FAST-FORWARD TO 2013, IS THERE AN AVERAGE TOOTH PRICE THAT THE TOOTH FAIRY PAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA?
There didn’t seem to be any formal survey data about this. So I conducted an informal poll among parents in our network with children of teeth-losing age. Here are the interesting results that emerged. The range seems to lie between R10 and R100, with the average sitting around R50.
So my son’s claim (that he was getting paid the least out of his friends) did seem to be correct. However, bear in mind that many of the parents we polled send t heir children to private schools i n Jo’burg Northern suburbs, where it is fair to assume the average is higher than in other, less aff luent areas of South Africa. So although R10 per tooth may be at the bottom end of the Jozi private school scale, it probably isn’t at the bottom end elsewhere in SA. And this is what we have to keep reminding our children.
Otherwise, if you’re one of the more generous parents paying R100 per tooth, a mouthful of 20 baby teeth will set you back an whopping R2 000 per child! Interestingly, a few SA parents paid more for the f irst tooth than others, but this was the exception rather than the rule, unlike in the US. There were also cultural differences, with many Afrikaans families talking about a tandmuis (tooth mouse); a tooth fairy seems to be the Anglo-Saxon version. One mother said: “As a general consensus among the parents, the kids in my child’s class get the amount equivalent to their age.” My personal favourite was the father who tells his children that the tooth fairy pays significantly more for a perfect tooth than for one with cavities, in that way rewarding their children for good dental hygiene.