Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How Much are Kids' Teeth Worth?

Tooth Fairy Cashes Out

Dr. Versman, Dr. Heller, and Dr. Beckman are here to help keep your teeth healthy, strong, and in your mouth; however, for kids, it is not a bad thing to have a baby tooth flop out.  But how much is a fallen tooth worth these days, and is it the same here in Denver, CO as it is elsewhere? Well it is nice to know there is no more stress over the issue as Visa recently introduced a new phone application that calculates exactly how much your child should earn per tooth.   

The USA Today article that broke the story about Visa's baby-tooth-value calculator app states this event best:

“Nobody wants to be the parent whose child is ‘the talk at recess,’  because of a frugal Tooth Fairy, says Amy Moncarz, a second-grade teacher at Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School in Rockville, Md. Discrepancies in tooth price can lead to a conversation parents might want to avoid: the existence of the Tooth Fairy itself.

To help parents calculate the going rate for teeth, Visa on Tuesday is launching an app for iPhone and iPad and a calculator on its Facebook page. The app uses the survey's data to determine the average payoff a child can expect based on a parent's gender, education, location, age and income. The app also shows how much the recommended dollar amount was worth when the parent was 8.”

Currently, the average across the country is $3 per tooth, according to Visa.  The price per tooth does change whenever altering different factors like holding age, gender, location, household income, and education level. Oddly enough, the less household income, the greater the size of the average tooth fairy's gift. In fact, when setting the income as $20K with only a high school education, each tooth was given a worth of $5. A 33 year old male parent in Illinois with a college education and making $75,000 yields a $2 gift from the tooth fairy (while a female parents with the same information give a child $3 per tooth).  Also, if a parent had a graduate degree while making more than $150,000 per year, the calculator suggested giving an average of $1 per tooth.

Who came up with these averages?  The Visa surveyed 2,000 households with telephone interviews with a random sample in cooperation with GfK Roper’s Omnibus Service “OmnitTel.”  A business consultant told USA Today, "The app would be a driver of tooth inflation, not a tracker. I would predict a psychological bidding game." However, Visa meant for this phone application to better help their kids fit in as we all know the lunch time gatherings and conversations are highly important.

Periodontal Associates wanted to know, what is the average in Denver, CO? I randomly entered my information as a 30 year old female parent, making $40K with a college education, and the result was $5 per tooth.  However, this price was adjusted for inflation as in 1990 a tooth was worth $2.81.

Periodontal Associates suggest you use the tooth fairy to also promote proper home oral care.  For example, you can tell your kids the tooth fairy only pays half as much for teeth that have cavities. This may lead to less resistance to regular brushing and flossing.

Although this application is a fun tool for paying your kids, Dr. Versman, Heller, and Beckman hopes you are not using the app for the parents’ teeth.  Periodontal Associates, in the Denver metro area, wants to help keep your gums strong in order to prevent the loss of teeth. Click here to schedule an appointment, call us at (303) 755-4500, or visit our website,, to find more facts about gum disease and good oral hygiene.

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