Press releases

 

The Tooth Fairy teaches children about oral health and gives families a reason to celebrate

Delta Dental celebrates 22 years of tracking the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving in the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — August 20, 2020 — This National Tooth Fairy Day, Delta Dental reminds families of the role the Tooth Fairy can play in teaching children about oral health. While various state and local provisions regarding COVID-19 have changed summer plans, families can still celebrate a lost tooth and learn more about good oral health at home.

A new survey from Delta Dental reveals that 80% of households with children receive visits from the Tooth Fairy, and these visits are motivated by a desire to give children something to be excited about, according to more than half of caregivers polled. In addition, 45% of caregivers report that having the Tooth Fairy visit gives them a reason to celebrate and 42% said it makes their child feel special. 

Beyond celebrating a lost tooth, a visit from the Tooth Fairy instills good oral health habits in a positive way according to one third of respondents. Delta Dental has created a trove of oral health education materials centered on the Tooth Fairy. We encourage families to enjoy the resources, activities, and games together to learn more about oral health.                                                         

Tooth Fairy payouts increase

According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, the Tooth Fairy’s average cash gift increased 30 cents for a lost tooth, for a total of $4.03 per tooth. 

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 tripled since its inception when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30, and now reaches its fourth highest payout in the history of the survey. 

The value of 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 15 of the past 18 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $3.70 and this year’s survey shows upward growth to $4.03, an increase of nearly 9%. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 also experienced growth, with a 22% increase, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy survey. 

“The Tooth Fairy is one of health care’s most powerful tools for teaching children about their oral health,” said Jennifer Elliott, Chief Marketing Officer, Delta Dental Plans Association. “By celebrating a lost tooth, children begin to learn the importance of their oral health in an engaging and fun way. At Delta Dental, we continue to provide tools for parents, families and communities to educate young Americans about the importance of their oral health and our 22nd year of this survey shows our dedication to keeping the Tooth Fairy an active part of oral health education.”

 

About the survey

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 30, 2019, and January 11, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The S&P 500 stood at 2,596 on January 11, 2019 and increased to an average of 3,159 for January 2020.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

 

About Delta Dental Plans Association

Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation’s largest provider of dental insurance, covering more than 80 million Americans, and offering the country’s largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2019, Delta Dental companies provided approximately $76 million in direct and in-kind community outreach support to improve the oral health of adults, children and infants in local communities across the country. For more information, visit: deltadental.com.

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaDental and Facebook: Delta Dental Plans Association

 

The value of a lost tooth is on the rise — 30 cent increase marks upward trend

Delta Dental celebrates 22 years of tracking the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 20, 2020 — Today, Delta Dental released new findings from its Original Tooth Fairy Poll® that show a 30-cent increase in the Tooth Fairy’s average cash gift for a total of $4.03 per tooth.

“The Tooth Fairy is one of health care’s most powerful tools for teaching children about their oral health,” said Jennifer Elliott, Chief Marketing Officer, Delta Dental Plans Association. “By celebrating a lost tooth, children begin to learn the importance of their oral health in an engaging and fun way. At Delta Dental, we continue to provide tools for parents, families and communities to educate young Americans about the importance of their oral health and our 22nd year of this survey shows our dedication to keeping the Tooth Fairy a vibrant and active part of oral health education.”

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 tripled since its inception when the value of a lost tooth was $1.30 as it reaches its fourth highest payout in the history of the survey.

The value of 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 15 of the past 18 years. Last year, a single lost tooth was valued at $3.70 and this year’s survey shows upward growth to $4.03, an increase of nearly 9%. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 also experienced growth, with a 22% increase, reaching its highest average since the inception of the Original Tooth Fairy survey.

U.S. regional snapshot

  • $4.35 – The Northeast: Leads U.S. regions in highest average monetary gift for a lost tooth, outranking The West, which led the previous two years in a row.
  • $4.01 – The South: Tracks most closely to the overall U.S. average.
  • $3.97 – The West: Decreased 22 cents, moving from highest regional average last year to third regional average this year.
  • $3.71 – The Midwest: Increased 74 cents over last year but remains lower than the national average for the second year in a row.                                                               

 

About the survey

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 30, 2019, and January 11, 2020, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The S&P 500 stood at 2,596 on January 11, 2019 and increased to an average of 3,159 for January 2020.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

 

About Delta Dental Plans Association

Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation’s largest provider of dental insurance, covering more than 80 million Americans, and offering the country’s largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2018, Delta Dental companies provided approximately $79 million in direct and in-kind community outreach support to improve the oral health of adults, children and infants in local communities across the country. For more information, visit: deltadental.com.

