Tooth fairy tightens her purse strings as recession bites
- Average price of a tooth has fallen six per cent this year to £1.15
- Children in Northern Ireland have the most valuable teeth
- Over half of children in the UK are saving some or all of the money the tooth fairy leaves under their pillow
The Children’s Mutual’s annual Tooth Fairy Index released today reveals that the average cost of a child’s tooth has fallen six per cent from £1.22 to £1.15. As the tooth fairy fights the economic gloom she is giving away £1.3 million less this year than last, as the credit crunch extends its clutches to the magic realm of Fairyland.
In 2008, the leading Child Trust Fund provider’s Tooth Fairy Index found the average cost of a tooth had risen by an impressive 16 per cent on the previous year. But 12 months on, the tooth market is showing signs of decay as parents resist the ‘fairy pressure’ reported in previous years as one in four (24 per cent) is now happy to pay less than average and believe this helps their children understand the value of money.
Tooth Fairy Index, according to The Children’s Mutual:
Average cost of a child’s tooth
|2007||£1.05||First year of The Children’s Mutual Tooth Fairy Index|
David White, Chief Executive of The Children’s Mutual said: “The fall in the value of teeth provides the perfect opportunity for parents to talk to their child about the value of money and the impact of the credit crunch. Talking about the value of money in terms children can easily understand can help them appreciate the importance of saving.”
Encouragingly, over half of all children (55 per cent) save some or all of the money the tooth fairy leaves in exchange for their teeth. Children in the South West have the most bulging piggy banks as over three quarters of children (77 per cent) are saving their tooth pennies, while those in Scotland are choosing to splash their cash, with over half (51 per cent) spending all the money the tooth fairy leaves under their pillow.
The Children’s Mutual’s Tooth Fairy Index reveals that attitudes towards the tooth fairy vary widely across the UK. Children in Northern Ireland benefit the most from the tooth fairy’s generosity, as over one in 10 children (12.5 per cent) receive £5 or more for each tooth that wobbles free, whereas 12 per cent of children in the Midlands have a gap in their purses as well as their mouths as they are forgotten by the tooth fairy altogether!
Average cost of a child’s tooth
The report also indicates that the tooth fairy herself has changed over the years. Traditionally, the tooth fairy has been known for leaving money, letters, and a sprinkling of fairy dust on her nightly rounds. The research found that some parents recalled receiving an orange, toys or a book as a special treat from the tooth fairy. Their children in turn are now the recipients of mobile phone credit and magazines as the tooth fairy flies into the twenty-first century.
72 Point interviewed 2070 parents with children aged 5-15 in May 2009 Average number of children aged 6-11(4.8m) losing 4 teeth per year x the average tooth fairy rate of £1.15 – average number of children = 4.8m x 4 teeth per year = 19.2m; 19.2m x 1.15 = £22.8m. Last year’s value = £23.4m – this year’s value of £22.08 = £1.32m.