Tooth Fairy finances: Research suggests the cost per tooth is now £3.42 in the UK

23 July 2021
2 min read
Published:

It’s often one of our first experiences with money, and probably one of the most magical. You go through the pain of losing your first tooth, pop it under your pillow when you go to sleep, and the next day you discover that the Tooth Fairy has come and swapped your tooth for a shiny coin.

Whilst we don't know where Tooth Fairies get their seemingly bottomless pot of funds from, the financial experts at Raisin UK have worked out the exact size of the global Tooth Fairy fortune, including why explaining gifting to your children before they become adults is a good idea. 

The average cost per tooth is now £3.42 in the UK!

UK kids today appear to be making a pretty penny for each tooth as the national average the Tooth Fairy is dishing out is £3.42 - and with children expected to lose all their 20 baby teeth by the time they’re 12-14, this means there’s an extra £68.40 to be made alongside pocket money!

However, this figure isn’t universal and varies across the UK. According to research by Stem Protect, children in Bradford receive £0.50 per tooth on average, whereas the Tooth Fairy grants a whopping £2.50 per tooth for children in Harrogate.

Ultimately, if each child in the UK lost only one tooth per year, the Tooth Fairy fortune would have to amass to a staggering £40.9m to cover the money left under pillows, or £818.1m a year if each child lost all their milk teeth!

US Tooth Fairies leave the dollar bill behind, shedding out $4.70 for one tooth!

Across the pond, it seems the funds for US Tooth Fairies have increased even more than in the UK. On average, US children are receiving $4.70 per tooth - that’s just under $100 ($94) for their full set of baby teeth!

However, not all children in America are getting this generous handout from Tooth Fairies. Children in the Midwest receive the least on average at $3.71 per tooth, whereas Tooth Fairies in the Northeast of the USA are splashing out $4.35 a tooth!

Children under the age of 14 currently make up around 21.4 per cent of the US population (around 60.2 million). If each child lost one tooth a year, the Tooth Fairies’ bill would be a whopping $283.1m a year! If every child lost only half their baby teeth, the Tooth Fairies would need $2.8bn to keep up with America’s dental demands.

The reality is parents are shelling out £68.40 per child

In reality, the disparity between countries and towns shows that numerous factors come into play when gifting cash for your children’s teeth as the Tooth Fairy.

The disparity in cost per tooth is clear when looking at research from Stem Protect. In areas of relatively high socioeconomic wealth such as Harrogate, children are earning more per tooth, compared to Bradford who are earning less. 

Area of UK

Rate (£)

Rate (£) per 20 teeth

Bradford

£0.50

£10.00

Edinburgh

£0.75

£15.00

Nottingham

£1.00

£20.00

Manchester 

£1.20

£24.00

Bristol

£1.25

£25.00

London

£1.50

£30.00

Leeds 

£1.50

£30.00

Harrogate 

£2.50

£50.00

In Ireland and Spain, however, the Tooth Fairy is paying out €3.90 (£3.36) per tooth, which calculates to €78.00 (£67) per mouth; the Spanish Tooth Fairy gives £464,104,913.90 away each year, and the Japanese Tooth Fairy spends £1,016,585,320.21 per year.

What’s influenced the Tooth Fairy inflation?

The Tooth Fairy has different rates everywhere.  Whether it’s because of how far they have to travel, the rate varies across the UK. Tooth Fairies also pay less for unclean bedrooms, not going to bed on time, and not eating vegetables. If you can, try and let the fairies know they are due, so they have time to write a note in the diary, drop off your money with plenty of notice, and dip into their savings in time.