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaDental and Facebook: Delta Dental Plans Association

 

Top five factors the Tooth Fairy ponders in deciding lost teeth rewards

Delta Dental celebrates 20+ years of tracking the Tooth Fairy's U.S. annual giving in the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — August 19, 2019 — Rewarding children for lost teeth is an age-old tradition ... and a little more complex of a job than the Tooth Fairy lets on. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, sponsored by Delta Dental, indicates that several circumstances may determine the amount the Tooth Fairy gifts. The No. 1 guiding factor is how much spare cash the Tooth Fairy has on hand (46%).

So, what other key considerations may influence the Tooth Fairy's generosity?

  • No. 2: Children's ages (31%) set the value of a lost tooth.

  • No. 3: The Tooth Fairy remembers historical payouts and then determines comparable amounts to what children's parents received when they were young (29%).

  • No. 4: Santa isn't the only one keeping a list! The Tooth Fairy is mindful of kids' recent behaviors indicates 1 in 5 parents (20%).

  • No. 5: The Tooth Fairy is keeping a tally of lost teeth. How many teeth children have already lost (18%) is a top factor in deciding monetary rewards.

Tooth Fairy payouts slide for second year in a row

According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll, the Tooth Fairy's average cash gift declined to $3.70 for a lost tooth, which is down by 43 cents from a year ago.

Not all parents say the Tooth Fairy is following the national average. In homes that the Tooth Fairy visits, close to 2 in 5 parents (37%) share that their children receive at least $5.00 or more. Also, a first lost tooth continues to impress. The Tooth Fairy appears to recognize that this is a monumental tooth as indicated by kids' receiving an average gift of $4.96, representing $1.26 above the $3.70 average for subsequent lost teeth.

Delta Dental has been gauging the Tooth Fairy's U.S. annual giving trends for more than two decades. The disclosed value of a lost tooth may be slipping but is significantly greater than the 1998 national average of $1.30, which equates to about $2.00 today with inflation.

Value of lost tooth and economy

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy's overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 Index (S&P 500) for 14 of the past 17 years. A year ago, a single lost tooth was valued at $4.13 and dropped to $3.70 in this year's survey, down 10%. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 also saw a decline and decreased by 3%.

"Most parents say that the Tooth Fairy is bringing excitement and joy to their children, with more than one-third of caregivers sharing that the Tooth Fairy instills good oral health habits," said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association. "With the Tooth Fairy tradition, oral health conversations are being regularly initiated in households across America with a spark of fun."

About the survey

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 31, 2018, and January 13, 2019, among a nationally representative sample of 1,058 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The S&P 500 stood at 2,687 on December 28, 2017, and decreased to 2,596 by January 11, 2019, down 3%.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey, Tooth Fairy trivia, and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaDental and Facebook: Delta Dental Plans Association

About Delta Dental Plans Association

Delta Dental Plans Association, based in Oak Brook, Illinois, is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation's largest provider of dental insurance, covering more than 80 million Americans, and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 156,000 participating dentists. In 2017, Delta Dental companies provided more than $61 million in direct and in-kind community outreach support to improve the oral health of adults, children and infants in local communities across the country. For more information, visit: deltadental.com.

 

 

 

Tooth Fairy payouts plunge for second consecutive years

Delta Dental celebrates 20+ years of tracking the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving 

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 21, 2019 — Parents, do not be surprised if a savvy kid holds on to a lost tooth until market conditions improve. The Tooth Fairy’s purse strings appear to be tighter than a year ago with the average monetary payout down by 43 cents. According to the just-released Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy’s average cash gift declined to $3.70 for a lost tooth.

Not all parents say the Tooth Fairy is following the national average. In homes that the Tooth Fairy visits, close to 2 in 5 parents (37 percent) share they give their child at least $5.00 or more. Also, a first lost tooth continues to impress. Parents recognize this monumental tooth with an average of $4.96, representing $1.26 above the $3.70 average for subsequent teeth lost.

