Kids receiving up to \$40 per tooth as Tooth Fairy expectations rise

It's enough to make your bank balance weep.

Some parents are shelling out exorbitant sums of money each time their child loses a tooth as expectations rise with the cost of living.

In a recent study of 1000 parents conducted by natural care brand Jack N' Jill Kids, some mums and dads reported giving up to \$40 per tooth. That's a 289 per cent rise on what they themselves had received as children, as it was an average of 91 cents per tooth.

Some parents are not happy with the precedent this sets.

Mum of four, Mim, says, "First tooth was their age in money [a dollar for every year], and every tooth thereafter, a gold coin! \$40 per tooth? That's \$800 per child! Times that by 4 and I'd be up for \$3200!"

Leanne, who has two kids says, "Gold coin! Seriously, this is crazy - then the kids talk and compare, and that opens a whole other can of worms. Parents need to wise up."

Jacqui agrees that it sets dangerous spending expectations, adding, "It's selfish and destructive to the happiness and balance of other families as well."

Meanwhile, others say it's an individual decision by parents based on their values and financial position. "Live and let live," says Lydia. "It's none of anyone else's business really."

Jo, a mum of three, agrees: "I don't care what other parents do. It's up to them."

You can breathe a sigh of relief though; according to the survey, the current average per tooth is \$2.62, meaning that the Tooth Fairy hasn't even matched basic inflation rates in the last few decades. If that were the case, parents would be scratching around for \$7 per tooth.

An Essential Kids mini survey showed that the norm is between \$1 and \$5, with some types of teeth worth more than others.

Mum of two Angie says, "Five dollars for first tooth, gold coin for each tooth afterwards. I asked all the other parents first to find out the going rate, so our tooth fairy was giving the same."

Anthony, a dad of three, took his Fairy cues from a cult kiddy TV show: "We use what was on Peppa Pig - a gold coin."

Social researcher Mark McCrindle says that it's fascinating to note that the rise in the cost of living is reflected in societal practises such as Tooth Fairy gifting amounts.

"The cost of parenting has exponentially increased – things like the value of presents, pocket money and teeth are all higher and children certainly are happy with this, given the diversity of products available to junior consumers." He says that the current generation's 'expectation inflation' stems largely from the explosion in consumer electronics and downloadable games and music, all of which make children's spending more frequent and expensive.

There are other factors influencing how much kids receive for their teeth, such as birth order, location and gender. Kids in NSW and Western Australia are raking in the tooth fairy cash with some of them getting \$40 per tooth - though the average is \$4.50. The kids who will be saving for that Xbox game a little longer are those in Canberra, with an average of \$1 per pearly white, followed by South Australia at \$1.93. Right in the middle are those in Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland.

And it's bad news for middle children, who receive less per tooth than their older and younger siblings.

And if the youngest child is a girl, she'll rake in more than her older brothers.

The survey was initiated when Jack N' Jill Kids was designing its new Toothkeeper product range and needed to know what size pocket would be needed to put the cash into.

Jack N' Jill co-founder Rachel Bernhaut says the survey produced some surprising results - not only from a money perspective, but because some parents reported that their kids didn't seem to understand the Tooth Fairy deal and were more focused on what they were getting than the fantastical aspect.

How much do you give your kids per tooth? What do you think of the \$40 that some kids are receiving?