(Alla Dreyvitser/The Washington Post)

You’ve may have read about the poor economy or heard your parents talking about it. But here’s proof that this country is going through tough economic times.

The Tooth Fairy is giving out less.

The average amount given to American kids last year for lost teeth was $2.10. In 2010, the average child got $2.52 from the sprite who creeps into rooms at night, takes teeth and deposits cash. That’s a 17 percent decline.

“Like many Americans, the Tooth Fairy needed to tighten her belt in 2011, but she’s hopeful for a recovery this year,” said Chris Pyle of Delta Dental, which has been doing the tooth fairy survey since 1998. Pyle didn’t make it clear when or where he talked to the Tooth Fairy about her views on the economy.

Most kids get $1 per tooth from the fairy, the survey found. But she apparently knows when a kid has lost his or her first tooth and tends to leave extra for that.

The Tooth Fairy visits about 90 percent of American homes with kids.