It was closing in on 7:30 a.m. Monday morning and this was one of the last stops for the Tooth Fairy. You see, TF works chronologically and this 8-year old girl didn't lose her upper bicuspid until 11:30 the night before. Maybe it was the end of a long night that caused TF to make a little more noise than normal. The girl rustled causing TF to freeze with a $5 dollar bill in hand. The girl rolled over and TF quickly made the switch, unseen and unscathed, like infinite times before.
Five dollars may seem like a lot for a tooth. My parents told me when it was a quarter-- if they were lucky-- and I remember celebrating if it was a dollar. The Tooth Fairy has come under increased scrutiny as of late from many parents complaining about high tooth prices in a lagging economy. But TF says there are reasons for that.
"I don't have to contend with high gas prices," said the Tooth Fairy. "I'm not driving to every child's bedroom, nor do I have to feed a stable of reindeer like (Saint) Nick does. It's pretty much a floating, flying, think-where-I-want-to-go-and-I'm-there process."
Still, parents are worried prices have gone through the roof.
"Five bucks? Come on, these kids don't need more than a dollar," said one parent also upset about equality. "A neighbor kid shows up at the bus stop and brags about a five or 10-dollar tooth, when my kid has been getting two bucks from the Tooth Fairy."
That creates a pressure situation, that many parents say is only quelled by higher prices the next time TF shows up to take a tooth.
"I don't want my daughter to feel slighted by the Tooth Fairy," said another parent. "I just don't know what the Tooth Fairy is thinking in some of these houses. And let's not kid ourselves, we all heard about that $20 molar last year-- now that's just ridiculous!"
But TF says parents have to remember this isn't the 1950's.
"If you account for inflation, a $5 dollar tooth is about the same as what I gave kids in the 80's, 70's, 60's and on down. Teeth are no different than food, gas and other things that have just gone up in price over the years," explained TF. "Are kids still getting a buck to mow the neighbor's lawn? I rest my case."
When asked about the infamous $20 molar, TF was quick to respond.
"That has been so overblown. First of all, that was front tooth and it was the little boy's first. And his parents were very well off and spoiled him rotten-- which I have no control over."
As the economy continues to struggle it will be interesting to see how tooth prices react. The Tooth Fairy says it's too tough to venture a guess.
In theory, the price of a tooth would have to hit a wall, but baseball hasn't stopped paying players exorbitant salaries. The owners love to complain about high player salaries, but the next chance they get, they sign another big free agent to a boatload of money. The only ones who can lower the price of teeth are parents themselves. But let's be honest, it only takes one ruin it for everyone.