Delta Dental has been gauging the Tooth Fairy’s U.S. annual giving trends for more than two decades. The newly disclosed value of a lost tooth may be slipping but is significantly greater than the 1998 national average of $1.30, which equates to about $2.00 today with inflation.

Value of lost tooth and economy

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy’s overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500) for 14 of the past 17 years. A year ago, a single lost tooth was valued at $4.13 and dropped to $3.70 in this year’s survey, down 10 percent. Over the same time period, the S&P 500 also saw a decline and decreased by 3 percent.                                                                                           

U.S. regional snapshot

The Northeast region ($3.75) appears closest aligned with the national average ($3.70) for the Tooth Fairy’s tracked gift giving. Delta Dental’s latest annual poll identifies a $1.28 difference between the highest U.S. regional average to the lowest. The Tooth Fairy’s stingy streak looks to transcend all regions, with each experiencing a decline in the average payout amount. Additional regional highlights include:

  • $4.19 — The West: Continues to lead U.S. regions in highest average monetary gifts for a lost tooth but dropped 66 cents compared to a year ago ($4.85)
  • $3.91 — The South: Replaces the Northeast for second-highest regional average but slid by 21 cents when looking back a year ($4.12)
  • $3.75 — The Northeast: Closely follows the South in average Tooth Fairy payout but tumbled 60 cents from the previous poll ($4.35)
  • $2.97 — The Midwest: Represents an average of 73 cents less than the national average (3.70) and 47 cents lower than a year ago ($3.44)

Other stats from homes visited by the Tooth Fairy

  • Joy: The Tooth Fairy gives kids something to be excited about, according to more than half of parents (56 percent).
  • Bedtime: Children go to bed early when leaving out a tooth say 30 percent of parents.
  • Savers: Children choose to save their Tooth Fairy earnings say nearly half of parents (48 percent).
  • Oral health: More than one-third of parents (34 percent) believe the Tooth Fairy instills good oral health habits.

“While our Original Tooth Fairy Poll is rooted in fun, it is also interesting to see how parents are using visits from the Tooth Fairy as a learning tool in their home,” said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association. “Parents share that the Tooth Fairy is delivering so much more than a tangible gift for a lost tooth, such as teaching our next generation about proper oral health habits and personal financial responsibility in a memorable way.”                                                             

About the survey

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 31, 2018, and January 13, 2019, among a nationally representative sample of 1,058 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3 percent.

The S&P 500 stood at 2,687 on December 28, 2017, and decreased to 2,596 by January 11, 2019, down 3 percent.

For more information about the Delta Dental-sponsored survey, Tooth Fairy trivia, and oral health tips for infants to pre-teen, visit Original Tooth Fairy Poll

 

Tooth Fairy Payouts Hit Hard Times

Average under-the-pillow gifts take a dip by 11%

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 26, 2018 — Looks like the Tooth Fairy tightened her money bag after an all-time high payout in 2016. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy's cash gifts dropped to an average of $4.13.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy's overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 index (S&P 500) for 12 of the past 14 years. The December 2017 poll shows the Tooth Fairy hasn't quite been able to keep up with the market's hot pace—with an 11 percent cash payout decrease from 2016, while the S&P 500 saw a total return in 2017 of almost 18 percent.

Even though the average price of a tooth dropped, the Tooth Fairy still paid out a healthy $271 million for lost teeth across the nation. Those looking under their pillow for their first lost-tooth payout took far less of a hit, receiving an average $5.70 per tooth, only a minor drop from 2016 which saw a $5.72 payout.

"No matter how generous the Tooth Fairy decides to be, a visit from the Tooth Fairy is a great way to teach children good oral health habits at an early age," said Jennifer Elliott, chief marketing officer for Delta Dental Plans Association. "What better time to reinforce oral health messages than during the anticipation of a visit from the Tooth Fairy?"

Other Tooth Fairy stats:

    

  • The Tooth Fairy visits 84 percent of the nation's households with children.
  • Fifty-five percent of parents confess that the Tooth Fairy may have missed a visit at some time.
  • While the Tooth Fairy leaves money at 95 percent of the homes she visits, some parents say that the Tooth Fairy also leaves a small toy or game (47 percent), a letter from the Tooth Fairy (35 percent) or a toothbrush (31 percent) in addition to or instead of money.

