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Tooth fairy visits could soon be a lucrative business
Updated: 6/25/2008 2:00:23 PM

The practice of a 'tooth fairy' leaving money under a child's pillow in return for their baby teeth is common across North America and Europe and typically only involves a dollar or two.

However, if recent trends in the UK are anything to go by children here in the States may soon be able to expect an increase in the going rate for their milk teeth.

The Children's Mutual's annual Tooth Fairy Inflation Index shows that the average cost of a child's tooth is now £1.22 ($2.40), 16 percent higher than in 2007.

It also found that while kids may be wobbling away at their loose teeth in the hope of a visit from the ever-more generous tooth fairy, parents are feeling the pressure, with 21 percent admitting that they feel they pay too much.

The legend of the tooth fairy has been around in various forms for centuries. It has been suggested that the Vikings paid children for their baby teeth, while there was a widespread belief in medieval Europe that witches were keen to get their hands on little teeth.

In Spain, Italy and France the tradition exists in the form of a little mouse, but Anglophone cultures have all adopted the idea of the fairy, which is believed to have started in North America in the late 1800s.
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