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