Regional statistics:

   

  • Tooth Fairy payouts are highest in the West with $4.85 ($6.76 for the first tooth).
  • Followed by the Northeast at $4.35 ($6.45).
  • The South gave $4.12 ($5.68).
  • The Midwest at $3.44 ($4.37).

About the Survey: The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between December 13 and December 28, 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 1,007 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

 

Tooth Fairy payouts post record gains

Average monetary payouts soar by nearly 20% — marking all-time high

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 23, 2017 — An unlikely but accurate economic indicator, Tooth Fairy payouts are soaring, posting record gains in 2016 and early 2017. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll®, sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy's cash payouts have jumped to an all-time high over the past year, up to an average of $4.66 compared to $3.91 in 2015.

That could spell even better things to come for the economy. The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy's overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 index (S&P 500) for 12 of the past 13 years. This year's poll shows Tooth Fairy payouts are nearly right on target—within a few percentage points—with a 19.18 percent increase in cash payouts amount as the S&P 500 saw an increase of 19.61 percent compared to the same time last year.

In 2016, the Tooth Fairy paid an estimated $290.6 million for lost teeth, up 13.5 percent from the prior year. Cash payouts for a child's first lost tooth, typically higher than average, are also up nearly 10 percent at $5.72.

"In addition to the excitement a visit from the Tooth Fairy brings, she also delivers lessons in finance and good oral health," said Jennifer Elliott, vice president of marketing for Delta Dental Plans Association. "Having conversations with children about good oral health habits, from an early age, can help establish strong habits for a lifetime, and the Tooth Fairy can be a great way to help spark those conversations."

According to the poll, the Tooth Fairy visits 85 percent of the nation's households with children; and in 89 percent of those homes, leaves money. But, 56 percent of parents say the Tooth Fairy can be a little forgetful, neglecting to pick up the tooth on the first night.

By region, Tooth Fairy payouts are highest in the West: $5.96 ($6.89 for the first tooth); followed by the Northeast at $5.08 ($6.31); the South at $4.57 ($4.88); and the Midwest at $4.04 ($5.70).

An even split of children save (48 percent) and spend (48 percent) Tooth Fairy cash; however, 3 percent actually donate the money, and a savvy one percent even loan the cash out.

In addition to money, the Tooth Fairy often leaves gifts that strengthen children's oral health habits, leaving toothbrushes (38 percent), dental floss (21 percent) and toothpaste (22 percent).

About the Survey: The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between January 24th and January 31st, 2017 among a nationally representative sample of 1,588 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 2.5 percent.

 

 

Latest victim of Wall Street: Tooth Fairy giving

Average monetary gifts sink by 10.32%

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 24, 2016 — Amidst tumultuous times on Wall Street, Tooth Fairy giving has taken a nosedive. According to the Original Tooth Fairy Poll® sponsored by Delta Dental, the Tooth Fairy's cash gifts have dipped to $3.91, down 10.32% compared to $4.36 in 2014.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has typically served as a good indicator of the economy's overall direction, tracking with the movement of Standard & Poor's 500 index (S&P 500) for 11 of the past 12 years. This year, however, the Tooth Fairy must have been using predictive analytics as the market continues to take losses beyond the 8.2% drop during the time the survey was conducted compared to 2014.

In 2015, the Tooth Fairy gave a total of $256 million for lost teeth, up just .6% from the prior year in spite of 5% more parents saying she left money for their children this year. Cash gifts for a child's first lost tooth, typically higher than average, are also down by 9.23%.

"The Tooth Fairy can deliver a powerful lesson about finances from an early age and be a great way to make losing teeth less scary for kids," said Jennifer Elliott, vice president of marketing for Delta Dental Plans Association. "Discussing the importance of good oral health habits with children is crucial, even before the loss of the first tooth, introducing the Tooth Fairy can be a great way to start those conversations."

Delta Dental found the Tooth Fairy visits 86% of homes with children in the nation; in 93% of those homes she gives money. As it turns out, the Tooth Fairy may also factor in the cost of living, varying the rate per region: Northeasterners ($5.27), Westerners ($4.25), Southerners ($3.63), and Midwesterners ($3.11).

