Tooth Fairy Inflation! Parents Are Paying What for a Lost Tooth?

At this rate, parents may need to take out a mortgage to cover the costs of their kids' lost teeth

Not to sound all great-granny on you, but back in our day, we owned just one pair of tennis shoes at a time, used the same backpack for most of elementary school and got a shiny quarter under our pillows from the Tooth Fairy.

Oh, how times have changed.

In its annual tooth survey, Visa finds the average amount paid out per tooth in this country in 2013 is $3.70, CNBC reports. That’s up 23 percent over last year’s $3. At that rate, the network notes, kids could score $74 for all 20 of their baby teeth.

If you think the average is enough to send the poor Tooth Fairy to the poor house, check this out: 6 percent of kids get $20 or more per tooth and 2 percent score a whopping $50! (Are those teeth filled with gold?)

In our house, kids receive a shiny gold $1 coin. Apparently, we are cheapos, as just one-third of parents own up to spending a buck per tooth, according to the Visa report. And, by the way, if you live in the Northeast, you pay more -- $4.10 on average -- per tooth, while Midwesterners pay the least, at $3.30 per tooth.

Listen, we’re big fans of the Tooth Fairy tradition (as are 90 percent of Americans, according to CNBC), but $1 per tooth seems totally fair and completely reasonable. If you’re paying $20 a tooth, your last name better be Rockefeller (shaking fist in the air). At the rate our 6-year-old is shedding teeth, we'd practically be doling out a mortgage payment in the name of the Tooth Fairy. Nope, $1 is plenty.

Now, have you heard the story of how we used to trudge through the snow for a mile to school uphill, both ways?

Lesley Kennedy writes for the Online Shopping Report at Follow ShopAtHome on Twitter @shopathome and Lesley on Google + or email her

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