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It's a bear market for baby teeth

Talk about a financial bite: Even the Tooth Fairy is cutting back these days.

After leaving an average of $2.52 per tooth in 2010, the market for pre-owned baby teeth seems to have softened considerably in 2011, with the average price falling to $2.10. 

Until this year, the average per-tooth amount had been on a two-year upswing, after falling below $2 in 2008. The 2010 average was a record high for baby teeth, but it's too early to tell if the market will recover or if today's still-teething tots missed out on the boom. 

For those old enough to remember getting a dime or a quarter under their pillows (and being thrilled!), a little over two bucks might still seem like a pretty good haul. The national average was already over a dollar per tooth when Delta Dental Plans Association began the conducting The Original Tooth Fairy Poll in 1998. 

According to Delta, 90 percent of kids are visited by the Tooth Fairy. The most common amount left is a dollar, but first baby teeth almost always command a premium. 

What do you think the Tooth Fairy should leave kids? Let us know on Facebook.