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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Tooth Fairy may be pinching pennies.

A Delta Dental survey shows the amount of money the Tooth Fairy pays for a lost tooth is down 43 cents this year. But some parents don't follow the national average in the annual "Original Tooth Fairy Poll."

The poll shows the average pay-out for a tooth is $3.70. A first tooth is worth a little more. Children score an average of $4.96 for that first one. Last year, an average tooth was worth $4.13, and the first tooth earned $4.50.

Numbers show geography plays a factor in the value of a tooth. Children in the western U.S. got a little more for their teeth than kids in other areas of the country. Kids in the west get about $4.19 a tooth while those in the south get about $3.91

The good news about the Tooth Fairy ritual is that it can be a learning experience. The poll shows 34 percent of parents believe the Tooth Fairy instills good oral health habits. Nearly half of children save the money. And the Tooth Fairy gives 56 percent of children something to be excited about.

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