WASHINGTON -- It's exciting and sweet when a kid loses a tooth, but it can be expensive for the tooth fairy.
For parents who received a quarter or dollar under their pillow for a displaced baby tooth, the debate over how much the tooth fairy should leave can be heated -- even within families.
"The first time my daughter lost a tooth, my husband gave her five bucks," scoffed a woman pushing her child on a swing at a Northwest D.C. playground. "I got a quarter."
One mother describes her children wiggling their loose teeth, in hopes of hurrying the visit from the fairy.
"They keep working on it, working on it, working on it, until they finally got it gone," she says.
A grandmother, watching her 4-year-old play, remembers the tooth fairy brought a quarter each time she visited her house.
"I remember one night the tooth got lost, and we had big problems with that," she laughs.
Her grandson, who proudly offered a chance to "look at my teeth," didn't seem interested in cash.
"I think there's some Hot Wheels cars you can love," he suggests.
A group that's been keeping track of tooth fairy financials since 1998 reports she's leaving more this year than last.
According to The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the average gift climbed to $2.42 last year up from $2.10 in 2011, a 15.2 percent gain.
The poll is compiled by Delta Dental Plans Association, a dental insurance carrier.
So what do you think? What's the going rate for the tooth fairy? What do you remember about when you or your child lost a tooth? We'd love to to see the gap- toothed smiles of your little ones.
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