Inflation hits tooth fairy in pillowbook

Inflation hits tooth fairy in pillowbook »Play Video
A child's smile remains a wise investment

EUGENE, Ore. - Wiggling her loose teeth is McKayla Reilly's favorite part about losing them.

She also doesn't mind trading old teeth for new money under her pillow.

"Two quarters and one dollar," Reilly said.

A VISA survey of 2,000 households found that, on average, American kids get $3 per tooth.

"I think its way too much," said Catherine Mitchell, who remembers get 25 cents for her teeth. "I think then, they'll expect more and more and more."

McKayla's mom, Carrie, said her friend's kids get "$5, $10, a little bit more." She remembers getting 50 cents.

"Oh I can't imagine doing that," said Peggy Levine, who got 25 cents for her teeth. "You know, because sometimes you give them something else, not even just money, but something fun."

If you want to know how much your kids "should" be getting for their teeth, there's an app for that: the Tooth Fairy Calculator factors in your state, age and income.

"It will calculate how much they should give their kids," said dental hygienist Lindey Stockwell. She sends kids with loose teeth home with a special container to stash under their pillow.

"You know, if they're going to save it, it's kind of a fun way for them to have a little something in their piggy bank," Stockwell said.

But Carrie Reilly said it's not about money, it's about "the joy of losing the tooth and the sweetness of waking up to something that's there for it. And you can't put a price on it."