UK children are collecting over £16 million each year thanks to the generosity of the Tooth Fairy.
A new survey by the British Dental Health Foundation has calculated that the Tooth Fairy is leaving over £16.5 million each year under the pillows of children in exchange for their milk teeth. The survey has also found that £1 is the most common amount left by the Tooth Fairy, with over six out of every ten children finding the shiny coin when they wake up.
In fact the Tooth Fairy is one of the hardest working employees in the country as they clock on for their night time shift. With an estimated 15 million teeth falling out of children's mouth each year, the Tooth Fairy is making an average of 42,000 visits each night and over 1.3 million money drops during this year's National Smile Month campaign, which is organised by the Foundation and runs until 15 June 2011.
Nearly 65 per cent of children received £1 for each of their milk teeth. Just over one in ten children were lucky enough to receive over £2 or more each time for their missing tooth. The average mount left by the Tooth Fairy was £1.08 with children in Yorkshire and Humberside receiving the most (£1.45) and those in the West Midlands the least (£0.86).
Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said: "Children have around 20 milk teeth so it is no surprise that the Tooth Fairy is so busy. Unfortunately, around one in three children are leaving teeth for the Tooth Fairy which show signs of visible dental decay, so we hope that during National Smile Month Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Guardians and Teachers will take the opportunity to remind children about how to look after their teeth.
"A simple routine of brushing for two minutes twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, cutting down on how often you eat and drink sugary foods and drinks and visiting your dentist regularly, as often as they recommend, will help develop good oral health", advised Dr Carter.
1. Children normally have about 20 teeth by the age of two and a half years. Milk teeth begin to fall out from about the age of six. By the age of thirteen, 28 adult teeth should be in the mouth. Between the age of 18 and 25 four more teeth may begin to appear at the top and bottom.
2. Amount left by the Tooth Fairy
3. All children up to three years old should use a pea sized amount of toothpaste with a fluoride level of at least 1000 parts per million (ppm). After three years they should use a toothpaste that contains 1350-1500 ppm. You can check the level of fluoride on the packaging of the toothpaste.