Delta Dental Poll Finds Tooth Fairy Welcomed Into Most US Homes

Delta Dental Plans Association
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In celebration of National Tooth Fairy Day on August 22, Delta Dental has unveiled further insights from its 2023 Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

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In recognition of National Tooth Fairy Day on August 22, Delta Dental released additional findings from its 2023 Original Tooth Fairy Poll.

This poll, currently in its 25th year, reveals that the Tooth Fairy receives a warm welcome in an overwhelmingly large number (81%) of U.S. households. Furthermore, the enchantment of the Tooth Fairy’s visits brings joy not only to children but also to parents. Over a third (36%) of parents mention that the Tooth Fairy encourages positive oral health habits in their kids. Additionally, in eager anticipation of the Tooth Fairy’s visit, 27% of children head to bed early.

“The Tooth Fairy is a beloved visitor into homes across the country and helps foster proper oral hygiene habits at an early age, which in turn supports overall health,” said Gabriella Ferroni, senior director, strategic communications, Delta Dental Plans Association. “To encourage positive dental care, parents can remind their children the Tooth Fairy prefers the cleanest, healthiest teeth. We look forward to seeing how traditions evolve over the next 25 years.”

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Tooth Fairy giving is at a record high, according to the 2023 Original Tooth Fairy Poll released by Delta Dental.

Highlights from this year’s poll include:

Tooth Fairy giving reaches record high

  • The average value of a single lost tooth during the past year increased 16% from $5.36 to $6.23 – a record high in the 25-year history of the poll.
  • Since the poll’s inception, the average cash gift left by the Tooth Fairy has surged 379% from $1.30 to $6.23 per tooth. At this rate, in 2048, the Tooth Fairy would be leaving a whopping $30 under the pillow for a single tooth, which equates to a staggering $600 for a full set of 20 primary teeth.
  • Further, 20% of children receive both money and something else, such as a physical gift, for each tooth they lose.

Tooth Fairy pays a premium for the first tooth

  • The average value of a first tooth is $7.29, which is just over a dollar more than a typical tooth receives.
  • One-third (33%) of parents say the Tooth Fairy spends more on the child’s first tooth than any future teeth.

The worth of a lost tooth and the economy

Historically, 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). However, while the average value of a single lost tooth increased 16% over the past year, the S&P 500 experienced an 11% decline during the same period.

About the survey 

The Original Tooth Fairy Poll was conducted between Jan. 6, 2023 and Jan. 19, 2023, among 1,000 parents of children ages 6 to 12. The margin of error is +/- 3%.

The January 2022 S&P 500 average was 4,410 and decreased to an average of 3,942 for January 2023, 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.

About Delta Dental Plans Association

Based in Chicago, 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 benefits provider, covering more than 89 million Americans and offering the country’s largest dental network with approximately 152,000 participating dentists. Over the last decade, Delta Dental companies and their foundations invested over $1.9 billion to improve the oral and overall health of our communities.

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