Is the Tooth Fairy Getting Stingy? Or More Generous?

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The national average payoff for a child’s tooth placed under a pillow is somewhere between $2.50 and $2.60. Does that mean the market value for pint-size incisors and canines is on the rise? Or that the Tooth Fairy is becoming Grinch-like?

It’s debatable. A new survey from Visa puts the national average for Tooth Fairy payouts at $2.60 per tooth. That’s supposedly down 40¢ a pop from last year’s average, a sweet $3.

Ah, the heyday of the $3 tooth. Back then, when the market was booming, kids were practically ready to rip out their canines with pliers to get top dollar. (No wonder I spotted my 6-year-old rifling through the tool box so often.)

But wait. Before believing that the Tooth Fairy’s newfound stinginess is an indicator the economy is tanking, and before your child begins hoarding his lost teeth waiting for the market to rebound, note that it’s not clear the tooth bubble has burst. Earlier this year, a different “official” Tooth Fairy Poll had it that a child could expect $2.52 per tooth, on average—which was an increase of 18% from the prior year’s survey, when the national average was supposedly $2.13.

So which poll is correct? Who knows. Something tells me that—shocker!—the info gathered related to the Tooth Fairy isn’t exactly scientific.

Kids probably don’t care about the national average anyway. All they’re concerned about is the generosity of the Tooth Fairy in their own homes. Most young kids are thrilled with a $1 bill—so long as they’re not already accustomed to the Tooth Fairy leaving $3.

(MORE: Economic Indicator: It’s a Great Time to Be in the Thrift Store Business)

Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.