The Tooth Fairy can be absent-minded too, forgetting to pick up a tooth in more than a third (35%) of homes at least once. And region matters - the Tooth Fairy is more likely to forget a tooth pick up in the Midwest (46%) than in the West (36%), South (34%) or Northeast (23%).

Some other findings from the survey:

76% of the time, moms are the parents enlisted to help the Tooth Fairy, up from 61% a year ago.

The Tooth Fairy is most likely to visit homes between 10 pm and midnight (68% of the time).

Oral health related gifts from the Tooth Fairy are on the rise: toothbrushes (40%, up from 33%), toothpaste (33%, up from 27%) and floss (27%, up from 14%).

"We're glad to see that, in addition to money, the Tooth Fairy is leaving gifts that help drive home the critical importance of good oral health from the youngest of ages," added Elliott.

About the Survey: The Children's Tooth Fairy Survey was conducted between December 16th, 2015 and January 14th, 2016 among a nationally representative sample of 1,307 parents of children ages 6-12. The margin of error is +/- 2.7 percent.

 

 

Tooth Fairy pays record $255 million for lost teeth in 2014

Like S&P 500, average gift posts double-digit gains for third consecutive year

 

OAK BROOK, Ill. — February 24, 2015 — Kids are benefiting from the recovering U.S. economy, with the average gift from the Tooth Fairy reaching a new high of $4.36 last year, up from $3.50 in 2013, according to Delta Dental's The Original Tooth Fairy Poll®. In 2014, the Tooth Fairy left a staggering $255 million for lost teeth based on Delta Dental estimates.

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll has generally been a good indicator of the economy'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 11 of the past 12 years. In 2014, both the average Tooth Fairy gift and the S&P 500 posted double-digit gains for the third year in a row, with 24.6 percent and 11.4 percent increases respectively.

"As leaders in the dental benefits industry, we keep our eye on all kinds of economic indicators, and the Tooth Fairy's record giving tracks with big gains in the major stock indexes in 2014." said Jennifer Elliott, vice president of marketing at Delta Dental Plans Association.

The Tooth Fairy Leaves More than Money

Delta Dental's survey found that in 88 percent of the homes she visited, the Tooth Fairy left cash for kids, either by itself or in combination with other gifts. Kids who got a gift in addition to or instead of cash most often received a toy, game, toothbrush, toothpaste, book, doll, stuffed animal or dental floss.

Other findings from The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide, include:

    

  • The Tooth Fairy visited 81 percent of U.S. homes with children who lost a tooth.
  • The amount of spare cash on hand (44 percent) or the child's age (39 percent) are the most mentioned reasons for how much is left by the Tooth Fairy.
  • The Tooth Fairy was more generous with first-time tooth losers, leaving more money for the first tooth in 40 percent of homes. On average, the amount given for the first tooth was $5.74, a 27 percent increase from 2013.
  • The Tooth Fairy was stingiest with kids in the Midwest, leaving just $2.83 per tooth. Kids in the South raked in the dough, receiving $5.16 per tooth. And kids in the West and Northeast didn't fare so bad either, receiving $4.68 and $4.16 respectively.
  • Kids with younger parents also received more money from the Tooth Fairy. Kids with parents under age 35 received the most ($5.40 per tooth), followed by kids with parents ages 35 to 44 ($4.24 per tooth) and parents ages 45 and older ($2.45 per tooth).
  • Most kids seem satisfied with their gift. Only 17 percent of parents can recall their child asking the Tooth Fairy for more money. And fewer (11 percent) say their kids have asked the Tooth Fairy for a gift instead of or in addition to cash.

Encouraging healthy habits

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll helps promote good dental hygiene habits that encourage healthy smiles across America. "We're happy that, in addition to money, the Tooth Fairy is leaving gifts that help get kids excited to brush and floss their teeth. Delta Dental also encourages parents to introduce the Tooth Fairy as a way to discuss the importance of good oral health habits even before a child loses the first tooth," Elliott said.

For more information about The Original Tooth Fairy Poll, visit originaltoothfairypoll.com.

1 Kelton, a leading global insights firm, conducted The Original Tooth Fairy Poll® on behalf of Delta Dental with 1,003 parents of children ages 6 to 12 across the United States.