUE ON TEETH IN 2013
The Tooth Fairy was a lot more generous in 2013 than the year before, with the going rate for a lost baby tooth rising more than 44 percent from 2012 levels.
The average gift for a lost baby tooth last year was $3.50, up $1.08 from the prior year according to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll sponsored by Delta Dental. More than 40 percent of the time, the lost-tooth gift was $1.
But when it comes to gifts for losing the first tooth, the Tooth Fairy loosened up her purse strings even more. According to the poll, 59 percent of parents reported leaving more money for the first tooth. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $4.51. This is a 29% increase from last year.
And who is the Tooth Fairy's first assistant? It's mom. Six in 10 caregivers say the child's mother assists the Tooth Fairy, compared to 35 percent that say the father assists the Tooth Fairy.
"Leaving gifts from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to help make losing teeth less scary and more enjoyable for kids," said Jennifer Elliott, Delta Dental Plans Associations vice president of marketing. "Delta Dental encourages parents to talk about the Tooth Fairy's visits as a way to discuss good oral health even before a child loses their first tooth."
Waiting vs Pulling First Tooth
About half of parents surveyed, 54%, say their child waited for the first tooth to fall out on its own. Other children were less patient. Twenty-two percent couldn't contain their excitement and pulled their own tooth out, while 16% had a parent pull the tooth.
-The Chatter, VDA, March 12, 2014
TOOTH FAIRY AS A TEACHING TOOL
Introduce the Tooth Fairy early on. Teach your children that the Tooth Fairy wants healthy teeth and get them excited about taking care of their teeth.
Leave a note reinforcing good habits. A personalized note from the Tooth Fairy could be exciting for kids. Parents should include tips for important oral health habits that the Tooth Fairy wants kids to practice, such as brushing twoice a day, flossing once a day and visiting the dentist twice a year.
Give oral health gifts. Although the Tooth Fairy left cash in 99% of the homes she visited, a few children received toys or other gifts. Consider forgoing cash and reinforce good oral health habits by providing a new toothbrush or fun-flavored toothpaste. How about a new book about Tooth Fairy adventures.
--The Chatter, VDA, March 12, 2014
Fifteen percent of parents report their child lost a tooth while at school. Another 13 percent report the tooth was lost while eating!!