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Tooth Fairy sets new record high for value of a lost tooth

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 23, 2022 — Today, Delta Dental released new findings from its 2022 Original Tooth Fairy Poll® that show the Tooth Fairy's average cash gift reached $5.36 per tooth, a record high in the 24-year history of the poll.

Delta Dental has been analyzing the Tooth Fairy's U.S. annual giving trends since 1998. The newly disclosed 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. This year’s poll illuminates the highest all-time average gift of $5.36 per tooth, which is 66 cents (14%) higher than the previous peak at $4.70 last year and well over $1 (33%) more per tooth since 2020 ($4.03).

“As a welcomed visitor into most homes around the country, the Tooth Fairy continues to bring fun and excitement to kids’ oral health care awareness. In fact, 1 in 5 parents share that the Tooth Fairy was one of their child’s favorite surprises during the pandemic,” said André Richards, Assistant Vice President, Brand Strategy & Management, Delta Dental Plans Association. “With this year’s Delta Dental-sponsored national poll reflecting double-digit growth in Tooth Fairy giving, perhaps the Tooth Fairy is experiencing the effects of inflation along with being very generous.”

The worth of a lost tooth and the economy

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) for 17 of the past 20 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $4.70, and this year's survey indicates a 14% upward growth to $5.36. Over the same time, the S&P 500 also experienced growth, with a 17.6% increase. 

 

U.S. regional snapshot

  • $7.36 — The Northeast: Continues to lead U.S. regions in highest average monetary gift for a lost tooth, rocketing $2 above the national average and marking a $1.64 gain over the previous year’s results.
  • $5.77 — The South: Continues to track most closely to the overall U.S. average and shows a $1.32 increase.
  • $4.27 — The Midwest: Although lower than the national average, up 61 cents.
  • $4.08 — The West: Represents the only U.S. region with a downward giving trend, with the average monetary gift for a lost tooth plunging by $1.46.

 

About the survey 

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® was conducted between January 19 and January 28, 2022, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000+ parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The January 2021 S&P 500 average was 3,750 and increased to an average of 4,410 for January 2022, 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®.

 

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About Delta Dental Plans Association

Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, Delta Dental Plans Association is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation's largest dental insurance provider, covering more than 83 million Americans, and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 154,000 participating dentists. Over the last decade, Delta Dental companies provided over $1.75 billion in direct and in-kind support to improve the oral health of our communities across the country. Visit deltadental.com for information on individual dental insurance plans and group dental insurance plans.