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Average Tooth Fairy Gift Posts Double-Digit Gains in 2012

Delta Dental survey shows average gift tracked with S&P 500


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OAK BROOK, Ill. (Feb. 27, 2013) - Like most of the major U.S. stock indexes, the going rate for lost baby teeth posted double-digit gains in 2012, according to Delta Dental's The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®.1 The average gift from the Tooth Fairy climbed to $2.42 last year, up from $2.10 in 2011, a 15.2 percent gain.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® has generally been a good barometer of the market's overall direction. In fact, the trend in Tooth Fairy giving has tracked with the movement of the Standard & Poor's 500 index (S&P 500) in nine of the past 10 years. In 2012, the S&P 500 gained 13.4 percent, similar to the Tooth Fairy gift's 15.2 percent gain.

"As the leaders of the dental benefits industry, we look at all kinds of economic indicators," said Bill Hupp, a spokesperson for Delta Dental Plans Association. "I'm happy to say that the Tooth Fairy delivered encouraging news about the country's economic recovery in 2012."

First Tooth Has Higher Valuation

Delta Dental's survey found that the Tooth Fairy was even more generous for first-time tooth losers, leaving more money for the first tooth in 46 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $3.49.

Other interesting findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, which surveyed more than 1,200 parents nationwide, include:

  • The Tooth Fairy visited nearly 90 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
  • The Tooth Fairy left cash for kids in 98 percent of the homes she visited. Two percent of children received toys, candy, gum or other gifts.
  • The most common amount left under the pillow by the Tooth Fairy was $1 (51 percent).
  • Twenty-two percent of kids hit it rich and received $5 for each lost tooth.

Encouraging Healthy Habits

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® reflects a partnership between the Tooth Fairy and Delta Dental to promote good dental hygiene habits that encourage healthy and happy smiles across America. "We encourage parents to use the Tooth Fairy's visit as an opportunity to talk to their kids about good oral health," Hupp said.

For more information, visit And, to get a sense of the taste and style choices of the Tooth Fairy, parents can follow her on Pinterest at

About Delta Dental Plans Association
The not-for-profit Delta Dental Plans Association (, based in Oak Brook, IL, is the leading national network of independent dental service corporations. It provides dental benefits programs to more than 60 million Americans in more than 97,000 employee groups throughout the country.


1Morpace, Inc. conducted The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® on behalf of Delta Dental with 1,224 consumers across the United States.