Maybe this is the first real sign of an economic slowdown.

Or, perhaps, the Tooth Fairy is just nowhere near as popular as Santa or the Easter Bunny

The Tooth Fairy’s payouts continue to slip year-by-year.  The national average per tooth is now $3.70, down 43 cents from last year.  Kids in the western U.S. get a little more at $4.13 per tooth.  Kids in the Midwest get the least at just $2.97.

(Two years ago, it was at an all-time high of $4.66.)

The same study also found that a A FIRST lost tooth is worth a little bit more . . . $4.96.  But that number’s also down from last year, when it was $5.70.  That’s a 13% decrease.

(So any kids listening might want to just stash all their lost teeth for a year or two.)

Even though there was a pretty big drop in payouts again, 56% of parents say the Tooth Fairy still gives kids something to look forward to.  And 30% say their kids go to bed early if they know she’s coming.

(Delta Dental)