According to new Delta Dental findings from its 2023 Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the average value of a single lost tooth during the past year increased 16% from $5.36 to $6.23. The new value not only has children beaming with gap-toothed smiles but also represents a record high in the 25-year history of the poll.
Since the poll’s inception, the average cash gift left by the Tooth Fairy has surged 379% from $1.30 to $6.23 per tooth. At this rate, in 2048, the Tooth Fairy would be leaving a whopping $30 under the pillow for a single tooth.
“Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends for a quarter century, highlighting the role of good oral health care habits for children,” said Gabriella Ferroni, Senior Director, Strategic Communications, Delta Dental Plans Association. “We know this time-honored tradition will continue to bring great joy to homes across the country, and we look forward to seeing how the Tooth Fairy’s giving changes over the next 25 years. Given the projection, it would be in the Tooth Fairy’s best interest to invest in a larger purse.”
The worth of a lost tooth and the economy
Historically, the Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically mirrored the economy’s overall direction, tracking with the trends of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500). However, while the average value of a single lost tooth increased 16% over the past year, the S&P 500 experienced an 11% decline during the same period.
U.S. regional ranking for the average value of a lost tooth
- South ($6.59): Led U.S. regions with the highest monetary gift for a lost tooth, marking a 14% increase since last year’s results.
- West ($6.25): Increased 53%, despite being only two cents higher than the national average.
- Northeast ($6.14): Dropped below the national average, after leading last year with $7.36 for a lost tooth.
- Midwest ($5.63): While still trailing the national average, it went up $1.36 (32%).
About the survey
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between Jan. 6, 2023, and Jan. 19, 2023, among 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.
The January 2022 S&P 500 average was 4,410 and decreased to an average of 3,942 for January 2023, consistent with the timing of the Original Tooth Fairy Poll.
For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.
According to findings of the 2022 Original Tooth Fairy Poll released by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy visited 79% of homes across the country with children ages 6 to 12 who have lost teeth. Most kids are demonstrating patience for the Tooth Fairy’s visit, with more than half of parents (61%) reporting that their child waited for their loose tooth to fall out, unlike 18% of their children that pulled their own tooth. One in three parents agree that the Tooth Fairy is a positive way to instill good oral health habits in their child.
The 2022 poll builds on insights gleaned over nearly a quarter of a century. A few additional highlights from this year’s poll include:
The Tooth Fairy continues to bring joy
- More than one in two parents say the Tooth Fairy gives their child something to be excited about (55% 2022 versus 53% 2021).
- This year, more parents indicate that the Tooth Fairy provides their child with an opportunity to celebrate something fun (55% 2022 versus 48% 2021).
- In fact, 35% of parents express the Tooth Fairy was the perfect way to spread joy in a year when they needed it most (compared to 34% 2021).
“Our oral health is essential to our overall health, and the time-honored tradition of the Tooth Fairy can help bring attention in a fun way to the importance of establishing proper oral hygiene habits at an early age,” said Jennifer Elliott, Chief Marketing Officer, Delta Dental Plans Association. “Delta Dental is committed to increasing the public’s oral health care awareness as we support millions of dental health journeys across America.”
The worth of a lost tooth — cash dominates
Since 1998, Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends. The 2022 Original Tooth Fairy Poll® indicates the Tooth Fairy’s average cash gift reached $5.36 per tooth, an all-time high in the 24-year history of the poll. This year’s value of a lost tooth has more than quadrupled since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy Poll® when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30. The 2022 poll’s average gift of $5.36 per tooth is 66 cents (14%) higher than the previous peak of $4.70 set last year and well over $1 (33%) more per tooth in 2020 ($4.03). The 2022 poll also finds that 80% of the time the Tooth Fairy leaves only money rather than some other physical gift.
About the survey
The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between January 19 and January 28, 2022, among a nationally representative sample of more than 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3%.
For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey, Tooth Fairy resources for families and kids, and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit the Original Tooth Fairy Poll.