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Tooth fairy leaves £20million under children’s pillows

26th June 2007 Print
Wobbly teeth are cause for celebration among Britain’s schoolchildren, as new research out today reveals the tooth fairy is worth a whopping £20million.

The findings, from The Children’s Mutual, show that parents’ pockets are emptying faster than their children’s mouths as Tooth Fairy Inflation has leapt by over 500% in the last 25 years. This compares to the average cost of living, increasing by 150% over the same period.

The research found that the going rate for the average pearly white is £1.05 today, compared to just 17 pence when the children’s parents were young. According to the Child Trust Fund specialist, this means that today’s youngsters could be netting £21 from their wobbly incisors, way over the £3.40 that their parents earned when they were losing their teeth 25 years ago. And for roughly one in 12 gappies, losing 20 teeth between the ages of six and 11, more than £40 could come their way through a little door slamming and apple crunching.

David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual, said that Tooth Fairy Inflation comes close to that of house prices which have leapt by over 600% in the last 25 years.

Mr White said: "The generosity of the tooth fairy has accelerated rapidly and shows no signs of abating. The question for parents is how they can use the tooth fairy to their best advantage."

According to The Children’s Mutual, the tooth fairy demonstrates the increasing cost of having children but also offers families an alternative way of teaching their children about the value of money. The research found that the majority of children (69 per cent) talk about money and savings with their parents, 73 per cent have a piggy bank to help them save and 44 per cent of seven-year-olds said they play shopping games at home.

Mr White said: “Teaching the value of money is often difficult, but the tooth fairy is on hand to help. Paying children for their lost teeth could help bring playing shop and money games to life.”

The research found that those living in London and the South East benefit from the most generous tooth fairy visits, receiving £1.14 a tooth against the Welsh who get just 95 pence.

Evidence of the tooth fairy can be traced back to 1900 in England and the US and she is said to have been introduced to give children a reward for giving up part of themselves. Other nations also celebrate similar mythical characters; the French have ‘La Petite Souris’, ‘Annabogle’ travels the length of Ireland and in Scotland, the ‘White Fairy Rat’ trades money for lost teeth.