The Tooth Fairy, and the Economy

Is the Tooth Fairy’s generosity a good gauge of the economy overall? Some think so.

Dental and health savings online marketplace DentalPlans.com’s Original Tooth Fairy Poll shows that the fairy’s dental payouts are a good indicator of the economy.

During the most recent recession, the average payment per tooth in the U.S. was $1.50. Now kids are getting $4.00 to $5.00 for each lost tooth.

Children typically have about 20 baby teeth, so at $5.00 per tooth the fairy’s total payout over the six or seven years of primary tooth loss adds up to $100 per child.

Tooth Rodent?

About 85% of American kids are visited by the tooth fairy. Elsewhere in the world, children expect a visit from the Tooth Rodent.

In many Spanish-speaking cultures, he is known as “Ratóncito Pérez” or “El Raton de Los Dientes” or “el Ratón,” for short. Italian children anticipate visits from the “Topolino dei denti da latte,” (Baby Teeth Mouse). French children call him “La Petite Souris,” (Little Mouse) and he appears in French folktales as early as the 17th century.

America’s own Tooth Fairy was not really fully established in the U.S until the 1940s. The very first print mention – in a children’s play – only dates back to 1927.

DentalPlans.com points out there are now two “national days” honoring this tradition: August 22 and February 28.

The company offers the following tips to help ensure kids’ smiles stay healthy:

Start early: Speak to a dentist to learn how to brush a baby’s teeth. Experts recommend starting brushing as soon as the first baby tooth erupts. Make sure to use an extremely soft toothbrush (or a prewashed, soft piece of cloth) and the tiniest bit of toothpaste.

Enforce the two-minute rule: Make sure your kids know that a proper brushing requires two full minutes. There are smart toothbrushes, and apps, that provide a fun way of timing tooth brushing sessions (and keep the kids engaged and entertained).

Be gentle: Make sure that your kids know that aggressive teeth scrubbing can wear down enamel and cause gum inflammation.

Visit the pros: Dental professionals can teach children the right way to brush and floss. And seeing the dentist and hygienist regularly is essential for preventing dental disease.

Set a good example: Kids take their cues from the adults around them. If they see parents/caretakers skipping dental visits, they’ll assume oral hygiene really is not that important – or that it is just kid stuff.

Copyright Today’s Credit Unions