The Easter Bunny's sweet spot

Lagging behind in the popularity polls, 3- to 5-year-olds are the Easter Bunny's top audience

OAK BROOK, Illinois—April 13, 2017—Though trailing popular figures such as Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny has a sweet spot with three- to five-year-olds. Sixty-eight percent of children in the age group believe in the furry bearer of chocolate (82 percent for Santa Claus and 77 percent for the Tooth Fairy), according to a survey out from Delta Dental.

When it comes to children 12 and under, 58 percent believe in the Easter Bunny, trailing the Tooth Fairy (70 percent) and Santa Claus (71 percent), so say their parents in the survey.

Regionally, the Easter Bunny sees the most support in the Midwest (64 percent), followed by the South (58 percent) and the Northeast (54 percent), which is just barely trailed by the West (53 percent).

All the popular figures seem to be in a believability rut with 10- to 12-year-olds, where the Easter Bunny held only a 45 percent rating and the Tooth Fairy (62 percent) edges out Santa Claus (60 percent), well, by a hare.

Children who haven't had an oral health issue tend to believe in the Easter Bunny at a higher rate than those who have (64 percent vs. 52 percent).

"While chocolate and jelly beans may be Easter basket favorites, it's important to remember your little one's oral health and limit candy consumption," said Bill Kohn, DDS, Delta Dental Plans Association's vice president of dental science and policy.

Teeth-friendly tips to combat Easter sugar overload:


  • Fill baskets and eggs with something other than candy, such as sidewalk chalk, stuffed animals or crayons.
  • If children do indulge in a sweet snack, stick to one small serving and follow up by drinking water and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste to wash away the sticky sugar residue.
  • If candy is an Easter must for you, chocolate is a better choice than sticky, gummy or hard candies as it's easier to rinse off your teeth.

About the Survey: The online survey was conducted between January 24, 2017 and January 31, 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 1,163 parents of children ages 6-12, with a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.